Can Pain Affect Your Immune System?
As we all know without a fully operational defense system, anything can wrong because the body is vulnerable to disease & pathogens that attack everyday. In case you didn’t know, the immune system is a complex of array of cells, chemical messenger & tissues which that arranges and prepares a defense system against infection & invaders. Many of the times this system, may work too well in the case of that which the allergies & auto-immune diseases are caused by an over reactive immune system. So to simplify the immune system, imagine the immune system as an “Alarm System” within itself for your body. When there is any threat or harm, the brain tends to interpret the threat into various signals. This alarm which has been sent by the signals in the brain, triggers a cascade of various responses, which is known as a “stress response”. A huge and well known portion of the response in the nervous system is the “fight or flight” nervous system, which is also called the sympathetic nervous system.
The lack of sleep affects your immune system in many ways. Studies have been proven and shown that anyone who does not get quality sleep and even enough sleep are very much likely to get sick after being exposed to any virus. Lack of sleep affects how fast you can recover if you get sick, it will not be easy to get a speedy recovery if you do not get quality sleep. As you sleep, your immune system release proteins called cytokines, some which help promote your sleep. There are certain cytokines proteins that which need to increase when you have a an increase or inflammation, even when you under any stress. Lack of sleep, which is also known as sleep deprivation, decrease during the production of these protective cytokines. Any infection fighting antibodies & cells are reduced during the period when you have lack of sleep, when you do not get enough sleep. Quality and long hours of sleep help fight any infectious diseases. Long term lack of not sleeping, increases the risk of having obesity, diabetes & heart and blood vessel disease.
So you may ask yourself, “How much sleep do you need to boost your immune system?” The best amount of sleep for most adults are 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Now for teenagers they need more hours of sleep which is 9-10 hours of sleep. School children need more hours of sleep than adults and teenagers, they need 10 hours or more.
Incase you did not know there are certain medications that suppress the immune system. The medications that suppress and the reduce the strength of the bodies immune system is known as “Immunosuppressant”. The immunosuppressants weakens your body to any reaction. There are manny immunosuppressants that which weaken your body, and suppress your immune system. The
Most patients who suffer from pain usually have low vitamin D and as well as vitamin B 12. Having a low intake of Vitamin D and Vitamin B12, will lower your immune system tremendously
Alcohol majorly affects the immune system in various ways. Excessive drinking can damage your liver & cardiovascular system, this then leads to major damage in your digestive system, and I\’m sure that is something you do not want. The damage done to your digestive system done by excessive drinking can lead to major malnutrition & increasing your risk level of cancer. Also to be aware alcohol also damages your immune system, increasing your risk of fatal illness such as pneumonia which is an infection of one or both lungs. There are microbes living in your intestines, your guts micro-biome, which plays a huge important role to fight diseases. When consuming a lot of alcohol, which has many disturbing negative effects on your digestive system. It damages the epithelial cells in your intestines, making it very hard to absorb many nutrients. This also severely disturbs your gut’s micro-biome, which then significantly alters the balance of healthy and unhealthy bacteria. It disrupts the guts barrier, allowing more bacteria to pass into the blood. This bacteria can cause inflammation in the liver which will lead to liver damage, which will lead to an affect in your respiratory system.
Your prolonged periods of stress can also affect the immune system in case you did not know. Stress makes the brain boost production of the hormone cortisol, which impairs the function of infection-fighting T cells. In case you did not know T cells are immune cells that protect the body from pathogens and cancer cells. T cells are a very vital role in the human body, they ignite the activation of immune cells to fight any and all infections.
A sedentary lifestyle plays a factor and here I will tell you why. Having over time too much sitting and avoiding your daily exercise can affect your body’s ability to fight any infection. Therefore, regardless of your age, gender, as well as any harmful habits like smoking and drinking, sedentary lifestyle is tied to a major increase in premature death. Any inactivity will lead to an impaired immune system, inflammation & any chronic diseases.
Whether you are smoking cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or even shisha, dokha anything that has you exposed to nicotine this a major harmful effect to your immune system. Nicotine increases your cortisol levels at the same time reducing B cell antibody formation & T cells’s response to antigen. An antigen is a toxin or other foreign substance that induces an immune response in the body.
Next, a diet in high saturated fat will break down your weaken your immune system. A high dose of salt and sugar will end up having negative affects on your immune system, because that will slowly lead to obesity which then results in reducing the number and function of white blood cells needed to fight infections.
The link between our nervous system and our immune system is entirely strong. Our body tends to thrive on the nervous system of “fight or flight” during life threatening situations, in order to survive to continue or daily life rituals and activities.
Our hormones that which is produced by our sympathetic nervous system, have been shown and are known to suppress & kill the cells critical for immunity. Anything that triggers the sympathetic nervous system directly has all the potential to suppress our immunity. Back to our original question, “Can pain suppress the immune system?” The answer is partially yes only with some limitations, because the interaction between our stress response and the our immunity depends on duration of a stressor like pain, the magnitude of stress and many other individual factors. However, in some cases pain can definitely lead to the enhancement of immunity to feed into an over-active immune system. During any flu, cold season or any sickness epidemic, be very very aware that this complex interaction can and will affect your immunity in every way possible. Diseases as well as various pathogens and viruses attack your body every day as well as every minute, helping and protecting the immune system can make all the difference for you, and your health. Take all the necessary precautions to avoid getting sick, by washing your hand, avoid all sick people and areas contaminated and crowded to maintain your health, because your health is our concern at American Spine Center.