When you experience stress, it has an impact on your immunity. And when your immunity is affected, then this impacts your ability to fight off infections from invading pathogens, such as from bacteria or viruses. Stress often triggers bacterial and viral infections, and explains why we are more prone to get sick after experiencing stress.
Research studies show that stress is associated with a subsequent decrease in immunity, such as lower response to pathogens and lower natural killer cell activity (Herbert and Cohen, 1993). While small amounts of stress can enhance the immune response, prolonged stress can dampen the immune response to invading pathogens, and hence sets you up for infections (Radek, 2010).
Stress dampens the immune and inflammatory response via the effect of stress on the brain and body. When stress is perceived in the brain, this sends a signal to the amygdala, which subsequently triggers the hypothalamus to release CRF (corticotropin releasing factor). CRF then triggers the pituitary to release ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone). ACTH then travels in the bloodstream to the adrenal cortex, where cortisol is released into the bloodstream. This cortisol that is dumped into the bloodstream then wreaks havoc on the body by dampening the immune and inflammatory response, leading to a higher risk of infections from invading pathogens.
If you are experiencing chronic stress and are getting more physically sick, then you need to take action by visiting your doctor to address the infection, then you need to consider obtaining a copy of Anxiety Protocol or taking KalmPro to help manage your stress and anxiety.
Stress and immunity in humans: a meta-analytic review. Herbert TB, Cohen S. Psychosom Med. 1993 Jul-Aug;55(4):364-79.
Antimicrobial anxiety: the impact of stress on antimicrobial immunity. Radek KA. J Leukoc Biol. 2010 Aug;88(2):263-77. doi: 10.1189/jlb.1109740. Epub 2010 May 4. Review.