Stress and autoimmune disease are closely linked. An extensive study spanning 30 years and including over 100,000 study subjects found that individuals diagnosed with stress-related disorders were also 30 to 40 percent more likely to be diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder (including Crohn’s disease and celiac disease). Researchers also found that those patients diagnosed with PTSD and receiving antidepressant treatment soon after diagnosis were less likely to have subsequent autoimmune diagnoses when compared to those who did not receive treatment. JAMA
→Takeaway: While this is an observational study and not one that confers a causal relationship between stress and autoimmunity, researchers state that it does illustrate a clear link between psychological stress and physical inflammation in the body. This study is a reminder that reducing stress is just as important as eating well and exercising. Spending time daily – even just 10 minutes – in meditation, prayer, or yoga has been proven to significantly reduce stress. Not sure where to begin? Try a meditation app. The Mindfulness App, Headspace, and Calm are all great places to start!