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Stress

Author: Shelley Ensz. Scleroderma is highly variable. See Types of Scleroderma. Read Disclaimer
Overview Reducing Stress

Overview of Stress and Disease

Stress can cause hormonal and cellular changes in our bodies which can lead to a variety of medical problems. Chronic stress is thought to be a trigger for the development or exacerbation of autoimmune diseases. On the other hand, there might also be a positive role for stress in reducing inflammation in some circumstances.
Immune responses to stress in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and psoriasis. Patients with RA have a different immune response to stress than patients with psoriasis or healthy controls. More needs to be learned about the complex interaction between stress, immune parameters and chronic inflammation. PubMed, Rheumatology (Oxford), 2014 May 20. (Also see: Rheumatoid Arthritis and Psoriasis)
Stressing out your body could help control chronic inflammation. If you place the human body under enough stress, the immune system will stand down and that, in turn, may calm the systemic inflammation and relieve the pain and disability that comes with a chronically overactive immune response. Chicago Tribune, 05/06/2014. (Also see: Autoimmunity)
Stress May Affect Fertility. This study indicates that if a woman was having difficulty becoming pregnant, it would be harmless, and might be helpful, to consider stress-reduction techniques. New York Times, 03/24/2014.
Flight, fight or nap? Responding to stress with learned helplessness. Many people respond to stress and anxiety by getting tired, sleepy and depleted of strength, then taking a nap as a response to stress and anxiety. Washington Times, 01/07/2014. (Also see: Fatigue)
How Stress Can Make Therapy Sessions More Effective. Therapy is all about learning how to cope and manage difficult situations better, but sessions may not always equip patients with the practical tools they need to face challenges when they occur. Times Healthland, 08/27/2013.
Feeling Stressed? It's Probably Harming Your Health. If you believe stress is affecting your health, you are probably right, a new study concludes, and that perception may increase your risk for heart disease. New York Times, 07/01/2013.
Healthy Lifestyle May Offset Job Stress, Study Finds. Job stress increases the risk of heart disease, but living a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce that risk. WebMD, 05/13/2013.
Stress and autoimmunity. Stress reduction interventions can have a positive therapeutic effect in autoimmune disease patients. McCray CJ. (PubMed) Immunol Allergy Clin North Am. 2011 Feb. (Also see: Causes of Autoimmunity)
Functional disturbance of the stress-adaptation system in patients with scleroderma. The present results suggest that there may be impaired function of the neuro-endocrine-immune system upon stress in SSc patients. Matsuura E. (PubMed) Mod Rheumatol. 2011 Jan 21.
Stress dramatically slow wound healing!
Stress Slows Wound Healing. Because researchers found that wounds heal slower and are at greater risk of infection during stressful times. Christopher G. Engeland, PhD. Bottom Line Secrets. (Also see: Digital Ulcers)
Social Stress May Trigger Problems in Immune System. Certain social interactions may weaken the immune system to the point it can't control inflammation, new research suggests. In turn, the inflammation may cause irreversible organ and tissue damage. Ohio State University.

Reducing Stress

How Writing Heals Wounds — Of Both the Mind and Body. Talking about difficult experiences can be a way of easing the emotional pain of trauma, but the latest research shows that expressing emotions in words can also speed physical healing. Times Healthland, 07/13/2013.
Feeling Stressed? Then You May Become More Helpful. In communal relationships, the habitual behavior is to take care of each other's needs. Times Healthland, 07/02/2013.
Mindfulness therapy seen as aid to stress reduction. It's a simple concept that appears to help people deal more effectively with depression, chronic illness or just the stress of everyday life. Monifa Thomas. Chicago Sun Times. 01/04/2011. (Also see: Emotional Adjustment)
Coping Stategies. It is necessary to be able to evaluate your state of mind, to really know how you feel and to face those feelings. Find out what triggers your emotions: positive and negative emotions. If you can not avoid the negative triggers, then learn how to cope with the emotions that follow. Find and develop those stategies that work for you. ISN.
Social support: Tap this tool to reduce stress. Having close friends and family on whom you can count has far-reaching benefits for your health. Here's how to build and maintain these essential relationships. Mayo Clinic.
 
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