Are you one of those people that always catches the latest bugs that are going around? There’s a good chance that your immune system is the weak link in your system. Healthy immunity not only protects you form the occasional cold, but also supports your body in fighting and warding off more serious infections, bacteria and viruses.
The key to fighting off infections is a strong immune system. Here are 4 things that can cause serious harm to the health of your immune system.
WebMD suggests just how serious the need to manage stress is. It can have a seriously negative impact on the immune system. Being exposed to continued stress causes the adrenal glands to produce extra cortisol to fight that stress.
Unfortunately, elevated levels of cortisol decrease production of prostaglandins. Prostaglandins support the healthy function of your immune system. A reduction in the production of prostaglandin increases the risk of inflammation and immune suppression. When you experience sustained levels of high stress it kills immune system cells.
According to The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute states how vital quality sleep is for the health of the immune system. Studies have shown that sleeping less than 7 hours impairs the immune system’s ability to function properly. While you sleep, your immune system is releasing proteins known as cytokines. Some cytokine proteins promote sleep, and others will increase when you are dealing with stress, infection, or inflammation.
Additionally, when you aren’t getting enough sleep cells and antibodies that fight infection are reduced.
Harvard University points to just how vital exercise is to the immune system, and your overall health. Everyone needs time to sit back and relax, but uptime is just as important as downtime. Studies suggest that exercise provides a great boost to the immune system, as it strengthens the body’s cells, attacking bacteria.
For those who don’t exercise, these cells work slowly. During exercise, the body produce antibodies that react to viruses- they locate them, and then destroy them. Exercise also plays an important part in the immune system serving as the cancer surveillance system.
Poor Nutrition & Dehydration
Our bodies need the right amount of protein, calories, vitamins, and minerals for the cells to grow and operate effectively. According to WebMD, without these nutrients, our immune system will grow weak, becoming less effective at finding and destroying germs and viruses. If your diet is poor, your immune system will suffer.
Healthy nutrition should include vegetables, low fat milks, whole grains, and fruit. A healthy diet that will effectively serve the immune system should avoid excessively consuming processed foods, refined sugar, highly processed foods, chemical additives, and pesticides.
Additionally, StayingHealthy.org reminds us that our bodies are two thirds water. Drinking plenty of water is crucial for your body, and most importantly, it’s great for the immune system.
By staying hydrated, your body will be able to eliminate waste materials and toxins. It makes the immune system far more efficient at fighting infection.
Dehydration also affects the energy levels, and your ability to sleep which makes exercise less likely. All of these are triggers for a weak immune system.
We only have one immune system. It is vital that we keep it healthy and strong, avoiding behavior that can potentially weaken it. By keeping your immune system strong, you can help your body fight infections, lifestyle, diseases, and even cancer. In addition to the four ways above, smoking and alcohol can also contribute to a weakened immune system. No matter your age, it isn’t too late to make changes.