Washington, Nov 6 (IANS) Research shows that prolonged stress affects the body's immune system and triggers health problems.
Chronic stress influences gene activity in immune cells which are primed to fight an infection or trauma that does not actually exist, leading to an overabundance of the inflammation that is linked to many health problems, reports Science Daily.
Repeated stress triggers the sympathetic nervous system, commonly known as the fight-or-flight response, and stimulates the production of new blood cells.
While this response is important for survival, prolonged activation over an extended period of time could have negative effects on health.
A study on animals by scientists at Ohio State University showed that this type of chronic stress changes the activation, or expression, of genes in immune cells.
Genes that lead to inflammation are expressed at higher-than-normal levels while the activation of genes that might suppress inflammation is diminished.
Associate Director of Ohio State's Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research (IBMR) John Sheridan , also a co-lead author of the study, suggested that if you are working for a bad boss over a long period of time, that experience might play out at the level of gene expression in your immune system.