If you’re living with a chronic condition, you probably know that stress can lead to increased flares. And you probably also know that stress is sometimes unavoidable—especially at work.
In fact, a recent report from The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health cites a Northwestern National Life survey in which 40 percent of workers describe their jobs as very or extremely stressful and 25 percent view their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives.
The relationship between stress and autoimmune disorders is complicated, says board-certified family medicine physician Felecia Sumner, D.O., who has psoriasis and authored the book Fill Your Cup, a guide to managing stress. “Part of it is that stress lowers your immune-system function and also causes the release of many inflammatory chemicals, which basically send signals to your immune system to go haywire.”