How Stress Affects Your White Blood Cells (WBCs) and Immune System

Stress may affect your white blood cells and your immune system—making you more susceptible to getting sick. Check this out. 

0:06 Cortisol and the immune system 
1:15 Chronic stress and cortisol resistance  
2:07 Stress effects on the immune system 
2:32 What happens before you get sick 

In this video, we’re going to talk about how stress affects the immune system. 

When we’re talking about stress, we’re talking about the hormone cortisol. Cortisol has a purpose of suppressing white blood cells. Your white blood cells are basically the army of your immune system. Cortisol suppresses that function. Stress activates cortisol. 

There are two types of stress:

1. Acute stress
2. Chronic stress

Chronic stress is the type of stress that’s behind so many health problems. When you chronically elevate cortisol, you could create cortisol resistance. This is very similar to insulin resistance. The amount of cortisol may even appear normal in your blood. But, the cells are not sensitive to cortisol anymore, and cortisol is no longer working. This means it’s not going to have a good effect on the immune system. 

It may create a spike in the white blood cells, which could increase your risk for all sorts of issues. Or, it could cause you to lose your immune protection and make you more susceptible to getting sick. 

Before you get sick, there is almost always something that happens. It’s some type of factor that lowers your immune system. It could be a combination of stress and a nutrient deficiency, or it could be stress itself. A virus can also cause a nutrient deficiency. It can even block vitamin D. This can cause the infection to stay. 

Dr. Eric Berg DC Bio:
Dr. Berg, 53 years of age is a chiropractor who specializes in Healthy Ketosis & Intermittent Fasting. He is the author of The New Body Type Guide and other books published by KB Publishing. He has taught students nutrition as an adjunct professor at Howard University. He no longer practices, but focuses on health education through social media.


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Dr. Eric Berg received his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1988. His use of “doctor” or “Dr.” in relation to himself solely refers to that degree. Dr. Berg is a licensed chiropractor in Virginia, California, and Louisiana, but he no longer practices chiropractic in any state and does not see patients so he can focus on educating people as a full time activity, yet he maintains an active license. This video is for general informational purposes only. It should not be used to self-diagnose and it is not a substitute for a medical exam, cure, treatment, diagnosis, and prescription or recommendation. It does not create a doctor-patient relationship between Dr. Berg and you. You should not make any change in your health regimen or diet before first consulting a physician and obtaining a medical exam, diagnosis, and recommendation. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The Health & Wellness, Dr. Berg Nutritionals and Dr. Eric Berg, D.C. are not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or product you obtain through this video or site.

Thanks for watching! I hope this video helps you better understand how lowering your stress may actually help protect your white blood cells and your immune system.
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