Get weekly updates via email!
tip of the day WED 04 MAR 15
Is your favorite nail polish clumping? Add a few drops of nail polish remover into the bottle to thin out the lacquer to a more desirable
  • Good House Keeping
    Get in the mood for romance with Good Housekeeping’s January-February issue and be inspired by stories of lasting marriages, plus we give you tips on how to look radiant in your 20s, 30s, and beyond!
    Good Housekeeping
Jennifer Chan, Staff Writer
 
April 14, 2012

Stress May Make Us More Vulnerable to the Common Cold

Research shows that the stress hormone cortisol can cause problems in the way our body responds to viruses and bacteria. By Jennifer Chan

When we catch a cold, it’s usually due to a weakened immune system. However, according to a study published in the journal Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, a weakened immune system isn’t always the culprit. Researchers say stress may also be responsible. 

Cortisol--the hormone released when we're stressed--tends to suppress our immune system’s inflammatory response to viruses and bacteria. This is normal. However, chronic stress messes up our body’s inflammatory response even more, making it less sensitive to cortisol. Instead of being suppressed, our inflammatory response is forced into overdrive, which may explain some of our cold symptoms. "They’re unable to regulate the inflammatory response, and therefore, when they’re exposed to a virus, they’re more likely to develop a cold," says lead author Dr. Sheldon to CNN.

In an effort to test the theory, researchers interviewed 276 healthy adults about what stressed them out over the last year. They were then given nasal drops containing a cold virus and were quarantined for five days. Out of the total participants, 39 percent developed a cold. Furthermore, those who became stressed out were twice as likely as the others to fall ill

For the second leg of the study, researchers tested 79 participants on their ability to regulate their inflammatory response before exposing them to a cold virus. They also tracked down the participants’ production of pro-inflammatory cytokines—chemical messengers responsible for inflammation. Those who initially showed poor inflammatory response produced more cytokines after their exposure to the virus.

Now, the common cold might not be our biggest health problem, but inflammation has also been linked to other diseases. "Because inflammation plays a role in many diseases such as cardiovascular, asthma, and autoimmune disorders, this model suggests why stress impacts them as well," Cohen explains. “Knowing this is important for identifying which diseases may be influenced by stress and for preventing disease in chronically stressed people.”


(Photo by anna gutermuth via Flickr Creative Commons)

Join us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
COMMENTS
Name :
Email :
Website :
Comment :
Security Image
 
 
NOTE: FemaleNetwork.com is a CLEAN ZONE. Editors reserve the right to delete obscene comments.
Filter comments by:
  • Be the first one to comment...
Filter comments by:
 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
follow us
Jennifer Chan
Staff Writer
Jennifer Chan was a contributing writer for Female Network for two years before formally joining the team as a staff writer in July 2012... Read more...
Latest Articles by This Author
LATEST Articles
MOST READ Articles
3 Things That Could Be Draining Your Energy
Here are the probable reasons you're feeling tired all the time.   Mar 04, 2015 
What Caffeine Actually Does to Your Brain
Spoiler: It's not a stimulant.  Mar 03, 2015 
Why You Should Ditch Your Skinny Jeans This Summer
Tight pants = nerve damage!  Mar 02, 2015 
How to Lose Weight Using Your Smartphone
These get-sexy apps are completely free, and more importantly, available in the Philippines!  Feb 27, 2015 
Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Crack Your Knuckles
Stop popping those joints!   Feb 27, 2015 
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT