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For many of us, the adrenal glands—two small glands that sit on top of the kidneys and release hormones to help our body cope with stress—are working overtime. Common, daily stressors push them to their limit, over and over again.
- Stimulants like caffeine, added sugar, or nicotine
- Skipping meals
- Poor sleep
- Long work days, working overtime, or night shifts
- Stressful work environment
- Unhappy partnerships
Ongoing stress ages the body and eventually leads to adrenal exhaustion. Unfortunately, adrenal exhaustion doesn’t just make you feel weak and tired. Both ongoing stress and adrenal exhaustion leave the body more susceptible to infection.
Ongoing Stress Weakens Your Immune System
Adrenal exhaustion caused by daily stress will leave your body vulnerable to infection. Common stressors are to blame, like caffeine, nicotine, poor sleep, poor nutrition, long work days, and a stressful work environment.
In a recent study published in 2014, researchers at Jonkoping University in Sweden observed two groups of children. (1) One group of children came from high-stress households that were marked by serious trauma, a lack of support from family and friends, and parents that were stressed out and worried. The other group of children came from low-stress households.
When scientists stimulated the immune systems of the children, they found that children living in homes with high psychological stress were more likely to have a weak immune response. Children living in high-stress households also showed elevated levels of stress hormones, like cortisol. At the end of the study, researchers explained that psychological stressors and irregular levels of cortisol might be enough to affect the immune system.
Stress hormones pull resources away from the immune system, interfering with the body’s ability to defend itself.
Adrenal Fatigue Increases Your Risk of Viral Infection
In 2012, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine investigated the role that stress plays in our health. (2) They found that chronic stress makes cells resistant to stress hormones.
In other words, stress hormones are knocking—and no one is answering because the system is worn out!
Working with 276 volunteers, researchers measured stress hormone resistance and then infected the volunteers with rhinovirus—or the common cold. They found that volunteers with stress hormone resistance were:
- More likely to develop a full-blown infection.
- More likely to show severe signs of infection.
When the body is in a state of adrenal fatigue, even your cells are exhausted. This level of exhaustion makes the body more susceptible to viral infection.
How to Build Your Immune System During Flu Season
Facing stress may be a part of daily life, but how we manage stress determines our resistance to infection.
If you are worried about getting sick this flu season or if you have already taken a few sick days, we recommend recharging your batteries. In addition to reframing your relationship with stress, it is important to improve digestion, absorption, and elimination.
- Improving digestion and cleansing the body of toxins with Digestive Care Multi.
- Conquering low-grade infection, like Candida overgrowth, by following Body Ecology Diet Principles.
- Rebuilding your inner ecosystem with fermented foods and probiotic beverages.
- Energizing your cells with minerals and trace elements.
The gut makes up 70-80% of the immune system. Studies show that early in life, microbes living in the gut program our response to stress. Later in life, gut microbes can either dampen or exaggerate the release of stress hormones. (3)
With this in mind, Donna Gates designed the Core Program to improve your digestion, nutrient absorption, and ability to eliminate toxic waste and infection. It also improves your ability to rebuild the delicate inner ecosystem. The Core Program can support you in managing adrenal exhaustion and boosting your immune system.
What To Remember Most About This Article:
The adrenal glands in the body release hormones to regulate stress. Most of us have overworked adrenals from the common stressors of day-to-day life—caffeine, skipping meals, inadequate sleep, a stressful workplace, and unhappy relationships.
Long-term stress will lead to adrenal exhaustion. Long-term stress and adrenal exhaustion will leave your body vulnerable to infection.
You can build up your adrenal health to make it through flu season healthy and whole with four important tips:
- Use the Digestive Care Multi to support digestion and cleanse toxins.
- Follow the Body Ecology Diet to eliminate low-grade infection, like Candida.
- Trust daily fermented foods and probiotic beverages to rebuild your inner ecosystem.
- Support your cells with essential energy in minerals and trace elements.
The gut is responsible for up to 80% of immune health. The Body Ecology Core Program packs a powerful punch and covers all the bases—to improve digestion, nutrient absorption, and toxic waste elimination while rebuilding your inner ecosystem step-by-step. You can manage adrenal exhaustion and boost your immunity.
- Carlsson, E., Frostell, A., Ludvigsson, J., & Faresjö, M. (2014). Psychological Stress in Children May Alter the Immune Response. The Journal of Immunology, 1301713.
- Cohen, S., Janicki-Deverts, D., Doyle, W. J., Miller, G. E., Frank, E., Rabin, B. S., & Turner, R. B. (2012). Chronic stress, glucocorticoid receptor resistance, inflammation, and disease risk. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(16), 5995-5999.
- Dinan, T. G., & Cryan, J. F. (2012). Regulation of the stress response by the gut microbiota: implications for psychoneuroendocrinology. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 37(9), 1369-1378.