If you’ve read some of the posts on this page, or have visited my website www.rlcure.com – you’ll know that I FIRMLY believe that inflammation is the CAUSE of RLS. Science is now confirming this.
What this means is that insomnia and stress are issues that must somehow be dealt with in order to help your suffering to come to an end. The MORE the inflammation in your body increases, the MORE your legs will act up.
Prescribed drugs are not the answer. Whatever lies beneath the surface and is causing your stress cannot be dissolved with a drug. That requires change through meditation, relaxation exercises, therapy etc.
This post provides scientific evidence that stress increases inflammation levels.
The information you’ll read below are short excerpts from articles talking about the studies. To view the full studies please visit:
“Chronic Stress Changes Immune Cell Genes, Leading To Inflammation” Huffington Post, July 7, 2013
A new study provides a better understanding of why chronic stress leads to high levels of inflammation in the body.
Researchers found that chronic stress changes gene activity of immune cells before they enter the bloodstream so that they’re ready to fight infection or trauma — even when there is no infection or trauma to fight. This then leads to increased inflammation.
Dwelling on negative events can increase levels of inflammation in the body, a new Ohio University study finds.
Researchers discovered that when study participants were asked to ruminate on a stressful incident, their levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of tissue inflammation, rose. The study is the first to directly measure this effect in the body.
A research team led by Carnegie Mellon University’s Sheldon Cohen has found that chronic psychological stress is associated with the body losing its ability to regulate the inflammatory response. Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the research shows for the first time that the effects of psychological stress on the body’s ability to regulate inflammation can promote the development and progression of disease.
“Inflammation is partly regulated by the hormone cortisol and when cortisol is not allowed to serve this function, inflammation can get out of control,” said Cohen, the Robert E. Doherty Professor of Psychology within CMU’s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Cohen argued that prolonged stress alters the effectiveness of cortisol to regulate the inflammatory response because it decreases tissue sensitivity to the hormone. Specifically, immune cells become insensitive to cortisol’s regulatory effect. In turn, runaway inflammation is thought to promote the development and progression of many diseases.
“When under stress, cells of the immune system are unable to respond to hormonal control, and consequently, produce levels of inflammation that promote disease. Because inflammation plays a role in many diseases such as cardiovascular, asthma and autoimmune disorders, this model suggests why stress impacts them as well.”
Their results showed that individuals who exhibited greater neural activity in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and anterior insula during social rejection in the brain scanner also exhibited greater increases in inflammatory activity when exposed to acute social stress in the lab.
“This is further evidence of how closely our mind and body are connected,” Slavich said. “We have known for a long time that social stress can ‘get under the skin’ to increase risk for disease, but it’s been unclear exactly how these effects occur. To our knowledge, this study is the first to identify the neurocognitive pathways that might be involved in inflammatory responses to acute social stress.”