As a grandma myself, I can vouch that stress DOES affect the
immune system! I'm sure you'll find the following links informative.
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"Because research in the United States is showing considerable effects
from stress on the immune system, from how well the 'flu vaccine
produces immunity, right down to how long it takes a wound to heal in
people who are caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease."
"Chronic stress not only makes people more vulnerable to catching
illnesses but can also impair their immune system's ability to respond
to its own anti-inflammatory signals that are triggered by certain
hormones, say researchers, possibly altering the course of an
inflammatory disease. This finding is reported on in the November
issue of Health Psychology, published by the American Psychological
Chronic stress seems to impair the immune system's capacity to respond
to glucocorticoid hormones that normally are responsible for
terminating an inflammatory response following infection and/or
injury, according to researchers Gregory E. Miller, Ph.D., of
Washington University at St. Louis and colleagues. To examine what
happens to people's immune systems during on-going stressful
situations, the researchers compared 25 healthy parents with children
undergoing treatment for pediatric cancer with 25 healthy parents with
healthy children on measures of mental health, effects of social
support and certain immune system responses. All the parents had blood
drawn at the initial session and salivary cortisol samples taken at
intermittent times over two days."
"There is some scientific evidence that stress does weaken our
immunity. Two studies looking at whether stress affected cancer
recurrence had conflicting results. While no one knows whether
strengthening immunity can help to cure cancer, most doctors and
nurses agree that reducing stress is a good thing to do.
While many life stresses cannot be avoided altogether, there are ways
of trying not to let things get to you. Many complementary therapies
such as meditation, massage and reflexology, for example, can be very
"Certain social interactions may weaken the immune system to the point
it can't control inflammation, new research suggests. In turn, the
inflammation may cause irreversible organ and tissue damage."
"Chronic psychological stress not only leads to depression, it impairs
the ability of the immune system to heed ordinary signals. It paves
the way for serious cardiac infections and allergic illnesses by
prolonging inflammatory processes in the body."
There are many links on these sites:
"Breast cancer patients who feel high levels of stress concerning
their diagnosis and treatment show evidence of a weakened immune
system compared to patients experiencing less stress, a new
preliminary study shows.
Researchers found that the highly stressed women had lower levels of
natural killer cells than women who reported less stress. Natural
killer cells are one vital weapon making up the immune system."
"This is a review of the psychological field of psychoneuroimmunology
(PNI) and how psychopathology has an impact on the immune system. Two
areas of study of PNI are examined: first, how the psychosocial
environment affects the health of an individual along with the impact
stressors play on the immune system; second, the effects of
psychopathology on the immune system and how perceived stresses are
assessed. Coping strategies are also looked at where in some cases
they have shown abilities in strengthening the immune system. The
understanding of PNI is crucial in understanding the association
between immunity, depression, stressors, and psychosocial aspects,
along with their interactions with each other and their causal
"It is well known that asthma, diabetes, various gastro-intestinal
disorders, heart disease and viral infections are influenced by
stress, but to what extent? When the immune system is suppressed, as
it is under stress, latent viruses can obviously stage a comeback, but
how does stress affect non-viral diseases?"
Strengthen your immune system
These answers by my colleagues may interest you as well
Stress + immune system