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How does stress affect immune system function?

Stress can weaken the immune system, making it more difficult to fight off infections.

When the body experiences stress, it releases hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones can suppress the immune system by reducing the number of white blood cells available to fight off infections. Additionally, stress can cause inflammation throughout the body, which can further weaken the immune system.

Chronic stress can have even more severe effects on the immune system. Prolonged exposure to stress hormones can lead to a decrease in the production of antibodies, which are essential for fighting off infections. Chronic stress can also lead to changes in the way immune cells communicate with each other, making it more difficult for the immune system to mount an effective response to infections.

Stress can also exacerbate existing health conditions, making it more difficult for the immune system to keep them under control. For example, stress can worsen symptoms of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

In conclusion, stress can have a significant impact on immune system function. While short-term stress is a normal part of life, chronic stress can have serious health consequences. Managing stress through techniques such as exercise, meditation, and therapy can help support immune system function and overall health.

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