Icky Sicky

When I was in university (the first time1 through), after exams, I would always get sick. My theory for this is that during high stress periods, like exam time, the stress hormone cortisol is high. One of the functions of cortisol is to depress the immune system, so all through exam time, when my cortisol levels are high, my immune system isn’t responding as it should to, say, the cold virus. Once exams are done, my cortisol levels come down, my immune system kicks back up, and responds to said cold virus, causing the signs and symptoms of a cold2.

Well, apparently old immune system habits die hard, because ever since the end of my MBA core program, I’ve been feeling under the weather. Where by “under the weather”, I mean sore throat, coughing, achy3, and I just want to curl up in my bed and sleep for a week. (And before anyone says anything, let me clarify that this started well before I had my flu shot!) I have to say that I’m ever so happy that (a) it’s a long weekend this weekend and (b) I actually get the weekend off – I’m going to sleep in all three days! Oh sleeping in, how I’ve missed you!

  1. Or first three times, depending on if you count each degree as it’s own “time”. []
  2. I have no idea if this is actually true, but it’s my theory and I’m sticking to it []
  3. Of both the muscle and head variety. []

One Reply to “Icky Sicky”

  1. I used to get sick after exams too. I always thought my head told my body it had to wait and my body complied. Your explanation makes much more sense though!

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