THE immune system is an amazing mechanism. Its role is to protect you from diseases, parasites and infection. Without an immune system, you would constantly fall ill and face a shortened lifespan reliant on medical intervention.
How a healthy immune system works
AN immune system protects you from illnesses and infection with a complex network of cells and organs.
Some parts of your immune system, including your skin and mucous membranes, try hard to keep infections out. But if a virus, parasite or bacteria makes its way into your body, the immune system will fight back with white blood cells.
To carry out its vital protective healing functions, your immune system needs to be strong.
What can cause a weak immune system?
THE immune system is a group of mechanisms working together, but sometimes these can be weakened by disease, illness, or simply bad habits.
When your immune system is weakened, it means you’re more likely to fall ill or take a long time to recover from illness.
Here are some ways that your immune system could be weakened.
• Not enough sleep
GETTING enough sleep is essential to good health. Studies show that insomnia—or less than five hours of sleep a night—can have a drastic weakening effect on your immune system.
When you don’t get enough sleep, your immune system doesn’t have time to repair the damage done to muscles and tissue, which leads to a cycle of poor health.
• Too much exercise
VIGOROUS exercise is good for you, but it can cause damage to your muscles that need repair.
Spending a lot of time and energy repairing over-exercised muscles means that your immune system doesn’t have the capacity to protect you from colds, bacteria or other illnesses.
• A Poor diet
EVERY single part of your body relies on good nutrition, and your immune system is no exception.
If you eat processed foods that are full of fat, sugar and salt, your immune system doesn’t get the nutrients it needs to carry out a good job. Eat more cruciferous vegetables to boost your immune system and take a vitamin supplement if your diet isn’t great.
• Drinking too much alcohol
ALCOHOL lowers your immune system’s ability to destroy invading viruses by depleting your white blood cell count.
• Using antibacterial hand gel and soap
WE tend to buy our washing and cleaning products with antibacterial elements. While this might seem like a good way to cut down on diseases, it actually weakens the immune system.
The immune system is always learning, which is why you don’t get infections or diseases so badly the second time. But when we kill environmental bacteria, our immune systems get out of practice; they become weak and flabby rather than alert and active.
It’s especially important for children to play in the dirt and inoculate themselves from common diseases, so when a bad one comes along, their immune systems are primed.
THERE are no benefits to smoking. The high level of tar and chemicals, as well as the reduced oxygen supply, causes cancer, heart disease, asthma and weakens your immune system.
• Certain medications
SOME medicines can temporarily lower your immune system. Chemotherapy and other cancer drugs are prime examples, along with immunosuppressant drugs used to treat autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune disease is when the immune response is overactive and attacks the body instead of defending it.
More common illness such as flu, mono and measles can also knock the immune system down.
THE Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a virus that cripples the immune system by destroying white blood cells called CD4 helper lymphocyte cells (CD4 cells). These are one of your first-line defenses. Without them, uncontrolled diseases and infection can enter the body.
6 Signs of a weak immune system
1 You feel tired all the time. There are many reasons you may feel tired—from a simple lack of sleep to stress, anemia, or chronic fatigue syndrome. If you can’t figure out why you’re always tired and getting extra sleep doesn’t help, it could be because your immune system is weak, and it’s constantly trying to fend off infections.
2 You’re always ill. We all get ill, especially in the winter months, and an occasional illness is nothing to worry about. But if you are always fighting a variety of illnesses or a recurring one, it could be because you have a weak immune system.
Your immune system is always fighting off invading bacteria, viruses and disease, but usually, you won’t notice this happening.
If you notice regular or insistent bladder infections, mouth ulcers, colds, flu or thrush, for example, it’s time to see your doctor.
3 Allergies. Many people have allergies, such as seasonal hay fever or intolerance toward cat hair, but if your eyes are always watering, you have bad reactions to food or you experience insistent skin rashes, joint pain and stomach troubles, then your immune system could be going haywire.
This could be a sign of immune weakness or an autoimmune disease.
4 It takes ages to heal. Scabs are dead blood cells sacrificed to stop blood from escaping the body. If your scabs just won’t heal up, it could be because your immune system is underperforming.
This goes for cold and flu symptoms too. Most people are well again after a week, but if it takes longer, your body might be having trouble fighting infections.
5 Digestive problems. The quality of your intestinal bacteria can have a direct effect on your immune system and vice versa.
If you have frequent diarrhea, ulcers, gas, bloating, cramping, or constipation, it could be a sign that your immune system isn’t working as well as it could.
There are many types of gut bacteria that help maintain a healthy immune system. You may have heard of probiotics lactobacilli and bifidobacteria. They defend your gut from infection and support the immune system function, so low amounts of friendly bacteria can lead to a compromised immune system.
6 Joint pain. Aching joints are a symptom of HIV, alongside fever, tiredness, night sweats, hair loss and swollen lymph nodes. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, see your doctor for a test.
Modern medicine can control the symptoms of HIV so most positive folks are able to live normal lives, but getting tested is important to slow its progression.
A weak immune system can have a direct impact on the quality of your health, from hair loss to total exhaustion. To boost your immune system, you should eat a healthy balanced diet, exercise, get lots of quality sleep, keep stress at bay and take organic CBD tincture or capsules to ensure your body’s defense mechanism is always performing at its peak.
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