How stress affects Autoimmune disease

Man with Autoimmune disease feeling stressed out

In a study spearheaded by Dr. Huan Song from the University of Iceland in Reykjavik, showed a significant link between stress and autoimmune disease.  The research showed that individuals who are under stress had 36% greater risk of developing 41 autoimmune diseases.  

Stress can be defined in many ways and it can come from many different factors.  There are different ways on how people deal with stress – some cope easily while others find it difficult to manage and those who already deal with the stress that can come with living with autoimmune conditions may find it particularly challenging to manage.

For those with AI diseases, psychological stress triggers stress-related hormones which can lead to immune dysregulation making autoimmune symptoms more apparent. It’s key to have some stress management techniques and behavioural interventions in place to avoid stress-related imbalance of the immune system.

Psychotherapy, yoga and meditation are some proven stress relief tools, as is having a healthy diet and engaging in regular endorphin boosting exercise.

To combat negative stress from taking a toll on your mind and body, try these simple but proven techniques:

  1. Keep positive

Try to keep an optimistic attitude and accept the fact that sometimes, things go wrong and it’s okay.  If you don’t have a support group to keep your spirit afloat, talk to yourself and take one day at a time.

  1. Practice stress stoppers every time you are confronted with a difficult situation. 

Some of the simple stress stoppers you can do are counting to ten before speaking or reacting to someone or something. Listening to music, taking a walk, exercising and taking a break will also help relieve tension that can cause stress.

  1. Discover new activities that will help keep your mind positive

These activities include doing art, reading a new book, catching up with friends or learning a new skill or hobby.

Read more about tips for healing autoimmunity here.