How stress affects our DNA

It has long been documented that stress weakens the immune system and can make us ill. Now researchers think it has a major impact on our DNA.

A study by Duke University Medical Centre in North Carolina, dated August 22 2011, conclude that stress stimulates the secretion of adrenaline, which if not controlled can interfere with our DNA. (Source:

Stress is not tangible, we cannot see it and nine times out of ten we don’t even know we’re stressed. Others might think that if we don’t talk about it, then we can’t be stressed, but a bad word, even stubbornness can be stress; we just don’t always know that is what we’re experiencing.

So how does stress affect us? Well it affects everyone differently. We know that stress can cause heart disease, but generally many of us don’t understand how stress and stressful situations cause physical and emotional problems.

The following may be of interest:

  • Around 43% of adults suffer with the adverse health effects brought about by stress;
  • Stress can be linked to accidents, lung ailments, heart disease, cirrhosis of the liver, mental illness and suicide;
  • Between 75 to 90% of doctors’ visits are due to stress related illness.

To some extent stress is a necessary evil, although too much of it can and does play havoc with our health. In society, stress isn’t easy to avoid, but it is important we understand how to deal with it.

Our inability to handle stress is detrimental to our health in the longer term.

12 Sep, 2011

4 thoughts on “How stress affects our DNA

  1. You are so right!

    Stress does have a detrimental affect on our health. It also affects diabetes. It can make your blood sugar go up. That’s my problem.

    It’s not what I eat, but my stress levels increase my blood sugar levels according to my doctor. My daughter suffers with self-induced stress daily. I hardly ever see her when she isn’t stressing about something.

    I can’t just tell her not to stress about things because she won’t listen to me when it comes to that. I do try to help her work through things so they are less stressful for her.

    I do believe though that stress does affect all aspects of our lives including down to our cells. Too bad we as a world can’t go back to the simpler times when things weren’t so complicated.

    1. I totally agree with you Lisa. If our lives were less complicated, that would = less stress. Hope your daughter controls her stress okay.

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