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Immune System Alerts: What Low Immunity Looks Like

Your immune system is your protection from pathogens that can lead to illness and disease. It is comprised of a vast network of organs, glands and vessels that work together to keep you well and healthy. With a myriad of different types of white blood cells, it can neutralize, kill or remove substances like bacteria, pathogens and even cancer-causing carcinogens.

The immune system helps removes toxins that invade from the environment as well as waste created by your own metabolic processes. But sometimes things go wrong.

Many factors, both internal and external, may contribute to low immunity, which may also be referred to as an impaired or weak immune system. An impaired immune system may be a result of a number of factors such as medications, poor diet or medical treatments like chemotherapy.

Immune System Alerts

When your immune system is not working well you will get sick more often. But there are different types of immune problems including the following:

  • Low or weak immune system in which one gets sick more often than what is considered normal
  • Suppressed or compromised immunity due to a known reason, such as the use of steroids or chemotherapy drugs
  • Immune deficiency happens to those with a severely weakened immune system due heredity or genetics, or may be acquired during a severe illness like AIDS

Suppressed immunity or immune deficiency conditions can be pinpointed to a particular illness, heredity or external factors like medications. But weak or low immunity can arise from a number of factors and can often be remedied with healthy lifestyle changes.

What Low Immunity Looks Like

Experiencing low immunity means that one has a poor or sluggish immune response. This can put you at risk to develop illnesses like flus and colds more often than others. But worse, it can make you susceptible to other health issues like parasitic infections and even cancer. Some symptoms that may be indicative of low immunity include the following:

  1. Frequent colds and flus occur in those with low immunity. When you get sick, your body must make antibodies to fight the bugs that cause the illness. But a weak immune system either has difficulty making enough antibodies or making them as quickly as needed. This results in you getting sick more often or never quite recovering from the previous illness.
  2. Four or more ear infections in a one-year period is a sign that your body cannot fully fight the infection that is causing the problem. Ear infections are caused by both virus and bacteria and often stem from an upper respiratory invader that is behind the bacterial or viral infection.
  3. The need for two rounds of antibiotics in a one-year period is a sign the body is not able to fight a bacterial infection without help. This may be due to a number of factors that could include lifestyle choices like a poor diet or smoking.
  4. Gastrointestinal problems often occur in those with weakened immunity. Your immune system relies on the health of your gut, including your stomach, intestines and colon. If this environment is unhealthy or compromised, your immune system will have a difficult time functioning. This is just one reason why diet and other lifestyle choices have such a profound effect on your health.
  5. Poor response to treatments for infections could be a sign of low immunity. Some treatments assist the body to fight infection so the patient can get well sooner. But if your body is not responding, it could be that the immune system is too weak to help fight the infection.
  6. Chronic sinus infections may stem from airborne substances that create allergies. But if you feel that you are susceptible to more than your fair share of allergy problems you might be experiencing low immunity.
  7. Partial or extended recovery from illness means your body takes longer to heal than the average person. When the immune system is functioning properly, the body can often fight illness and recover within two weeks or less. Taking longer may mean your body is struggling to keep up as it takes longer to create the necessary antibodies to heal.
  8. Infections where they are not commonly found may indicate low immunity. For example, a yeast infection is more common to the genital area, but may be found in the mouth (known as thrush). This happens as the infection overwhelms the area where it originates, while the weakened immune system is too sluggish to contain it. The infection is then allowed to spread and inhabit other parts of the body.
  9. Constant fatigue is common with those who have lowered immunity. That’s because your body is attempting to divert energy into the recovery process, which is why rest is an important factor of healing. At the same time, if your lifestyle is overly filled with work, stress and too much physical activity with not enough time for rest, your immune system will suffer from exhaustion.
  10. Slow wound recovery is common for those who have a weakened immune system. When we think of the immune system, we often think of colds and flus. But, when you injure your skin with a burn, cut or other wound, your body relies on healthy immune cells to fight any infection. Fresh blood is sent to the wound to carry immune cells to the wound along with nutrient-rich blood for healing and regeneration. A sluggish immune system will have a difficult time with this process so the wound may take longer to heal.

Infections, colds, flus and other types of common illness may be contracted by anyone. However, one with a lowered immunity may experience these more frequently as the immune system does not respond as it should, allowing bacteria and virus to continue to multiply or thrive. Lowered immunity can leave you open to a host of other illnesses, too, that can compromise your health even more over time.

How to Deal with Lowered Immunity

There are some things you can do to help boost your immunity such as:

  • Get plenty of rest and sleep
  • Exercise daily
  • Consume a nutritious diet with less sugar and junk food
  • Use nutritional supplements during times of stress or during cold and flu season
  • Don’t smoke
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Use stress reduction techniques

Your immune system is your protection from disease and key for good health. Incorporating more healthy lifestyle choices will help keep your immune system strong, allowing you to enjoy better health well into your golden years.

Cindy Papp

Author

Body Cleanse and Detoxification Specialist with over 22 years experience; BSc in Holistic Nutrition, C.C.T. Colon Hydrotherapist, Cert. Holistic Health Practitioner, Spiritual Guide, Energy Work, Reiki, Author, Holistic Health Researcher

For more information on Cindy visit https://www.springclean-cleanse.com/ 

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How to Keep Your Immune System Healthy at Any Age

Our bodies function best when we do all we can to take care of ourselves. The heart, brain and even the hormonal system all rely on healthy habits like a wholesome diet and exercise to stay in top shape, and our immune system is no exception.

The immune system is responsible for a number of functions. It is your first defense against those things that look to weaken your body. It can ward off infection, neutralize or kill pathogens that can cause illness and even prevent various types of cancers. But, just like the rest of your body, it will not function well when undernourished or neglected.

Unfortunately, also like the rest of your bodily systems, the immune system is susceptible to the aging process as it undergoes a gradual deterioration called immune senescence.  The good news is that it is possible to keep your immune system healthy at any age. Lifestyle changes are factors that are within your control and can be adjusted to help ward off the aging process, allowing you to enjoy a healthy immune system well into your golden years.

9 Ways to Keep Your Immune System Healthy at Any Age

Stop Smoking

Smoking can weaken your entire body, including your immune system. Most people are aware that smoking creates inflammation of the mouth, throat and lung tissue and it is a source of cancer-causing carcinogens. But smoking can also suppress your body’s ability to fight other infections because immune defenses are being directed at fighting the effects of the smoke.

And to make the situation worse, smoking can affect your DNA. Scientists measure the health of your immune function based on the length of certain molecules called telomeres, which are located on the DNA strands. Bad habits, including smoking, shorten the telomeres and thus use up the “immunologic clock” sooner than the body’s natural lifespan. (1) The only way to combat this is to drop the habit.

Lose Weight

Abdominal fat triggers internal inflammation, which increases your risk of diabetes and heart disease. It is no secret that as we age, fat builds up around the mid-section as hormonal changes take place, but fat can also accumulate around the liver and even in bone marrow, further increasing the risk of inflammation.

Additional fat around the organs increases the risk of certain cancers as well as other diseases. Losing weight lessens this effect, thus taking the burden off of a stressed immune system. But it seems there are more benefits to weight loss than curbing inflammation.

Obesity is linked to dysfunction of natural killer cells, decreased production of white blood cells and overall altered or decreased immune function. (2) Scientists point out that those who are overweight generally have a sluggish immune system, so losing weight may aid in a better immune response.

Exercise

Exercise is known to have many health benefits, especially to ward off the signs of aging. But it can also enhance immunity. As you exercise, you bring in more oxygen, which is more easily transported throughout your body as circulation increases. This may help flush out pathogens including bacteria and virus as the extra oxygen supports your body’s ability to fight them at the same time. And as your body temperature rises during exercise, the ability to fight infection may also rise. Generally, 20 to 30 minutes of exercise four or five times each week is beneficial for most people.

Nutrition

Many experts agree that nutrition is the basis for all good health, and a diet based around whole and natural foods is the best way to support your system. Consuming plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables provides your body with a variety of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that can support the immune system, so it works better.

At the same time, a diet that is based around fruits and vegetables with complements of lean protein, whole grains and healthy fats is known to slow the aging process. And to take advantage of the nutritional benefits of a healthy diet, cut out foods that can harm or suppress your immune system. This includes processed foods that contain too much unhealthy fat, sugar and sodium as well as junk foods and soda.

Herbs and Nutritional Supplementation

In today’s busy lifestyle, it may be difficult to always eat healthy. In addition, aging and stress suppress immunity and when combined, you have a recipe for a declining immune system. Luckily, scientists today are learning more about the effects that plants have on human health.

Numerous studies have found that some plants may lead to better immune response and a more active defense system. (3) Certain herbs and plants that are found to have a positive impact on immunity include echinacea, garlic, elderberry and black cumin. Using nutritional supplementation of nutrients like vitamin C along with herbs like elderberry may be a powerful combination to support a healthy immune system at any age.

Improve Thymic Function

The thymus is a lymphatic organ that is part of your immune system. It plays a role in training certain cells to destroy pathogens and fight infections. Oddly, it is at its peak when we are young and begins to decline shortly after puberty. Around the age of 60, the thymus begins the process of involution as the immune system begins to deteriorate with the natural aging process.

Some experts believe the best way to protect the thymus is to avoid foods that suppress immunity. This includes unhealthy fats, sugars, genetically modified foods, alcohol and highly processed foods. Taking immune supporting herbs like elderberry and garlic are beneficial additions for extra support, and when used with a whole food diet can help all systems remain in top shape.

Conclusion

Taking care of your body before you get sick is easier than recovering from being sick. But if it’s too late, practices like using nutritional supplements may help shorten the time you are sick. It’s not too late to be proactive with healthy lifestyle choices, so you will enjoy an active and healthy immune system, no matter what age you are.

References:

1 Team, F. H. (2019, February 27). How to Keep Your Body’s Defenses Strong After Age 65. Retrieved February 7, 2020, from https://health.clevelandclinic.org/5-tips-make-immune-system-stronger-age/

2 Milner JJ, Beck MA. The impact of obesity on the immune response to infection. Proc Nutr Soc. 2012;71(2):298–306. doi:10.1017/S0029665112000158

3 Sultan MT, Butt MS, Qayyum MM, Suleria HA. Immunity: plants as effective mediators. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2014;54(10):1298–1308. doi:10.1080/10408398.2011.633249

Cindy Papp

Author

Body Cleanse and Detoxification Specialist with over 22 years experience; BSc in Holistic Nutrition, C.C.T. Colon Hydrotherapist, Cert. Holistic Health Practitioner, Spiritual Guide, Energy Work, Reiki, Author, Holistic Health Researcher

For more information on Cindy visit https://www.springclean-cleanse.com/