Studies show psychological stress interferes with the body's ability to control inflammation, which heightens the chances of disease. Emotional stress triggers the production of cortisol, the flight-or-flight stress hormone that initiates inflammation. Excess cortisol also increases one's risk of contracting an infection. When this occurs, a healthy body will begin initiating procedures to balance out or remove the hormone, and inflammation is one result of this procedure. Many people make this connection themselves, noting they are more likely to develop a cold or other minor infection when stressed than when mentally healthy.
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