How Chronic Stress Impacts Your Immune System

I don’t know about you, but I think it’s been a particularly tough week. If you are a parent with school age children, then my heart goes out to you.

I am good most of the time as I have regular good for me habits however I have to admit I am a little on edge.  I literally jump out of my skin if my hubs sneaks up behind me… Like really jump out of my skin. It reminds me how important it is to build our resilience muscle as we need it to carry us through these times. I am doing extra breathwork to increase my oxygen capacity and slow my heart rate.

Chronic Stress is not only common, it has been amplified. The research shows that 60% to 70% of women suffer from anxiety and depression. I am sure that many men do to however they are often reluctant to seek help. I also know that a local pediatrician has prescribed more Zoloft in the last few months than in all her years in practice. Scary…

Chronic Stress impacts your Immune System and not in a good way. It causes you immune system to over-react and by doing so leads to a whole host of health problems down the road.


What impacts one area of the body has an effect on other parts.  We often don’t think of our bodies this way, however these last months have made it clear we need to take care of the WHOLE PERSON.

For many being stressed, anxious, depressed, irritable, addicted to caffeine, and constantly craving salty or sugary foods seems like normal human behavior.  Now let’s add in concern for our safety and our health.  Common yes. Normal no.

If you follow me, then you know I am very very concerned about the Ripple Effect these times will have on the future.

Our emotional health is key because the After is when more serious health and mental issues show up.

For some people, old injuries and old wounds have begun to re-surface.


The Impact of Stress has a longer shelf life than you think.

I know you have heard of the hormone cortisol.  It is the primary hormone in the human body, and it has a high priority over other hormones. When you experience real or perceived stress, your brain thinks there is Danger and it sends a signal to your adrenal glands to release cortisol. Here’s how it works.


Short Term stress is a natural coping mechanism. Our bodies are designed to be protective under short term stressful situations.

This type of stress is acute meaning short and great for responding to wounds, cuts, pathogens, and perceived threats.

Acute stress is what we call pro-inflammatory. It is Immuno-protective, good for us and necessary. 

This type of stress allows our bodies to actually build resistance and resilience. Exercise (not too much) Danger, Sex and Intermittent Fasting are examples of  short-term stress.


Chronic Stress, Distress or long-term stress on the other hand induces and increases what we call Immuno-pathology. The most obvious sign of this kind of inflammation is that it doesn’t go away.

In the beginning, it feels like “I am puffy, gaining weight, bloated, tired, and I am stiff and achy.”  This type of stress also shows up as challenges with hormones, like PMS, Hot Flashes, Digestive Issues, pain and skin challenges like eczema and psoriasis.

If chronic stress goes on long enough then, in some cases, it starts having a much bigger impact on our immune system and symptoms transition to anxiety, depression and auto-immune disease.

Stress for too long also increases the viral burden on the body and therefore the ability to fight off pathogen like bacteria and viruses.

If the Chronic Stress still continues then we now have what we call immune suppression.  Which means that our immune systems either do not respond at all, which is called cell death, or it responds causing abnormal growth of cells to occur as in the case of cancer and other diseases. Lastly, our Immune system can also over-react (cytokine storm) and death occurs quickly as we have seen too often this past year and a half.


I cannot stress…I can’t believe I said that word…. seriously though we have to, no we must, take care and support ourselves now more than ever.  It is not always easy in these times to do all the things you know you should be doing to support health and wellbeing.

Even if you are doing all the things like exercise, sleep, meditation, eating whole foods, limiting screen time, laughing, etc., etc., times are different now than they have ever been, and we all are in need of some extra support especially in this moment.

My suggestions for Extra support to help modulate AND help you adapt to the Impact of Stress.

General Every Day: Adrenal Packets or this herbal formula Adrenal Complex

Wired, Tired and Anxious:  Ashwagandha Forte, Kava or Min Tran

Depressed and Lack of Motivation: Rhodiloa and Ginseng Complex

Lack of Energy and Brain Fog: Eleuthero, Cataplex B, Organically Bound Minerals, Cataplex AC.

Hormonal Swings: Symplex F for women and Symplex M for guys. Then add Cataplex B to help support your Energy pathways.

Below is  my code to buy these Doctor approved high quality whole food and herbal formulas.  If you have questions, please contact me.

If this is your first time ordering, you will if need to set up an account. It is very easy to do.

Click on this link .

Once at the home page you click on the drop down that says  Patient Direct and use this special code. Code: W8MJSC to set up your account.

 If you are struggling and need support, then please reach out..

PH: 214 869 6404 or  

Please take care of yourselves , your health is your most important asset.

Have a healthy week

Dr Pia

PS Stay tuned for updates: Fingers crossed I have an in person clinic space in September!!