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If you find that you immediately catch a cold or being experiencing flu-like symptoms at the culmination of a stressful period in your life, you're not alone.

According to scientists, this phenomenon, which affects a great many of us, is known as the "let-down effect" and is generally identified as the diagnosis of an illness of the flare-up of a chronic condition after a period of significant stress.

Investigating the phenomenon, scientists have established a link between the reduction in stress and the increase in specific symptoms - a pattern which proves that not only cam stress lead to illness, its sudden reduction can also play havoc with our immune systems.

According to a study conducted by researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, a decline in perceived stress can result in an increase or 'flare-up' of certain illness such as asthma, Crohn's disease and psoriasis.

Elaborating on the reasons behind this, behavioural neuroscientist Leah Pyter confirms that during periods of acute stress, our bodies release specific hormones which prepare us to fight or flee from danger.

During this process, glucocorticoids, which can trigger fatique, fever and sore throats, are also released but do not present themselves until a few days after the initial release of hormones which include cateholamines and adrenaline.

Further to this, it has been established that the increase in cortisol and various other stress hormones which are released during times of tension can protect you against pain, but upon returning to normality these levels drop which often result in a migraine or other forms of chronic pain.

According to the Huffington Post, there are various ways an individual can avoid the "let-down effect", citing advice offered by Dr. Nieca Goldberg, medical director of the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women's Health at the NYU Langone Medical Centre.

"Someone who has high levels of stress at work could simply take 30 seconds to focus on their breath between meetings and appointments and try to avoid the build-up of stress that could happen over the course of a day," she explained.

By pacing yourself under pressure, maintaining a healthy lifestyle during times of stress and seeking down-time during intense periods in your life, you will help avoid the common "let-down effect" which affect so many of us.



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