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Short and long term effects of dating violence

Stress and Illnesses Because of their effects on the immune system, as described above, stress hormones impact the development and severity of many different diseases and bodily systems.In some instances, stress causes existing conditions to worsen.

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The Physical Impact of Stress: The immune system is a complex group of cells and organs that defend the body against disease and infection.The breakdown of communication between the various aspects of the immune system that occurs during times of chronic stress may also be responsible for triggering flare-ups (or new cases) of various autoimmune diseases such as Crohn's disease, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis (MS) and other similar conditions.An autoimmune disease is one where the immune system gets confused, and starts attacking the body's own healthy cells instead of what it should be doing, which is attacking foreign disease-causing bodies.After stressors (such as injury or illness) have been dealt with, the immune system normally secretes additional hormones that trigger a decrease in the production of white blood cells, enabling the system to rest and rejuvenate itself.This normal decrease and rejuvenation response becomes delayed during times of chronic stress.A healthy immune system remains in homeostasis (balance), much like the speeding up and slowing down relationship between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems that we described previously in the section of this document concerned with the fight-or-flight response.

Because of this similarity, the immune system has sometimes been called our "liquid nervous system." Stress causes these cells and organs that compose the nervous system to release hormones that trigger the production of white blood cells (which fight infection) and other disease-fighting elements.

Because of this reduction in cytokines, the immune system's proliferative response (its ability to successfully fight off disease) decreases by 15% or more during chronically stressful situations.

It is not surprising then, that individuals who are highly stressed are more likely to succumb to colds, infections, and herpes breakouts (a viral infection that causes infected people to develop sores on their mouths or genitals).

Chronic stress may also alternatively cause people to lose their appetite and to lose too much weight.

Cardiovascular system Chronic activation of stress hormones can raise your heart rate, cause chest pain and/or heart palpitations (sensations that your heart is pounding or racing), and increase your blood pressure and blood lipid (fat) levels.

This stress-triggered hormone release is essential for priming the immune system to respond quickly to injuries and acute (short-term) illnesses.