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A normal situation: work and family require your complete attention. A busy schedule leaves you no time to breathe. Everything has to be reconciled somehow. This means inner tension increases day by day.

More and more people find the constantly increasing demands on them stressful. Accustomed to meeting permanently high work and family demands, we are under increasing pressure to perform. This affects the body and mind over a period of time and this is not sustainable. The body sounds the alarm, initially with mood disorders, sometimes also with diseases.

Stress is caused by external factors and is inevitable in everybody's life. It can act both positively and negatively. We distinguish between eustress, the positive, and distress, the negative form of stress. Eustress inspires people to perform better. The person feels able to cope with the situation.

Distress, however, is stressful and makes you sick. Research has shown that susceptibility to infection increases with increased stress levels1). Stress can be caused by over-stimulation, noise, lack of time, test situations, death of a close relative, lack of money, bullying, etc. In people who care for a chronically ill, get divorced, become unemployed or feel constantly overwhelmed at work, at school or at home, the stress system is often overactive.

1) Sheldon Cohen et. al, Psychological Stress and Susceptibility to the Common Cold, N Engl J Med 1991; 325:606-612, August 29, 1991

Constant stress makes you sick

Distress results in greatly increased tension in the body by the release of certain neurotransmitters and hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline. In the long term, attention and performance decreases. Distress is only harmful when the stress goes beyond the individual physical or psychological dimension. In this case, distress can interfere with the metabolism, which can lead to a change in the healing process or (immune) reactions to cope with infections. In the body, reactive oxygen species (free radicals) can damage our cells. This process is called oxidative stress.

Long-lasting stress affects the immune system:

  • The number of immune cells in the blood decreases.
  • The natural killer cells are less active.
  • The T lymphocytes divide more slowly.

In stressful periods pathogens have an easy time

Many studies have shown: People under constant stress fall ill quickly and recover slowly. Viruses and other pathogens have an easy time of it. Thus, herpes cold sores recur in times of stress, which otherwise the immune system has under control. Moreover, wounds heal more slowly and vaccinations are less effective in permanently stressed people compared with others. Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that people who are permanently burdened by taking care of a chronically ill family member developed only half as many antibodies after a vaccination compared with other people of the same age.

Coping with stress

Relaxation exercises such as autogenic training, yoga, Qi Gong or even moderate aerobic exercise can reduce stress. Medicinal whole foods, regular exercise and enjoyment improve physical and mental well-being significantly. This is necessary to preserve or regain the inner balance.

Medicinal mushrooms can help in stressful situations

As an accompanying and supportive measure, medicinal fungi can help to restore health. According to records they have been partly used in Asia for over 4000 years as medicine. Medicinal fungi with their high content of beta-glucan can train the immune system and thus prevent stress-related immune weakness. With APUXAN and its ingredients Agaricus blazei Murill and zinc your immune defence is supported and immune cells keep activate.*

* Zinc contributes to the normal function of the immune system.