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Arthritis Res Ther. 2010; 12(3): 123.
Published online 2010 June 7. doi:  10.1186/ar3024
PMCID: PMC2911881

The role of stress in rheumatic diseases

Abstract

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.


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