In a recent retrospective analysis of over a million Swedish patients, autoimmune disorders were significantly higher in patients who had stress-related disorders compared to the general population - even compared to their siblings who were not diagnosed with stress-related disorders. Some of the autoimmune disorders with the closest associations were autoimmune thyroid disease, Addison disease (low cortisol), diabetes, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease and autoimmune kidney disease. This association may occur because of stress’s negative impact on our cortisol levels (hypothalamic-pituitary axis), inflammation levels and immune function. While we of course are not able to control all stressors in our lives, we owe it to our health and longevity to control the ones we can.
JAMA. 2018;319(23):2388-2400. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.7028