How Are Stress And Inflammation Linked?

According to a study review, inflammation is a common pathway of stress-related diseases. This article will cover the connection between stress and inflammation and how they affect your body.

What Happens In The Body When You’re Stressed?

When you get stressed, your body goes into a fight-or-flight response. According to Alka Gupta, MD, this results in the release of the stress hormone cortisol, which suppresses your functions that are not necessary in an emergency, such as your immune response and digestion. If you remain in this state chronically, your body is bound to develop an inflammatory response.

What Is Inflammation?

Inflammation is your body’s response to threats. It could be a foreign invader like a bacteria, a transplanted organ, or a psychological or emotional stressor. In response, your immune system sends out an army of chemicals, pro-inflammatory cytokines, to attack the invaders.

These chemicals are expected to disappear after a while but can remain if your stress is chronic. Over time, these cytokines continue to operate and result in harmful inflammatory effects in your body.

Chronic Conditions Connected To Stress

There are different illnesses that can be caused by stress, including:

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Inflammation in Rheumatoid Arthritis is caused by cytokines, as you release a lot of these chemicals when you are stressed. It also is the case that the inflammation linked to RA could result in other medical issues such as stroke, heart attack, or even cancer.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

This is the term used for describing inflammation-linked conditions that can affect your gastrointestinal system, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. These conditions are caused by stress which affects your body’s regular secretion of digestive enzymes. This can interfere with how you absorb nutrients, digest food, and get rid of body waste.

Strategies For Reducing Stress and Decreasing Inflammation

There are multiple research-backed ways to deal with stress. For instance, one study discovered that subjects who meditated regularly had lower cortisol levels. They also had less-pronounced inflammatory responses in their bodies.

Similar results have also been connected to regular yoga practice, which another study revealed lowered levels of cortisol and decreased inflammation.


Stress can lead to significant inflammation in your body and result in other health issues. That said, you can reduce your stress levels with regular meditation and yoga practice. You can also try other stress relief techniques, such as journaling and counseling.