Stress Leads to a Weak Immune System (And a Possible Herpes Virus Outbreak!)

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herpes virus reactivation

Stress weakens the immune system, which can cause the herpes virus to become active in infected individuals.European Journal of Immunology

Long term stress damages the immune system.(1)(2)

As Dr. Idan Harpaz writes, “It has been well established that stress may substantially affect the homeostatic regulation of the immune system.” (1) Dr. Harpaz is from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beer Sheva, Israel.

A weak immune system cannot clear viruses that constantly enter the body.

The herpes virus is just one kind of virus that can take advantage of a weak immune system. Once a herpes virus enters the body, it establishes a long-term latent infection that the weak immune system cannot clear on its own.

reduce stress

Stress often promotes autoimmunity. (1) Stress reduction is therefore important.

“Stress activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis to promote the release of corticosterone (CORT), which consequently suppresses pathogenic stimulation of the immune system.” (European Journal of Immunology, March 2013) (1) That means stress suppresses the immune system, or, in the words of another study, “When examining mice, researchers saw that elevated stress damages the immune system’s mechanism…” (Nocamels.com, May 2013) (2)

This is significant.

Another consequence of a weak immune system is that the latent virus can awaken and start attacking the person’s body. A third study discussed this consequence, and stated that “stress can induce the reactivation of latent HSV-1.” (Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics, 2011) (3)

These studies show that long term stress lowers the immune system. Herpes viruses can then take advantage of the weak immune system and attack the body.

It therefore is important for individuals infected with a herpes virus to use stress reducing techniques in their day to day lives. It may also be useful to take a supplement, and eat foods, that boost the efficiency of the immune system.

References:

(1) Idan Harpaz, Shai Abutbul, Anna Nemirovsky, Ram Gal, Hagit Cohen andAlon Monsonego,* “Chronic exposure to stress predisposes to higher autoimmune susceptibility in C57BL/6 mice: Glucocorticoids as a double-edged sword” Article first published online: 31 JAN 2013

(2) No Camels Team – “Let’s Relax: Researchers Show Stress Leads To Increase In Autoimmune Diseases” published May 16, 2013 – Nocamels.com

(3) Huang W1, Xie P, Xu M, Li P, Zao G. “The influence of stress factors on the reactivation of latent herpes simplex virus type 1 in infected mice.” Cell Biochem Biophys. 2011 Sep;61(1):115-22.

 

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