The intricate relationship between anxiety and autoimmune disorders involves a myriad of factors that contribute to a complex interplay between the immune system and mental health. An autoimmune disorder occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own healthy cells, tissues, and organs, often leading to chronic inflammation and a range of physical symptoms. There are more than 80 autoimmune diseases, which collectively affect more than 24 million people in the United States. Anxiety is an emotion characterized by excessive worry, fear, and/ or concern causing heightened physiological responses. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, some of the various elements that highlight the connection between anxiety and autoimmune disorders include:
- Immune system dysregulation: Autoimmune disorders involve dysregulation of the immune system, leading it to target healthy cells and tissues. Chronic inflammation is a common feature of autoimmune conditions. The constant immune system activation may contribute to alterations in the body’s stress response, potentially leading to increased susceptibility to anxiety.
- Inflammatory response: Inflammation is a common thread in both autoimmune disorders and anxiety. In autoimmune conditions, inflammation results from the immune system attacking healthy tissues. In anxiety, chronic stress and the associated release of stress hormones can trigger systemic inflammation. This shared inflammatory response may create a cycle where each condition influences and exacerbates the other.
- Hormonal influence: The stress response associated with anxiety involves the release of hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Prolonged exposure to stress hormones can impact the immune system, influencing the severity and progression of autoimmune disorders. Conversely, the chronic inflammation in autoimmune disorders may influence the body’s stress response, contributing to the development or worsening of anxiety symptoms.
- Genetic predisposition: Both anxiety disorders and autoimmune conditions may have a genetic component. Shared genetic factors could contribute to the increased likelihood of these conditions co-occurring within families or in the same individual.
- Psychological impact: Managing an autoimmune disorder often involves coping with physical symptoms, lifestyle adjustments, and uncertainty about the future. The emotional toll of these challenges can contribute to the development of anxiety symptoms. Conversely, the chronic stress associated with anxiety may exacerbate the symptoms of autoimmune disorders.
Coexisting anxiety and autoimmune disorders can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life. The physical symptoms of autoimmune conditions, combined with the emotional toll of anxiety, can create a challenging and interconnected health landscape. This underscores the importance of comprehensive care that addresses both the physical and mental aspects of health.
Treatment In Calabasas
Calabasas is a city in California. It is a well-known suburb of Los Angeles, located west of the San Fernando Valley and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past decade, the city of Calabasas has grown in its reputation for luxury as well as for privacy which makes it a hidden gem for residential living for society’s elite, and one of the most desirable destinations in Los Angeles County. It is also home to a plethora of highly qualified mental health clinicians providing an array of therapeutic services and treatment options.
The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.