Can You Get Mono From Stress?

Can You Get Mono From Stress?

The answer for the question is no, mono is not caused by stress. But stress can aggravate the condition in a person who have already got mono. Stress can make the symptoms and the condition more severe which will lead to more complications and bad prognosis. Mono is caused by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) commonly, sometimes by other viruses. It is a viral infection and it is not caused by stress. At the end of the article you will realize how stress can aggravate mono. I will explain how in a very simple and easy way.

What Does Stress Do?

Stress is actually a physical condition. When some person is under stress the body thinks that person is under attack and it goes in a flight and fight mode. In response to this, the body produce different chemicals/hormones such as adrenaline, cortisol etc. the production of cortisol is what is important here. If the body is under constant stress, the cortisol production will be produced regularly and the concentration will be high.

Cortisol And The Immune System

The immune system in your body is divided into acquired and the innate immunity. Innate immunity is the immunity we all are born with. This includes the skin and mucous membranes which are the natural barriers. This immunity is general and non-specific. If the pathogen is able to pass this barrier then the acquired immunity activates and try to destroy the pathogen.

As the name implies acquired immunity is something you acquire throughout life. Acquired immunity is further divided into T-cell immunity and B-cell immunity. In autoimmune disease the acquired immune system attacks the normal cells identifying them as pathogens or faulty cells. There are many autoimmune diseases and lichen planus is one of them.

Cortisol influences the participation of white blood cells in immune reactions and in inflammatory conditions. It mainly regulates the lymphocytes who are the control the white blood cell actions. Cortisol affect the action of the natural killer cells, monocytes, eosinophils, neutrophils, basophils, macrophages, and mast cells. These cells usually accumulate and acts on wounded areas, on infections and inflammation and fights off the pathogens. This causes redness, swelling and irritation around that area which stimulates the release of cortisol. Then, cortisol come to that site and stop the action of lymphocytes and other white blood cells, it prevents the white blood cells sticking to the site and releasing chemicals, it also controls the number of lymphocytes and other white blood cells circulating and reduce the number. Cortisol also reduce the lymphocyte multiplication and increase the lymphocyte cells death, actually when cortisol levels are high there is a complete disappearance of lymphocytes in the blood. Cortisol affects the action of B cells and T cells and reduces the overactive response of these cells. It also prevents the action of many cells in the immune system.

In EBV infection, the infected B lymphocytes triggers the immune response (cellular-mediated and antibody-mediated). The cellular-mediated T lymphocyte immune response destroys the infected B lymphocytes. The T lymphocyte response it very crucial for the manifestation of clinical features, if the T lymphocyte response is faster the symptoms are mild, and the prognosis is good with lifelong immunity. Ineffective T lymphocyte response can lead the development of B cell lymphoma because of the uncontrolled B lymphocyte proliferation.

The response of the immune system is important to fight off the EBV infection. Stress causes release of cortisol which suppress the immune system. This can lead to more severe, prolong infection of mono. So, it’s important to reduce stress as much has possible during the infected period.

Conclusion

Mono is not caused by stress. But stress can aggravate the condition in a person who have already got mono. Stress can make the symptoms and the condition more severe which will lead to more complications and bad prognosis. Mono is caused by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) commonly, sometimes by other viruses. It is a viral infection and it is not caused by stress. The response of the immune system is important to fight off the EBV infection. Stress causes release of cortisol which suppress the immune system. This can lead to more severe, prolong infection of mono. So, it is important to reduce stress as much has possible during the infected period.

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