Is Your Toxic Relationship Making You Sick?

Unhealthy, toxic, and abusive relationships can make wreck your mental health, but a study conducted at Ohio State University reveals that they can also wreck your immune system, making it more difficult for your body to fight off sickness.

Researchers studied a group of married couples by collecting saliva and blood samples and asking them questions about their relationships. The questions determined how much anxiety the participants felt as a result of their relationship, while the blood and saliva samples were tested to track participants’ level of cortisol–a stress hormone– and their immune cell levels.

The results? Unsurprisingly, those participants who indicated that they experienced a higher level of anxiety related to insecurity, concerns about being rejected or abandoned, and a negative outlook about their relationships also had higher levels of cortisol in their systems and had fewer helper-T cells.

“Can’t Forget” from the “Left In Pieces” Collection Original artwork by: kelseyautumn / CATSPERM

And the levels of cortisol were not insignificant. Those who reported feeling more anxious produced, on average, 11% more cortisol. Increased cortisol levels have also been linked to excess belly fat.

If you’re in an unhealthy relationship that’s causing you to stress out constantly, chances are it’s probably making you sick and tired– literally.  There’s never been a better reason for dropping a toxic partner from your life.

 

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