The adrenals modulate the immune system
The adrenal glands modulate the immune system. This means that adrenal hormone production affects the immune system's actions. The adrenals make a baseline level of cortisol hormone which keeps the immune system functioning at an optimal level. More cortisol can dampen the immune system and less cortisol can make the system more tolerant. For example, pregnant women make more cortisol to create an environment more immunologically tolerant of their fetus which is not immunologically the same as the mother. Also, in patients with autoimmune or overactive immune responses we give high strength steroids mimicking cortisol to dampen the immune response.
When people become acutely stressed, they produce adrenal hormones in the flight or fight reaction of the body. This causes an increase in adrenal hormones, such as cortisol. Initially, this boost in cortisol dampens the immune system's response and people become ill with coughs and colds or other infections. Over time in a healthy environment the adrenals calm down and come back to baseline. The body balances out and the immune system eventually fights off the infection.
But in an unhealthy continuously stressful environment, the adrenal glands get depleted and burn out. The cortisol production falls below baseline and the immune system is no longer modulated. It is at this point that the immune system goes haywire and becomes hyperactive. It starts to attack its own body or create an overabundance of unnecessary antibodies. This is when chronic illnesses, such as autoimmunity develop or persistent severe allergies develop.
In a perfect world, the immune system is constantly surveilling the environment to attack any foreign objects. The adrenal glands through cortisol keep the system from becoming too aggressive. With the reduction of adrenal hormone production in adrenal burn out, the modulation of the immune system is gone and it starts to attack it's own body among other things.
This is why it is important to address the adrenal glands in all illnesses as a core treatment. This can be done with adrenal supporting supplements in the morning and adrenal calming supplements at night and of course, dealing with stress.
As always, if the situation becomes overwhelming, seek professional help regarding your physical and mental symptoms.