It’s no secret that stress isn’t good for our health. It can make us ill, stop us sleeping and negatively affects our memory, but why?
New research conducted at Michigan State University is providing new insight into how stress may be affecting you in more ways than you think.
The study, published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, reveals how a stress receptor, known as corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF1) can send signals to certain immune cells, called mast cells, and control how they defend the body.
“Mast cells become highly activated in response to stressful situations the body may be experiencing,” said Adam Moeser, an associate professor and endowed chair who specializes in stress-induced diseases.
“When this happens, CRF1 tells these cells to release chemical substances that can lead to inflammatory and allergic diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, life-threatening food allergies and autoimmune disorders such as lupus.”
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Histamine is known to help the body get rid of pollen, dust mites or the protein of a particular food like a peanut or shellfish. The histamine causes an allergic reaction and in a normal response, helps the body clear the allergen from its system.
However, if you suffer from a severe allergy or are under a lot of stress, then this same response can be increased which can result in more severe symptoms such as breathing troubles, anaphylactic shock or in the worse cases – even death.
“We all know that stress affects the mind-body connection and increases the risk for many diseases,” Moeser said. “The question is, how?”
“This work is a critical step forward in decoding how stress makes us sick and provides a new target pathway in the mast cell for therapies to improve the quality of life of people suffering from common stress-related diseases.”
If you are feeling a bit overstretched, don’t worry, just try these 6 scientifically proven ways to reduce stressed.
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