Chiropractic Meridian ID Stress and Immune Health

Growing up stress was considered a part of life and something you just deal with. In my first psychology class, I made fun of the fact that stress could make people sick and attributed it to stress causing a lack of sleep and proper nutrition which then led to illness.

Needless to say I was very wrong and had no clue what stress does to the immune system even if there is proper sleep and great nutrition.

Every week I see individuals who can’t improve their health due to stress and no amount of sucking it up works. It doesn’t matter what they are looking for help with.

  • Concussion/TBI
  • Dizziness/Vertigo
  • Autoimmunity
  • Diabetes
  • Depression/Anxiety/PTSD
  • Chronic Infections
  • And Much More

I’m going to review why stress impacts us in Meridian ID significantly more than it did previously, what it does to the immune system, and strategies to address it.


WHY STRESS IMPACTS US MORE

I want you to imagine life 300 years ago, what was it like?

I imagine a life full of hard work, no technology, and tight knit communities. When a challenge arose it was usually a blend of physical and emotional stressors that were short term. As you made it through one you became more resilient to future stressors.

Some of the physical stressors were lack of food, wars, hunting, and living conditions that subjected you to weather extremes. Emotional stressors usually were accompanied by physical stressors with the exception of losing a loved one.

What do we have now with stress? Stress now is primarily driven by the technology era that we are in. Everything happens so fast and there is no down time. You wake up, go to work, come home and eat, and then go to sleep to only repeat this cycle. Work is often full of stress and even when you are done you have to worry about emails and text messages that are coming. The news that many watch is meant to rile us up towards each other. Social media and many review sites are about negativity and hatred that only attacks the emotional side.

Beyond this, we don’t ever get breaks from stress. Even in the 90’s you weren’t always reachable due to the internet not fully being there and no cell phones.

Currently we are hit with so many different types of stressors and we hope our body isn’t going to mess up; which unfortunately it does.


STRESS AND IMMUNE HEALTH

Stress is more than something we feel, but changes what happens in our body.

Importantly, our bodies can’t distinguish between the stressors we face and will always do what it takes to survive in the moment even though it often hurts us long term.

The biggest problem isn’t with acute stress, which can be a problem but it is with chronic stress.

When we are in a state of chronic stress the immune system doesn’t work the way it should. This stress can be from physical, environmental, infectious, foods, toxins, sleep, and emotional.

The immune system when healthy should act like a see-saw. When certain challenges are faced it shifts to the side that best helps deal with the challenge. When there is chronic stress the immune system shifts to a chronic inflammatory state. This prevents the immune cells from identifying and killing the bad guys which make us susceptible to infection and cancer. Beyond this, the system is confused and can attack the wrong things leading to autoimmunity.

It also can cause the barrier that protects the brain known as the blood brain barrier to not work right and shifts the brain into an inflammatory state. Which can set the stage for dementia, parkinsons, alzheimer’s, depression, anxiety, ptsd. If you suffer a concussion or TBI after having chronic stress then your ability to recover is likely going to be impacted as your brain was already more inflamed at baseline than it should be.

Needless to say, I could keep going on so many other things impacted by stress: thyroid, gut, hypertension, diabetes, and so much more.


ADDRESSING STRESS

As we discussed earlier there are many different types of stress, which means there isn’t one approach.

You need to figure out what is driving the stress and have a plan to address it. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring how stress rewires the brain. This would break the approach down into two parts: identify and remove stressors as well as rewire the brain to a healthy state.

Step 1:

Start by identifying the 5 things that make you feel better or worse. It may be sleep, food, relationships, menstrual cycles, or getting frequently sick. Rank these as to which one impacts you the most as this will be key in approaching this.

I routinely have individuals who report a minor even can be very stressful, but they don’t have a plan to address that stress. They chase something else such as lyme, mold, or EBV and don’t realize these are widespread and many individuals have it. Why are they impacted by it but not other people?

It is because they take advantage of opportunities and stress is a great one. If stress isn’t addressed then they feel stuck.

Step 2:

As mentioned above, stress changes the brain. You need to identify how your brain is functioning. This is done with specific brain based testing: balance, eye movements, and brain waves.

Once we have an idea of how your brain is functioning we can create a specific plan that may include different therapies to reconnect the brain. We have a lot of different tools that work really well and give us predictable results for the right individual.

If you’d like our help getting your stress response under control so it doesn’t have to wreck your health any longer.

Request a consultation today to get started.