Anxiety associated with autoimmune diseases

This 2023 review study found an association between anxiety and autoimmune disorders. In fact what the meta-analysis found was that individuals experiencing anxiety were 1.28 times more likely to develop autoimmune diseases compared to those without anxiety. The researchers looked at data from 16 studies involving over 1.4 million participants. They state directly that the data “provided compelling evidence of a significant association between anxiety and autoimmune diseases.” The authors mention the association was particularly strong for specific autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus.

We already know the role stress plays in other health-related issues, so this review just highlights how auto-immune issues can also be influenced by stress (anxiety). The authors say: “This suggests that anxiety not only contributes to the onset of autoimmune diseases but also exacerbates their symptoms and negatively affects overall well-being.”

Anxiety is something I see a lot of and it appears to be a big contributor to all sorts of somatic complaints. It’s something we can address by working on the brain. We want to create an internal sense of safety and security to lessen the brain’s reactions to what it perceives as dangerous or threatening. And to lessen the secondary reactions we have to the anxiety itself so we can start to break the chronic anxiety cycle the brain can get caught in. Reach out if you suffer from anxiety and want or need help in doing this. Head here to learn more about setting up an appointment.