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Don't 'Worry Yourself Sick' This Winter
Date:12/11/2008

Physician and top stress expert advises getting a flu shot and other tips to boost immunity this winter

Nottingham, UK (PRWEB) December 11, 2008 -- During this time of economic uncertainty, increased stress levels are common, particularly when financial concerns combine with the pressures of the holiday season. But top stress expert Claire Wheeler, M.D. warns that you really can "worry yourself sick," as stress can have a negative effect on the immune system.

"Stress releases hormones that can overtax the body and in turn, compromise the body's natural defenses," says Dr. Wheeler, an instructor at Portland State University's School of Community Health and author of 10 Simple Solutions to Stress (New Harbinger Publications 2007).

In fact, according to a recent survey conducted by Sambucol Black Elderberry, 38% of U. S. adults say that stress impacts their health. Women are more likely (40%) than men (31 %) to say this is true for them. Those with children are more stressed (46%) than those with no children 35 %.

To help manage stress and stay healthy during the dangerous cold and flu season, Dr. Wheeler offers the following tips to help boost the immune system.

1. Get the flu shot, and time it wisely. According to Dr. Wheeler, stress can have a strong suppressive effect on the immune system's response to vaccinations. Get the shot early in the season, before you get swept up in the holidays and time your flu shot for a day that you don't have a lot going on.

2. Take a break. Many of us choose to "push through" times when we feel tired and under the weather. Usually, that's a signal from the immune system that you may be fighting off an infection. The stress of maintaining your usual schedule durin
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