Stress and its affect on our immune system - hpv+

LuvnTN Member Posts: 71 Member
edited January 26 in Head and Neck Cancer #1

Approximately one year, or more, prior to my diagnosis, I experienced an extremely stressful time that lasted for some duration. I have always felt that this extraordinary stress was the trigger that started my whole ordeal. The doctors don't seem to want to engage in speculation as to the cause... other than asking about smoking, chewing tobacco, and drinking alcohol histories. The hpv virus lays dormant in our bodies for decades... and, for some reason, it decides to pop its head up and create issues sometime as people get older (I think the typical age of diagnosis is around the late 50's / early 60's... with some younger and some older). Recently, I noticed my fasting glucose rising, and my blood pressure was also rising. I felt uneasy inside.. and was finding it difficult to fully relax. I had a recent blood test that showed my LDL cholesterol was very high, and my A1C was just popping into the "pre-diabetes" range at like 5.8. All of this while I was intermittent fasting, and on a low-carb/no-added sugar diet. My doctor wanted to up my blood pressure meds, and, of course, put me on a statin drug; however, the fasting glucose levels were harder to explain due to my lifestyle of healthy keto and plenty of exercise. I dug deeper, and came across videos on "cortisol".. and, low and behold, sustained levels of stress increase cortisol can actually deactivate immune system functions, and cause the some of following: trigger viruses, increase blood glucose and insulin levels (even to the point of having diabetes), increase blood pressure/heart rate (through chronic inflammation in the arteries), and increase LDL cholesterol (while lowering HDL cholesterol). My first NavDX test done back in August 2022 was a zero. Since then, it has crept up to an 8..... and, my next test that I just took yesterday (as a double-check for the positive 8 result) might be higher... either from a recurrence, or... because all of my other "stress" symptoms have been recent over the past couple of months. While I do feel like I am "not worried"... clearly, something is causing an effect in my body. Which, might be causing some "shedding" of hpv DNA into my blood stream, where previously it was not? Who knows. So, the point of this is, I guess.... stress reduction should be a critical part of all of our recoveries and prevention protocols going forward. It is difficult because we have/had cancer (which is stressful in itself); however, it is possible... and it is probably one of the healthiest things we can do to help our bodies to heal themselves. If anyone has any stress-reduction techniques that they would like to share, please do. Here is the video... I recommend watching it all of the way through: