Back to school: Stress and the Immune System
We are in a turbulent time where there is a world of unknowns. As we send our children back to school, stress is at an all-time high. Many people report heightened anxiety, trouble sleeping, indecision, difficulty concentrating and challenges in their relationships. Ironically, at a time where we must ensure our immune systems are in check, stress is actually lowering our immunity. Stress can cause us to be more prone to colds, cases of flu or even COVID-19.
It is well documented that elevated stress will suppress our immune system. Stress and its role in compromised immunity have been an area of intense research in psychoneuroimmunology over the last 3 decades. Psychoneuroimmunology is the study of how one’s state of mind affects one’s state of health. During these studies, experts found that stress of any significant duration – from a few days to a few months or years impacted all aspects of immunity, and immunity decreased. Long-term or chronic stress is proven to ravage the immune system. This compromised immune system leaves people more prone to infection.
Although there is currently so much we cannot control, there are strategies to reduce stress and help us have a robust immune system. The World Health Organization (WHO) has released an illustrated workbook, specifically providing numerous methods that will allow us to manage today’s everyday stressors with more ease. The workbook is a great resource to share with our children and families to start a conversation about stress management. Check out this free resource if you are having challenges managing your own or your family’s stress levels.
At the IV health centre, we have been working hard to help manage our community’s stress levels as well as their immune systems-one person at a time. With the numerous tools that we have as health professionals, we can help you and your family manage your stress as best as possible this fall and work together to support higher immune function.
Contact the IV at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 604-974-8999 to inquire about how we can support your overall health today.
-Dr. Erica Kubanek, ND