Stress and CIDP – Stress is a Possible Trigger for CIDP

Stress and CIDP, is there a relationship?

We’ve been dealing with the subject of autoimmune disorders for the past few weeks. As you may recall, CIDP or Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy is an autoimmune disorder and disease.

Many people who suffer from autoimmune diseases complain that when stressful events happen in their lives, their symptoms immediately or – in a short amount of time – get worse. Many people who suffer from CIDP – or even GBS – will also complain about their symptoms getting worse when their stress levels go up. This a common experience with many people who suffer from autoimmune diseases like CIDP.

More heartbreakingly, others complain that stress has acted as a primary reason for getting out of remission. So as you can see, the state of one’s mind plays a very important role in the intensity of the diseases we suffer from, and yes, even cancer is one of those sicknesses that is directly affected by the emotional stressors of life.

The good news we have is the following: science does confirm that stress is a trigger for making symptoms worse in autoimmune diseases like CIDP. The second piece of good news is that as stress, in the end, is an emotional reaction to a thought or event, one may, with some effort, be able to manage it. Remember that what happens around us are invariables, meaning that we have little control over them in so far as determining their ultimate outcomes (you did all you could, but the most highly unlikely factor came in and messed up your plans!) But the one real variable is within, meaning that we can control our reactions to the events or stressful thoughts that come to us.

In this blog post, we will look at what science is telling us about the relationship between stress and autoimmune diseases like CIDP. Our discussion on the management of stress will be posted next week.

According to  a 2008 article L. Stojanovich and D. Mariasavljevich showed that in 80% of patients with autoimmune diseases (the case studies they were dealing with), there was a report of “uncommon emotional stress” before the onset of the disease. A further problem was the vicious circular effect of the stress; the stress caused the disease to come out or become worse, but then the disease itself caused even more stress and made the disease worse in turn.

As such, the treatment of autoimmune diseases (like CIDP) must include “stress management and behavioral intervention” to prevent, or at least mitigate an autoimmune imbalance.

In our next post, we will be looking into some tips on how to manage stress and thereby possibly help alleviate some of the pain that is caused by CIDP.

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