Symptoms, conditions and causes

How stress affects white blood cells?

When we’re talking about stress, we’re talking about the hormone cortisol. Cortisol has a purpose of suppressing white blood cells. Your white blood cells are basically the army of your immune system. Cortisol suppresses that function. Stress activates cortisol. 

There are two types of stress:

1. Acute stress

2. Chronic stress

Chronic stress is the type of stress that’s behind so many health problems. When you chronically elevate cortisol, you could create cortisol resistance. This is very similar to insulin resistance. The amount of cortisol may even appear normal in your blood. But, the cells are not sensitive to cortisol anymore, and cortisol is no longer working. This means it’s not going to have a good effect on the immune system. 

It may create a spike in the white blood cells, which could increase your risk for all sorts of issues. Or, it could cause you to lose your immune protection and make you more susceptible to getting sick.  Before you get sick, there is almost always something that happens. It’s some type of factor that lowers your immune system. It could be a combination of stress and a nutrient deficiency, or it could be stress itself. A virus can also cause a nutrient deficiency. It can even block vitamin D. This can cause the infection to stay. 

Last updated: Feb 26, 2024 16:10 PM