Doctor weighs in on toll of stress on immune systems during COVID-19 pandemic

Simple Health

AUSTIN (KXAN) — An Austin doctor said the toll of stress can have a significant impact on the immune system, which could be especially heightened during the COVID-19 pandemic.

KXAN spoke with one doctor who gave her insight on how people can manage that stress with her own approach.

“The toll of the stress is tremendous and actually again affects our immune systems ability to fight off infections in general,” said Dr. Ann Shippy, an Austin-based chemical engineer turned doctor. “One of the things we can all be doing is managing our mindset that we do the things like exercise, meditate, get good sleep and focus on the things we can control.”

Dr. Shippy describes her strategy to treatment as functional medicine, using science, testing and genetic information to try and treat the root cause of symptoms, instead of just managing them.

Dr. Shippy said another way to manage stress is to offer a helping hand to the community.

That could include making masks, amid the personal protective equipment shortage for healthcare workers, or providing food for those in need.

KXAN Simple Health is launching an initiative which focuses on maintaining mental wellness during the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ll highlight topics including parenting, finances and jobs, grief and anxiety, senior health and balancing isolation and socializing from a distance.

Look for our special coverage starting Sunday, April 5.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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