SHA Magazine Health & Beauty

What weakens the immune system? Factors and preventive solutions

SHA Magazine
March 5, 2024

The immune system is our best soldier. Our ability to stay healthy and fend off viruses, bacteria and chronic diseases depends on its state. At times, this soldier is weakened by external circumstances or by our own issues that we do not handle well. These are the times when we seem to get sicker, are weaker and feel tired and low in energy.

Let us look at the worst enemies of our immune system. Information is power. This is the only way for you to learn how not to endanger the health of your best soldier.

Chronic stress. Continuing stressful situations have a significant impact on the immune system. Prolonged stress increases the levels of cortisol, a hormone that in its turn can suppress the function of certain immune cells and lower the body’s ability to fight infection.

Not having a healthy diet. The function of the immune system is affected adversely by a diet poor in essential nutrients. The lack of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc and iron, weakens immune response and increases the risk of disease.

Good care of the immune system requires monitoring one’s diet to ensure that it is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats. These elements provide the body with the nutrients needed to strengthen the immune system. Include in your diet foods rich in vitamins C, D, E and zinc, as well as antioxidants and probiotics.

Little or poor sleep. Sleep plays a crucial role in regulating the immune system. The lack of sleep or poor quality sleep weaken the function of immune cells, decrease the production of inflammatory cytokines and increase the risk of developing infections. It is not only a matter of how many hours you sleep, but also of the quality of that sleep, which should be deep and restful, without frequent awakenings at night. Observe how you wake up in the morning. If you are very tired or need a lot of coffee to function, it is probable that you are not sleeping well.

Passive and sedentary life. Regular physical activity is important for maintaining a healthy immune system. Exercise improves blood circulation, promotes lung function and reduces inflammation. All this strengthens immune response. Regular physical exercise is important. There is no better activator and strengthener of the immune system than movement.

Alcohol and tobacco. Excessive alcohol consumption and smoking increase the risk of infections and weaken the immune system. Too much alcohol can suppress the function of immune cells, and chemicals, such as nicotine and tar in tobacco smoke, can damage the respiratory system and compromise the body’s ability to fight respiratory infections.

Poor hygiene. Some basic hygienic measures should be implemented, including regular hand washing, covering one’s mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, avoiding close contact with sick people and keeping common living spaces clean.

Exposure to environmental toxins. Air pollutants, toxic chemical products, and heavy metals weaken the function of the immune system. These toxins can cause oxidative stress, inflammation, and cell damage.

Low hydration. Sufficient water should be drunk to maintain the immune system in optimal condition. Water helps transport nutrients to the cells and flush toxins from the body.

Finally, give time and attention to your social life. Undesired loneliness promotes depression and weakens the immune system. In contrast, positive social relationships with friends and family improve mental and emotional health and, in addition, strengthen the immune system.




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