The role of stress in rheumatic diseases
Chronic Pain & Fatigue Research Center, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Michigan Medical School, 24 Frank Lloyd Wright Drive, PO Box 385, Lobby M, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106, USA
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2010, 12:123 doi:10.1186/ar3024
See related research article by de Brouwer et al., http://arthritis-research.com/content/12/3/R89Published: 7 June 2010
Rheumatology patients frequently note the occurrence of stressful or traumatic life events prior to the onset of their illness and/or a relationship between stress and disease flares. For our patients, identifying causal events could represent an effort to give meaning to a chronic and often disabling disease, while noting a link between stress and flares may proffer a sense of control. Whatever purpose the report of stress as an etiological or maintaining factor may serve, the science exploring a causal relationship between stress and autoimmune disease onset and course is expanding. Moreover, stress can also induce symptoms such as pain via nonimmunological mechanisms.