A Study Establishes the Relationship between Stress and Diseases

Almost everyone goes through stress in modern life. But did you know that stress is able to cause those common illnesses that most of us suffer from occasionally? If you really care about your health, you might have noticed that every time you get stressed up, soon after you start suffering from some diseases. Is it just a coincidence that they attack you or are they induced by stress?

A study published by researchers at Michigan State University has established a strong link between psychological stress and the body’s immune system. It reports that high level of stress weakens the ability of the body to fight off disease-causing microorganisms. How does this happen? In the study, the researchers have given a deep analysis of everything that happens when the body is going through stress.

According to the report, when we are stressed up, the body reacts by releasing corticotrophin, also referred to as CRF1. This is a type of protein that is responsible for sending signals to a particular family of the immune cells. When these cells receive the signals, they respond by releasing a particular chemical which can activate certain diseases. The common ones include lupus, asthma and severe irritation.

To understand this reaction, it is critical to note that the body contains a particular family of cells that are known as mast cells. These are immune cells that react when they feel that the body is under threat. They are responsible for different reactions including lupus, asthma, allergic reactions and anaphylaxis. Mast cells release a chemical known as histamine and it is the one that makes the body to react in a particular manner, especially when you are around allergens.

Mast Cells and Stress

The activities in the mast cells tend to increase when one is going through stress. Adam Moeser, the author of the study, together with his team used two sets of mice to establish the relationship. One group of mice had CRF1 receptors in their mast cells while the other group had none. The two groups were subjected to a stressful environment and then their histamine levels were measured. Mice that did not have CRF1 receptors were not affected by diseases as compared to their counterparts that had the receptors.

The verdict of the report is that CRF1 is responsible for initiating some stress-induced diseases. The study paves the way for more research to be done on how to deal with these ailments that are caused by psychological stress.