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Stress Affects Our Immunity

Stress is a major part of our modern, achievement orientated life. Some believe it is the base of all diseases – and if we take a closer look at the biochemical changes that run through our system when we deal with stress, we have to realise that it is indeed, quite true.

Photo of Hans Selye taken in 1951. He is sitting in front of a microscope.
Hans Selye, photo taken in 1951. Used courtesy of Paul J. Rosch, MD, FACP President The American Institute of Stress.

Stress Alters Your Immunity

Hans Selye, a Hungarian- Austrian doctor, the “father of stress”, dedicated his whole life to research the physiological and psychological changes that happen to our body when we are stressed. He realised that one of the most detrimental effects of prolonged stress is the way it alters our immunity.

Cellular Immunity Suppressed – Humoral Immunity Stimulated

The Immune system is a well organised protective structure of several layers and billions of specified fighting cells at each layer. Stress hormones, produced due to any stimulus, whether it be physiological, or psychological; suppress our cellular immunity and stimulate the humoral immunity.

The Imbalance Lowers Your Immunity

This imbalance opens our body to bacterial and viral invaders, and it also encourages cancerous mutations, leads to allergies and autoimmune diseases.

Donut with pink icing The modern day diet is loaded with sugar and chemicals.
Photo by Pixaio

Modern Day Diet and Remedies Make This Worse

If on top of this we load our body with sugars – that also suppress the immune system; and chemicals that create free radical damage, but not support our system with nutrients, such as vitamins and anti-oxidants needed for the fight, one can clearly see who is going to win the war. There are more and more cancer cases we meet.

Life Style and Diet Changes Help

Shouldn’t we take a step back and think of how this speedy life packed with stress, empty calorie fast foods and force-grown, low nutrient containing vegetables can not lead to anything good? A radical change is called for, but every small step towards health counts! For information about treatment read on. decorative Element

Bananas, nuts, cabbage and other delicious foods.
Supplying your body with much needed nutrients is crucial.

Mental Relaxation - Sleep - Exercise - Healthy Diet

To re-balance the immune system we have to support our stress response first. There are many ways we can learn to deal with stress, mentally: relaxing, breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, prayer, physical exercise, etc. It is very important to clear our heads. But just taking time to have a proper good night's sleep is crucial! Our body repairs itself and strengthen the defences while we’re sleeping. Supplying the body with much needed nutrients is crucial.

A naturopathic treatment always starts with a thorough investigation to find the root of the problem, whatever the health concern may be. We are all very individual: as there are no two snowflakes alike, neither are any two human bodies. Once we found the cause, with a tailor made menu plan and herbal supplement regime your body can be gently ushered back to health - without side effects.

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Find out more about Nutritional Therapy.

Find out how stress affects fertility. Read the first article in this series about stress.