The immune system is your body’s natural barrier against disease and keeps it alive and healthy. The immune system is also responsible for preventing diseases from spreading if they get past the initial barriers. A strong immune system play key role to fight off bacterial, parasitic and viral infections to keep our bodies healthy. The immune system also plays a role in restricting tumors and cancerous growths inside the body.

This is how the body defends itself against infections by neutralizing and eliminating harmful microorganisms. A weakened immune system can leave you not feeling well and susceptible to illness.

Most people’s immune systems are quite effective most of the time, but unhealthy practices can decrease the body’s ability to fight off illness. Here are different things which weakens the immunity power.




1. Smoking

via: huffingtonpost.ca
via: huffingtonpost.ca

Cigarettes contain more than 4,000 chemicals, all of which are affect the immune cells in the body by either impairing their proper function, or altering your immune cell count. So both smoking and second hand smoke can damage the immune system. Not only does smoking increase your chances of lung cancer, it also weakens your immune system.  This is why smokers are more susceptible to severe respiratory conditions like asthma, bronchitis and even pneumonia.

2. Alcohol

alcohols

Excessive alcohol consumption makes us more likely to contract a variety of infections, especially those that affect the lungs. Excessive alcohol consumption makes it more difficult to sleep, impairs mental processes and makes it more likely to contract liver disease Excessive drinking creates many health and immunity problems. Just like eating too much sugar, drinking too much alcohol can reduce the ability of white blood cells to kill germs. Alcohol can impair the ability of the immune cells to function properly, increasing your risk of infectious diseases and cancer.

3. Lack of exercise

weight training

Regular exercising can help boost your immune system by increasing the amount of white blood cells in your body to help fight off any forms of sickness. These cells appear to work more slowly in people who do not exercise than in those who do exercise. Your body also produces antibodies during exercise that react to antigens such as bacteria or viruses by hunting them down and destroying them. The stronger your body feels physically, the stronger your immune system is. In one small study, exercise was found to change immune cells into a more powerful disease-fighting form in cancer survivors who had just completed chemotherapy.

But be sure you don’t go overboard on the exercising. Too much exercise can cause a great deal of physical strain on your body, which can negatively affect your immune system. Getting enough rest for recovery is equally important to your immune system than adequate exercise.

4. Stress

via:psychologytoday
via:psychologytoday

Stress can have a major negative impact on your immune system by weakening them. High levels of stress can create a hormonal imbalance in your body, impairing immune system function that can affect the way your body recovers from a wound, and can even lead to more serious health conditions. When you are in stress, the adrenal glands release extra cortisol to help your body manage the stress. Elevated cortisol levels decrease the production of healthy prostaglandins, which support healthy immune function; while slowed prostaglandin production allows for inflammation, immune suppression, and more. During a period of elevated cortisol levels, immune system cells disappear from the blood. Natural Killer Cells are the part of the immune system most sensitive to increased cortisol levels.

Beside stress, anxiety and nerves are harmful when they reach elevated levels and reduce the body’s ability to defend and heal itself from diseases. So when you’re really tired, overworked, anxious or nervous you’re more likely to get sick. Stress wears on the immune system, so you should make every effort to be more relaxed.




5. Dehydration

water

Water is just an amazing fluid that helps the overall function of your body, including your immune system. Staying adequately hydrated can help your body eliminate toxins and waste materials, making your immune system able to better fight infection.   Dehydration can also affect your energy levels, as well as your ability to sleep, which can make you less likely to exercise, another trigger for a weakened immune system.

Help your immune system by drinking more water, and less soda and other sugar-filled beverages that can be harmful to your body.

6. Not enough sleep

via: theguardian
via: theguardian

Immune system relies on sleep to stay healthy. Ongoing sleep deficiency can change the way in which your immune system responds. During sleep, the immune system releases proteins called cytokines. Some cytokines help promote sleep, while others need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation or when you’re under stress. Infection-fighting antibodies and cells are also reduced during periods of reduced sleep. For a good night’s sleep, make sure your bedroom is dark, cool and get at least 7 hours a night. Time was the critical factor, over quality of sleep.

7. Over exposure to sun

sun

A little tanning out in the sun with some properly applied sunscreen isn’t bad every so often, but being exposed long enough to get sunburn is harmful to your health. There is relation between UV radiation and damage to the body’s immune system. Overexposure to sunlight can damage or even kill certain cells near the skin’s surface, called Langerhans cells. These cells are the body’s “first line of defense against infectious agents and chemical toxins that invade the skin

It decreases the proportion of white blood cells, called T cells, circulating in the bloodstream. White blood cells contain granulocytes and natural killer cells which carry out much of the work of the body’s immune system.




8. Bad Hygiene

Proper hygiene is important to building and maintaining a strong immune system. Proper hygiene prevents infection and illnesses by eliminating germs and bacteria. If you lack proper hygiene, you are only making it more difficult for your immune system because you are inviting more harmful organisms into your body. Good hygiene habits help to keep harmful organisms out of your body so that your immune system doesn’t become overwhelmed.

According to some research, a lack of exposure to bacteria early in life can increase a person’s vulnerability to autoimmune diseases.

Habits like brushing your teeth twice daily, washing your hands properly before eating and keeping your nails neat and tidy can go a long way keeping infections at bay.

9. Poor nutrition

The body needs the proper amount of vitamins, minerals, calories and protein for cells to grow and work properly. Without these, the immune system can grow weak and be less able to find and destroy germs. If you aren’t eating immunity-boosting foods, your immunity power will be lower. Because of your poor diet your immune system suffers.

Good nutrition should include lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low fat milks. Many foods commonly found in our daily diets lower the body’s defenses. You should consume foods rich in antioxidants to boost your immunity. A diet that is healthy for the immune system should avoid excessive consumption of refined sugars and highly processed foods containing preservatives, Soft drinks, Sweets, Canned foods, pesticides and chemical additives.

10. Isolation

via:singlematters
via:singlematters

The fewer human connections we have the more likely we are to come down sick. Lack of friends or family fills our brains with chemicals that cause anxiety as well as cutting short our lives overall. Having strong relationships and a good social network is good for you. People who feel connected to friends whether it’s a few close friends or a large group, have stronger immunity than those who feel alone, studies show.

Call or text with your friends in the evenings, have lunch with a co-worker; make plans for get-togethers at least twice a week doing something fun.




11. Obesity

via: medpagetoday
via: medpagetoday

Obesity can lead to a weakened immune system. It can affect the ability of white blood cells to multiply, produce antibodies, and prevent inflammation. Excess fat can lead to a depressed immune system. Obesity can affect the ability of white blood cells to multiply, produce antibodies and rush to the site of an infection. Obesity reduces the body’s ability to turn on elements of its immune systems needed for controlling influenza infection.

12. Medications

via: emricksesay.wix
via: emricksesay.wix

Some prescription and non-prescription drugs are major toxins that many put into their bodies. Excessive use of antibiotics and cold and fever fighting medications weakens your immune system.  People taking antibiotics had reduced levels of cytokines which is hormone messengers of the immune system. You are more likely to develop resistant bacteria or become sick in the future when your immune system is suppressed.




References:

www.symptomfind.com

www.holtorfmed.com

www.prevention.com

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