For most of us, stress is caused by all of the small inconveniences and annoyances that we experience daily. But for many, these stressors, health challenges, and life circumstances can take a significant toll on the immune system, acting as autoimmune disease triggers. Stress, defined in its simplest form, is the application of strain, pressure, or tension, and is often at the root of what causes autoimmune disease. The impact of daily stress on one’s body depends on how we handle that stress, how we allow ourselves to respond to it emotionally. Emotion is often knee-jerk and influences our thinking in a powerful way, creating a link between stress and autoimmune disease.
When exposed to stress, the immune system is one of the first protective mechanisms to be activated. When triggered, many hormone-producing glands like adrenaline and cortisol are activated and released into the blood through receptors. This activates immune cells to prepare to fight against the “enemy.” This is the culmination of long-term stress exposure which can lead to chronic inflammation and an increase in the risk of developing autoimmune disease symptoms.
Swelling redness, or skin rashes
Numbness and/or tingling in hands and feet
There are several changes you can make in your lifestyle to decrease inflammation and improve your overall health.
DIET. Diet has a direct impact on health and wellness. Ideal diets are anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-acid (alkaline) and anticoagulant. These features are all provided by a whole food plant-based diet. Strive for fresh, organic, non-GMO, regional and seasonal food sources. Plan for 30+ grams of fiber per day. Avoid the ‘whites’: White flour, white rice, white sugar, white dairy, high fructose corn syrup, and junk foods. Omega–3 fatty acids are good fats and found in foods, such as fresh ground flax seeds, walnuts, almonds, avocados and fresh cold-water fish (organically farmed) like Alaskan Salmon and in dietary supplements such as sea algae oil capsules, fish oil capsules, flaxseed oil capsules.
WATER. Water is essential to carry nutrients to cells, flush toxins out of vital organs, and provide hydration for tissues of the ear, nose, and throat. Daily water intake is recommended at eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day.
EXERCISE. The benefits of regular exercise are endless. Weight control is key as obesity is a major cause of inflammation in the body. In addition, exercise improves cholesterol, strengthens the immune system, and improves the delivery of oxygen to tissues making you feel more energetic and sleep more soundly.
SLEEP. Sufficient sleep decreases the risk of obesity, diabetes, depression, and many other health issues. It may be the most important thing we do to help manage our health.
ENJOYMENT. Get your happy hormones firing – endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin. Be sure to do things daily that bring you joy and make you laugh. The little things in life can make a big difference in your health. Laughter is the best medicine and can help to reduce the destructive stress hormones in the body.
If you are one of the 60 million Americans suffering from an autoimmune disease or part of the population at risk, determining your symptoms and working to reduce stress can be part of a comprehensive treatment approach. Testing and establishing a comprehensive autoimmune disease treatment plan can aid in recovery and the healing processes. To learn more about your options or how to purchase a test kit from Aurora Life Sciences, visit our website, call 815-713-1829, or email [email protected] today.
and Risk of Autoimmune Disease