Healthy Living

Multiple Sclerosis Humorist Uses Laughter to Cope

Stress and multiple sclerosis

Stress is loosely defined as any change in the environment that requires your body to react and adjust accordingly. There is a positive form of stress associated with positive changes (eustress) but the main culprit of stress related illnesses is negative stress (distress). Multiple sclerosis patients tend to have long periods of distress with no relief, which only causes the stress to build up and get worse. Eventually this will create many negative physical effects that could affect the disease, its treatment, and a patient's day to day life.

The biggest effect stress has on MS patients has to do with their immune system. Some studies have shown that high stress can lead to worsening MS symptoms or even a relapse in patient's that were showing improvement. This is because stress introduces hormones that weaken the immune system and allow the MS cells to divide and reproduce at a faster rate.