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Love sick: Can a bad relationship make you ill?

Posted on: February 27, 2013 14:41:07

Love sick: Can a bad relationship make you ill?Ever been in a bad relationship and found yourself feeling under the weather? Well, now scientists in the US have proven that a stressful romantic life can actually make us ill.

Researchers at Ohio State University discovered that feelings of anxiety linked to a relationship are able to make our immune systems less effective and boost levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

The new findings suggest that a bad relationship can have a real impact on a person's health, which further emphasises the importance of finding the right match before you settle down.

Involving 85 married couples with an average age of 39, the study explored the effects of 'attachment anxiety'. This term is used to describe feelings of insecurity in a relationship, such as when people wonder if their partner really loves them.

People with high attachment anxiety produced 11 per cent more cortisol on average. They were also found to have lower levels of T-cells, which are important in the immune system to help the body defend itself against infections.

Commenting on attachment anxiety, lead author of the study Lisa Jaremka said: "Everyone has these types of concerns now and again in their relationships, but a high level of attachment anxiety refers to people who have these worries fairly constantly in most of their relationships."

She added: "These concerns about rejection and whether or not you are truly cared for do have physiological consequences that could, in the long-term, negatively affect health."

Psychologist Maryann Troiani recently discussed how dissatisfaction in relationships can cause health problems, such as difficulty sleeping, weight gain and high stress levels.

However, there can also be no doubt that a happy relationship with someone who is truly right for you is likely to work wonders for your health and wellbeing.

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