​Have you ever heard this before? Did you know that stress can break down your immune system and make you more vulnerable to getting sick? Even the American Psychological Association says that long-term stress can do this. Sick, right?! To make matters worse, if you’re under a lot of stress, you’re probably not eating right anyway….

So how does this happen? Stress creates the hormone called cortisol, which can suppress your immune system by lowering the lymphocytes in the blood and this also interferes with the white blood cell communication. White cells, to review, come along when something invades our body and threatens it. So, we’re left without this vital defense, or at least, we’re weakening it.

Who is not under stress most of the time? Our bodies think this is our norm and continue to pour out the stress hormone, even after we’ve calmed down. If you are experiencing this, you’re liable to be irritable, angry, anxious, or even have thoughts that don’t want to quit.

Other signs of a weak immune system are that your wounds take longer to heal, you may have skin infections, you’re very tired, you have autoimmune disease, and so on. Some people have digestive problems, and lose their appetites, they’re nauseous, or they experience cramping.

If you have a chronic cold or cough, or if you catch cold easily, or have a chronic infection or your immune system is compromised, this makes it harder to overcome – but certainly not impossible.

Did you also realize that people with ongoing mental health disorders tend to be more susceptible to infection and disease? It’s a common occurrence, for example, when people are in a state of depression, or they have a poor diet from a nutritional standpoint, or they’re not sleeping well, or they feel alone.

By the way, this is why we have had to create mindfulness techniques, so we can relearn to be calm, cool, and collected – and teach our bodies how to do this again.

Here’s what you can do about this.

*First of all, eat well. Lay low on the junk foods, sodas, anything that contains refined flour and sugar. Make sure you eat fresh foods, especially veggies and a few fruits, and good, healthy proteins.

*Get some moderate physical activity – anything that works for you, that you preferably enjoy, and that doesn’t steal too much time out of your day. Do this at least a few times per week.

*If you’re not sleeping well, make your room dark, and make sure all computer equipment is turned off or even removed from where you sleep. You can take melatonin or something else that is calming to help you fall asleep; I like to diffuse essential oils – it relaxes me.

*If you’re smoking, please enter the battle of trying to quit!

*If you’re drinking alcoholic beverages, you may want to cut way down in amount and frequency, and if you have a problem with it, it may be time to call it quits.

Okay, I know – easier said than done. And Rome wasn’t built in a day. So, if you start and fall off course, just forgive yourself and make a new start. Nobody’s perfect.


Remember this: knowledge is power so take charge of your health!

And, as always, please have a happy, holistically healthy day!

Dr. P