How do healthy and allergic people respond to acute stress and how do they cope with their emotions? Researchers led by Lisa Maria Glenk of the Messerli Research Institute – a joint institution of the Vetmeduni Vienna, the Medical University of Vienna and the University of Vienna – answered these questions in a study (Stress 2019, online October 24).
To this end, Viennese researchers screened healthy and allergic individuals for a stress test. Before and after the questionnaire, the respondents answered the questionnaire about the treatment of emotions and their well-being. In addition, cortisol and oxytocin concentrations have been determined, reports the Vienna Veterinary Institute.
Stronger increase in cortisol in people with allergies
After the test, both allergy sufferers and healthy people felt more anxious and stressed. Allergy patients, however, experienced a higher increase in cortisol and took longer to recover.
Also in the distribution of oxytocin, the allergies of the healthy subjects varied. Although allergy sufferers had higher blood levels, their oxytocin levels dropped due to the effects of stress. In the healthy, it was the other way around.
It is interesting that those who suffer from allergies instead of healthy suppress their emotions. "We see again and again how allergic patients negate the severity of their chronic symptoms," said study director Erika JensenJarolim. Those allergic individuals who were able to emotionally rethink the situation recovered significantly faster from stress.
Co-author Oswald D. Kothgassner of the Vienna University of Medicine adds: "These results suggest that mechanisms of stress regulation play a key role in the common occurrence of allergies and depression." (Eb)