Loneliness Taxes the Immune System

Loneliness Taxes the Immune System

Researchers found that people who were more lonely showed signs of elevated latent herpes virus reactivation and produced more inflammation-related proteins in response to acute stress than did people who felt more socially connected. Chronic inflammation is linked to many health complications like heart disease, diabetes type-2, arthritis etc. Social support and successful aging: Investigating the relationships between lifetime cognitive change and life satisfaction. To avoid these unpleasant conditions try Acyclovir – a modern medication used to relieve the symptoms of the disease. About half of infections do not produce illness, but once a person is infected, the viruses remain dormant in the body and can be reactivated, resulting in elevated antibody levels, or titers – again, often producing no symptoms but hinting at regulatory problems in the cellular immune system. All participants had their loneliness assessed by a questionnaire on perception of isolation and loneliness called the UCLA Loneliness Scale. Past studies have linked reactivation of those viruses to stress, leading Jaremka and colleagues to conclude that the same biological processes that cause that phenomenon also play a role in this new research.
Loneliness Taxes the Immune System

Lisa Jaremka, from the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research, said that the lonely person who actually feels they are in a bad relationship quality. Friendships and associations have time to jell. Contrary to expectations, EBV antibody titers were not associated with either loneliness or the symptom cluster. Both are herpes viruses that infect a majority of Americans. Lonelier participants had higher levels of antibodies against cytomegalovirus than did less lonely participants, and those higher antibody levels were related to more pain, depression and fatigue symptoms. I started valtrex later that day and by the next day all my symptoms left and the outbreak did not full develop. No difference was seen in Epstein-Barr virus antibody levels, possibly because this reactivation is linked to age and many of these participants were somewhat older, meaning reactivation related to loneliness would be difficult to detect, Jaremka says.

He claimed it was HSV on the spot. These studies were conducted with 144 women from the same group of breast cancer survivors and a group of 134 overweight middle-aged and older adults with no major health problems. Chronic inflammation has been linked to heart disease, arthritis, Type 2 diabetes and even suicide attempts, Jaremka noted. One type of loneliness might be related to missing a loved one because he/she has died, a breakup has happened or he/she is so far away. In both populations, those who were lonelier produced significantly higher levels of a cytokine called interleukin-6, or IL-6, in response to acute stress than did participants who were more socially connected. Levels of another cytokine, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, also rose more dramatically in lonelier participants than in less lonely participants, but the findings were significant by statistical standards in only one study group, the healthy adults.

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