When pain persists for weeks or even months, it can cause an increase in the level of cortisol, the body’s main stress-induced hormone. Although the immune system needs a certain amount of cortisol, when it becomes elevated for an extended period, it can impair the cells that make up your immune system and kidney function.
When bathed in this stress-related chemical, the immune system can find it harder to function optimally. Living with unending chronic pain and the subsequent stress, your immune system simply will not work at full capacity. This breakdown in immune function can interfere with your ability to fight infections, your long-term healing, and your overall quality of life. In fact, there are new studies that indicate pain may affect the immune system in such a way that cancer cells speed up their growth when there is pain in the body.
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