The Effect Of Physiologic Stress On The Immune System

1495 Words May 20th, 2015 6 Pages
There is a huge impact on the immune system when stress occurs. Physiologic stress is a chemical or physical disturbance produced by change in the external environment or within the body that brings out a response to offset that disturbance. Three components of physiologic stress include the exogenous or endogenous stressor initiating the disturbance, the chemical or physical disturbance produced by stressor and the body’s counteracting adaptation response to disturbance. Stressors include pain, trauma, and malnutrition along with responses from experiences in life like anxiety and fear that induce times of stress.
When the human body becomes stressed it uses physiological responses to prepare body to deal with stressors in order to survive or adapt causing functional changes in the organ systems. These changes in the immune system may also affect the different functions of immune cells like a decrease in natural killer cells, T cell toxicity and impaired B cell functioning. These changes increase a risk for infection and damaged tissue if the immune system functions weaken. If the immune system is suppressed with chronic stress, which causes cortisol levels to rise that weaken the immune system leading a person susceptible to stress induced disorders and diseases. However in acute stress situations the immune system is enhanced often but a person should not be surprised if they catch a cold. An excessive inflammatory response can damage tissue and stress is associated with…
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