30 Oct Anxiety and Autoimmune Diseases. Is there a connection?
In many patients, an intense event in their life, an experience that affected them emotionally, is pretty often associated with the period before the diagnosis of an Autoimmune Disease.
Almost always, Autoimmune Diseases are accompanied by intense mood swings that fuel the disease and worsen its clinical picture.
The intense rhythm of everyday life, stress, anxiety, the modern way of life but also the financial crisis can be blamed for the outbreak of Autoimmune Diseases.
Health experts estimate that Autoimmune Diseases present a significant increase in recent years worldwide. Of course, we cannot say that these diseases are caused only by poor psychology and stress, but there is important evidence for the role of the psychological factor in autoimmunity.
People suffering from stress-related disorders or post-traumatic stress disorder have an increased chance of developing an Autoimmune Disease, according to a new research.
Stress can significantly affect our quality of life. While the conventional medical approach focuses on balancing neurotransmitters in the brain, the approach of Modern Medicine is to look for the root of the problem. Modern Medicine seeks out and treats the underlying causes of Chronic Diseases.
Modern life is accompanied by perpetual stress, pushing our body into a constant state of emergency, which has a real impact on human health. Psychological perception translates directly into specific physiological consequences.
There is a close relationship between body and mind, so what we call stress and anxiety is subject to the same biochemical mechanisms in the body. Your thoughts affect your physiology and your physiology affects your mental state, which is why stress is so closely associated with autoimmune disorders.
Stress has also been shown to cause changes in the microorganisms that live in our gut and promote the assimilation of nutrients, detoxification, regulation of intestinal barrier function and “training” of the immune system as to what constitutes a friend or foe.
According to researchers, “neuroendocrine” hormones caused by stress lead to suppression of the immune system, which ultimately can lead to autoimmune disease, altering or enhancing the production of cytokines, cellular messengers involved in the pathophysiology of an autoimmune disease.
Thus, we have to recognize the complex connection between our body and our psychology, so as to include the treatment of an autoimmune disease and therapeutic interventions on neurotransmitters aimed at restoring this level of cellular balance as well.
Dr. Nikoleta Koini, M.D.
Doctor of Functional, Preventive, Anti-ageing and Restorative Medicine.
Diplomate and Board Certified in Anti-aging, Preventive, Functional and Regenerative Medicine from A4M (American Academy in Antiaging Medicine).
- Kessler RC, Aguilar-Gaxiola S, Alonso J, et al. Trauma and PTSD in the WHO World Mental Health Surveys. Eur J Psychotraumatol. 2017;8(sup5):1353383.
- Frans O, Rimmö PA, Aberg L, Fredrikson Trauma exposure and post-traumatic stress disorder in the general population. Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2005;111(4):291-299.
- Association of Stress-Related Disorders With Subsequent Autoimmune Disease. Song H et al. JAMA. 2018 Jun 19.
- Systemic lupus erythematosus: Stress and the onset of SLE Eric F. Morand Nature Reviews Rheumatology volume 14, (2018).
- Boscarino Posttraumatic stress disorder and physical illness: results from clinical and epidemiologic studies. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2004;1032:141-153.
- Boscarino JA, Forsberg CW, Goldberg A twin study of the association between PTSD symptoms and rheumatoid arthritis. Psychosom Med. 2010;72(5):481-486.
- Yehuda R, Teicher MH, Levengood RA, Trestman RL, Siever Circadian regulation of basal cortisol levels in posttraumatic stress disorder. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1994;746:378-380.
- Gill JM, Saligan L, Woods S, Page PTSD is associated with an excess of inflammatory immune activities. Perspect Psychiatr Care. 2009;45(4):262-277.
- Borgelt, Laura Marie (2010). Women’s Health Across the Lifespan: A Pharmacotherapeutic Approach. ASHP. p. 579. ISBN 9781585281947. Archived from the original on 2017-09-08.
- Hohlfeld, Reinhard; Dornmair, Klaus; Meinl, Edgar; Wekerle, Hartmut (2016). “The search for the target antigens of multiple sclerosis, part 1: Autoreactive CD4+ T lymphocytes as pathogenic effectors and therapeutic targets”. The Lancet Neurology. 15 (2): 198–209. doi:10.1016/S1474-4422(15)00334-8. PMID 26724103.
- Paniker, Ananthanarayan And (2005). Ananthanarayan and Paniker’s Textbook of Microbiology. Orient Blackswan. p. 169. ISBN 9788125028086. Archived from the original on 2017-09-08.
- “Autoimmune disorders: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia”. www.nlm.nih.gov. Archived from the original on 2016-01-12. Retrieved 2016-01-21.
- Walsh, SJ; Rau, LM (September 2000). “Autoimmune diseases: a leading cause of death among young and middle-aged women in the United States”. American Journal of Public Health. 90 (9): 1463–6. doi:10.2105/ajph.90.9.1463. PMC 1447637. PMID 10983209.
- “MedlinePlus medical encyclopedia – autoimmune disorders”. National Institutes of Health. 16 July 2014. Archived from the original on 5 January 2015. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
- “Autoimmune Disease List • AARDA”. AARDA. 2016-06-01. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
- Cotsapas C, Hafler DA (2013). “Immune-mediated disease genetics: the shared basis of pathogenesis”. Trends in Immunology. 34 (1): 22–6. doi:10.1016/j.it.2012.09.001. PMID 23031829.