In detail

Stress and its relationship with diseases

Stress and its relationship with diseases

A cheerful heart is a good medicine, the dejected spirit dries the bones. Solomon proverb

The best method of fighting stress is to know it well. Sonia Lupien

Stress In itself it is not a problem, it is the reaction we have in front of him. The reaction to stress is not necessarily bad. But the effects of chronic stress, if we do nothing, can even lead to death.


  • 1 Relationship between stress and illness
  • 2 What is stress?
  • 3 Intrauterine children are beings vulnerable to stress
  • 4 Children remain vulnerable to the stress around them
  • 5 The case of adolescents in the face of stress
  • 6 Relationship between diseases and stress: Did you know what ...?
  • 7 What to do to balance your stress?

Relationship between stress and illness

The relationship between the stress and diseases It has been intuited for many years. Already in the Old Testament a close relationship between the body and the psyche was assumed. However, the check between this dyad is becoming clearer every day. It has gone from the interoception or internal perception of our own body, to the use of cutting-edge technology to check the way our brain records every stimulus received from outside or interpreted by itself.

Hence, new disciplines have also been created such as:

  • the psychodermatology: which focuses on the study of the interaction between mind and skin, and
  • the psychoneuroendocrinoimmunology: represents transdisciplinary science that investigates the interactions between the brain (mind behavior) and the immune system and its clinical consequences (, 2001).

Christian Schubert of the Medical University of Innsbruck, works in research in this field of health. Point out that under a short-term stress, the immune system is activated to protect the body. But if the turbulence continues over time (chronic stress), people are more likely to get sick. And, the body tells us that we have exceeded ourselves (Von Hopffgarten, 2013).

In the great dictionary of ailments and diseases, Jacques Martel points out: Any situation that creates a bigger demand for my body leads me to live stress. Stress itself is in fact less important than my reaction to it. According to my reaction to situations, events, feelings and difficulties, the stressful effect will be beneficial or harmful to me. If my psychological stress is large enough, it will be translated into biological stress in the form of a disease. Today it is not about clairvoyance but about knowledge. When it is known to decipher ailments and diseases and when it is known to which emotions or to which thoughts they are linked, then it is easy to tell the person what they are living (Martel, s / a).

When a person experiences a state of tension and anxiety for a continuous period of time is living what is known as stress.

  • The person experiences changes:
    • physicists,
    • physiological,
    • psychological and
    • social.

It is any external stimulus that causes a change in the balance of the organism (TEN, 2012)

What is stress?

Sonia Lupien, with 30 years of research at the Center for Human Stress Studies in Canada, has concluded that ... stress is a response of our body to a stressful stimulus. A stressful stimulus that meets at least one of the following conditions:

  1. Be new
  2. Be unpredictable.
  3. Leave us a feeling of uncontrol.
  4. Being a threat to our personality or our ego (The recipe for stress, 2009).

The more features that are met, the more stressed you will be

Your grandparents may be responsible for knowing how to handle your stress or not

The hard events of life generate stress, especially when living from childhood: contempt, abuse, heartbreak, lack of contact. And, they have undesirable effects in adulthood. This can affect the people who receive them.

And, these effects may persist in the children of those affected, including grandchildren, particularly in relation to anxiety and anxiety problems (Carrie, 2013). The good news that even though we could potentially have this genetic condition transmitted at the molecular level, inheritance of our grandparents, can also be neutralized by learning coping styles in the face of stress and jumping this condition as epigenetics affirms.

Intrauterine children are beings vulnerable to stress

Since before birth and without being aware of it, Babies may already be subjected to the stress chemicals produced by the mother. It raises concerns: having a dysfunctional partner for parenting, the conditions that await him at birth, being first-time or having had other complicated pregnancies, the same health condition of the baby and tests before birth.

Having chronic stress before the baby is born is related to strong doses of chemical messengers that travel in the bloodstream and pass through the umbilical cord such as adrenaline, norepinephrine and cortisol, known as stress hormones.

So it has been seen that high concentrations of cortisol for a long time can cause alterations in the immune system, memory, blood pressure, circulating glucose or loss of bone mass among other. If stress builds up in the mother, perceives or reaches a high degree can have harmful effects on the future baby. They stand out among them; premature birth or low birth weight, spontaneous abortion, problems in intellectual and cognitive development (Zazo, s / f).

Children remain vulnerable to the stress around them

Once babies are born and even children, they remain very vulnerable to stressful environments.

Through studies of Magnetic Resonance, researchers from the University of Oregon, found that parents' discussions affect their children even when the little ones sleep. The areas of emotions and stress are activated. The hypothalamus and cingulate cortex respond during sleep to angry voices. His study shows how the environment influences and configures the brain, and the brain can also influence the environment, this is the foundation of social neuroscience. Alice Graham, responsible for the project, points out that: “children absorb information and learn incessantly, not only when we believe we are teaching them” (Chant, 2013).

The sources of stress in children come from the lack of contact with their parents and family quarrels. These do not leave external traces in the little ones, but internal traces.

The case of teenagers in the face of stress

As an example, a study with adolescents conducted by Yale University, found through functional magnetic resonance imaging, that heartbreak and emotional abuse in childhood reduce the posterior cellular density of the brain regions that regulate emotions (Chant, 2013).

Relationship between diseases and stress: Did you know what ...?

  • Life in adulthood without doing activities is stressful. Being active in old age is synonymous with having less cognitive deterioration and continuing to produce the cerebral antioxidant PRX6. Affirms Gro Amdam, from Arizona State University, and says that this antioxidant protects against neurodegenerative diseases and delays the aging clock (Peck, 2013).
  • Stress and heartbreak at home cause neural damage in children during their upbringing. In addition to generating physical and psychological consequences in adulthood, such as: depression and difficulty maintaining emotional relationships. This is called: Family imprint. (Chant, 2013).
  • The stress caused by the noise to which you are exposed (mobile, conversations, background music, noise in the streets) has multiple effects. Apart from interfering with communication, it can affect emotionally and physically: it increases tension and causes long-term cardiovascular problems. Some psychological experiments also reveal that certain noises negatively influence intellectual performance and affect short-term memory (Hellbruck, Schlittmeier and Klatte, 2013).
  • In the phases of sustained stress our immune resistance loses balance. In this way we are more vulnerable to infections and allergies. The immune system of children is especially sensitive to psychic overload. The consequences can be serious inflammatory diseases in adulthood. Wounds also heal more slowly in stressful situations (Von Hopffgarten, 2013).
  • In the great dictionary of ailments and diseases, Jacques Martel notes that: all diseases ending in "itis" imply stress and internal conflict, and are usually related to anger or frustration as they are linked to inflammations. Here are some examples: tonsillitis, appendicitis, arthritis, bronchitis, bursitis, colitis, conjunctivitis, cystitis, diverticulitis, epicondylitis, epidermitis, gastro - enteritis, gingivitis, hepatitis, laryngitis, mastitis, nephritis, osteomyelitis, otitis, ovaritis, prostatitis, tendinitis, urethritis and vaginitis (Martel, s / f).
  • Telomeres shorten as we age, but also shorten when we are under chronic and acute stress., that is, by the influence of stress hormones. And, this causes the cell reproduction cycle to be altered, each time producing the birth of more deficient cells and reducing our integral health. Telomeres naturally shorten over time, since each time a cell divides, a portion of telomere does not replicate. However, the length of the telomere can suffer reductions due to stressors: depression, physical or psychological trauma and even obesity. Recent work by Harvard University has included anxiety and agoraphobia on that list. Previous research has already seen the shortening of telomeres in different pathologies, including different types of cancer, coronary heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and arthritis. Telomeres, then, reveal the exposure to stress accumulated by an individual and their ability to overcome that state (Rodríguez, 2013).
  • Psychological problems can make dermatological diseases worse. This has a negative impact on general well-being. Chronic stress favors the appearance of skin inflammations from the complex interaction between the nerves and the immune system (Bauer-Delto, 2013).

What to do to balance your stress?

Although stressful situations arise from the early stages of life, when they become aware, their effects can be mitigated or reversed with different strategies, namely:

  • Have contact with the favorite pet or just think about it, reduce the stress of who owns one. People who take care of a cat or dog on average have lower blood pressure
  • Optimism and good mood reinforce resistance; protect against long-term diseases (Von Hopffgarten, 2013).
  • Eat a healthier diet, minimize exposure to air pollution, exercise regularly, moderate alcohol consumption and address stressful situations as challenges, not threats (Rodríguez, 2013).
  • Practice deep relaxation, hypnosis applied to health or creative visualization.
  • Take low frequency pulsed electromagnetic field sessions. Completely natural therapy without side effects that among other things balances our immune system.
  • Having a positive attitude towards life reduces stress. The same as laughing, meditation, walking or exercise.
  • Friends are therapeutic. Having healthy interpersonal relationships also lowers stress levels (friends, family, co-workers or school, neighbors or friends of the club or a couple). In general, to carry out activities that generate the hormone opposite to that of stress: oxytocin, known as the hormone, of peace, relationship, health and rest.


Bauer-Delto A (2013) Nerve-to-skin nerves (Psychological disorders can worsen some skin diseases virulently), Mind and Brain Magazine (Research and Science), March-April 2013, Number 59, p. 57, Barcelona.

Carrie M. (2013) Cognition: Youth is infected. Mind and Brain Magazine (Research and Science), March-April 2013, Number 59, p. 9, Barcelona.

Chant I. (2013) Family imprint on the brain. Mind and Brain Magazine (Research and Science), March-April 2013, Number 59, p. 8, Barcelona.

The recipe for stress (2009) Networks for science, interview by Eduardo Punset to Sonia Lupien, accessed on January 7, 2019, online: // entrev042.pdf

Martel J. (s / a) The great dictionary of ailments and diseases, Editions Quintessence,

Hellbruck J., Schlittmeier S. and Klatte M. (2013) Noise, noise, noise (In the office, on the street, even in class. Today, noise is almost ubiquitous. How to combat its harmful effects?) . Mind and Brain Magazine (Research and Science), March-April 2013, Number 59, p. 32-37, Barcelona.

Peck M. (2013) Cognition: Youth is infected. Mind and Brain Magazine (Research and Science), March-April 2013, Number 59, p. 4, Barcelona. (2001) Psychoneuroimmunology: synopsis of its history, evidence and consequences, consulted on January 7, 2019, online: // consequences/

Rodríguez T. (2013) Stress shortens telomeres, Research and Science (Spanish Edition of Scientific American), accessed on January 7, 2019, online: // evolution-of-thought-575 / el-estrs-cortrta-los-telmeros-11080

RTE (2012) The thematic night: “The Sick Mind”, accessed on November 21, 2017, online: //

Von Hopffgarten, A. (2013) Immunology: Mental protection (Stress and hustle and bustle put the body's defenses in a critical situation), Mind and Brain Magazine (Research and Science), March-April 2013, Number 59, p. 50, Barcelona.

Zazo S. (s / f). Stress in pregnancy: can it affect my baby ?, accessed January 4, 2019, online: // baby

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