The immune system is a network of proteins, cells, and organs that defend and protect the body against various germs, infections, and diseases. The immune system is the defense mechanism of an organism that is composed of biological processes and structures which function to protect the body against diseases, pathogens, and threats like parasites, bacteria, and viruses.
The essential components of this system are the lymph nodes that fight against infection, the spleen that contains WBCs which combat against diseases and infection, the bone marrow that helps to produce more white blood cells, lymphocytes that are primary defensive system against pathogens, thymus, and leukocytes.
However, due to some conditions such as obesity (1), smoking, excess alcohol intake, organ damage, chronic or repeated health complications, are a few of the many reasons for a weak immune system.
The weakened immune system loses its ability to protect or defend the body, which in turn can cause autoimmune disorders, inflammation in the body, blood disorders, digestive disorders, abnormal growth of babies or infants, skin complications, and various other diseases. It can make the body weak and easily prone to diseases or infections. Below listed is a much clear brief on how to detect a weak immune system and the best ways to strengthen it.
11 Alarming Things that can go Wrong Due to Weak Immune System
In general, the condition of the immune system is found by conducting blood and other tests. However, there are quite a few signs that can tell that your immune system has become weak. Below listed are a few such signs:
1. Frequent illness
A weakened immunity makes the body highly prone to colds, chills, and fever. You may suffer from frequent bouts of illness and colds if your immunity does not perform as powerfully as it is supposed to.
A healthy diet, proper nutrition, and removal of stress will boost immunity.
2. More prone to bruises and bleeding
The deficiency of zinc and vitamin C makes the skin weaker. Here, your skin becomes more prone to injuries and bleeding even from minor brushes with a rough surface.
Bruising is a sign that your body might be affected by internal bleeding and a weak immune system.
3. Triggers allergies
The immune system also communicates its weakness through allergies. Allergies aren’t minor itchy rashes that can be taken care of with ointments and pills. They are messages from the immune system conveying its declining powers.
4. Causes rheumatoid arthritis
The cells of the abnormal immune system may attack the joints of the body and cause severe pain and inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis is one such common condition associated with a weak immune system.
5. Manifests as HIV
HIV is one of the worst signs of weakened immunity.
6. Triggers autoimmune disorders
The messages coming from the immune responsive system do not stop at allergies but go on beyond allergic rashes to the manifestation of autoimmune diseases. An autoimmune disorder occurs when the immunity becomes so weak that it turns against the body and attacks the tissues and organs of the body.
7. Causes Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus is a condition in which the immune system attacks the connective tissues. This disease is a cardinal sign of the weakened immune system that manifests in the form of pain, shortness of breath, and palpitations.
8. Triggers Discoid Lupus Erythematosus
Discoid Lupus Erythematosus is a disease in which the weak immune system attacks the skin and causes painful rashes and blisters.
9. Manifests as Fibromyalgia
The immune system can sometimes become so weak that it launches an attack against the muscles of the body. It causes severe pain and inflammation of the muscles.
10. Trigger colitis
Colitis is a gastrointestinal disorder where the immune system attacks the intestines and causes pain and inflammation of the colon.
11. Decreases the WBC count
A dip in the number of white blood cells is one of the clearest signs of weak immunity. It is of utmost importance to maintain the WBC count at an optimum level to fight against infection and pathogens.
14 Tips to Boost Immune System and Protect Your Body
Most of the time, the air around us is filled with pollutants, dust, bacteria, and germs. Especially when out in traffic or toxic environments, it can become challenging to catch fresh air. The modern lifestyle habits can also impose physical and mental stress on our bodies. But, we do not fall ill every day. It is because our immune system is continuously working to protect the body against a myriad of microbes, infections, and diseases.
And then one day you may discover that you aren’t feeling so strong anymore. You are sneezing at the slightest irritation and coughing your lungs out. It is one of the clear indications that your immune system is not functioning correctly, and you need to repair it. There are a lot of tips that can help you get your immune system back on a healthy track. Check the below listed to find out how:
1. Get your daily dose of eight hours of sleep
Stress and anxiety are the primary causes of weakness in the immune system. They may increase the level of the cortisol hormone, which suppresses the prowess of the immune system. Sleeping soundly through the night helps in cutting down on mental stress and consequently bringing down the cortisol to a reasonable level.
2. Avoid smoking and alcohol
Excessive consumption of tobacco and alcohol hinders the functioning of your immune responses and impairs its processes and structures, thereby making it weak and vulnerable. Tobacco especially undermines the defense mechanism and makes the respiratory tract too prone to risks of pneumonia and bronchitis. Avoiding them can be your best option not only to regulate your immune system but also to reduce health complications in the body.
3. Adopt a balanced and healthy diet
The deficiency of nutrients in the daily diet is the primary cause of the weakening of immunity. Therefore the best way to combat the weakness of body immunity is by eating carbohydrates, fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals in the required quantities. Eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, seeds, nuts, and other healthy and nutritious foods to boost the resistance of the immune system.
4. Consider the probiotic foods
Researches and clinical trials say that the consumption of probiotic foods can enhance the immune system (2). Yogurt, cheese, and other fermented dairy products are some of the best probiotic foods that can boost immunity, improve the digestive system, and reduce respiratory infections.
5. Bask in the golden sun
Catching the rays of the sun is an ancient and effective remedy to alleviate the weak immune system. The exposure of the skin to the sun triggers the production of vitamin D, which is essential for the improvement of body immunity.
6. Try a little garlic
Garlic, a pungent herb is an excellent immune booster and a broad – spectrum antimicrobial fighter. The heat and acid nature of the garlic herb work wonders to repair the weakened immune responses.
7. Go for the mushrooms
Mushrooms are known to be one of the best immune system boosters (3) and also an essential source for bioactive compounds. Besides, they are also a good source for antibacterial compounds and cholesterol-lowering agents. Mushrooms of the maitake and shiitake variety are known to be potent immune-boosters.
8. Immune-supportive herbs
If the immune system has become too weak, making you susceptible to frequent bouts of infections and ailments, then you can consider the administration of immune-boosting herbs such as eleuthero herb, ginseng herb, and astragalus herb. These herbs also help in fighting various diseases and improving overall wellbeing.
9. Focus on whole foods
The most effective way of maintaining the health of the immune system is by eating a diet that is enriched with vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, phytonutrients, and enzymes. The nutrients work to regulate healthy amounts of WBCs and other essential cells of the immune system.
10. Exercise daily and sleep well
The key to potent immunity is regular exercise. Doing vigorous activity on a daily basis helps in the improvement of the skeletal, muscular, and cardiovascular systems. It enhances immunity by the elimination of toxins and harmful waste from the body.
11. Make provision for an additional dose of nutrients
A balanced diet is not enough to provide you with the requirements of nutrients. Increase the consumption of vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin B-complex, magnesium, and zinc. The best way to do so is to take nutrient supplements under the recommendation of your doctor.
12. Avoid the consumption of processed foods
Processed foods are deficient in nutrients, and their use wreaks damage upon your immunity. Junk food and processed foods contain a host of synthetic preservatives and additives that inhibit the functioning of the immune system and make the body vulnerable to diseases.
13. Cut down on the stress with yoga
Stress is the worst enemy of the immune system as it suppresses its healthy functioning. The key to the maintenance of a robust immunity is yoga and meditation. Yoga and meditation help in the alleviation of stress and anxiety by calming the mind and inducing peace and composure.
14. Avoid sugar in all forms
Sugar is highly toxic for immunity. The consumption of sugar inhibits phagocytosis, the process which involves the elimination of bacteria and viruses. The immune-inhibiting effects of sugar kicks in within about half an hour from its consumption. Avoid every kind of sugar (except natural sugar of fruits), especially white sugar, to maintain the health of the immune system.
Top 5 Daily Diet Inclusions for Boosting Immune System
Boosting a weak immune system is best done by the administration of the following home remedies, which are incredibly useful.
Turmeric possesses potent antioxidants that neutralize free radicals and protect the immune system against oxidative stress. It also contains curcumin, which helps in enhancing the resistance power of the cells against infection.
The consumption of plain and unsweetened yogurt is one of the best home remedies to repair the weak immune system. Yogurt possesses billions of healthy bacteria that work to enhance the body immunity. It also aids in the development of antibodies and white blood cells, which help in reducing the incidence and continuance of ailments.
Lemons are rich in vitamin C, which plays a significant role in the improvement of the immune system. Vitamin C helps in the enhancement of the functioning of the WBC, thus making the body respond quickly to pathogenic attacks and invasion. Lemons are also essential for the elimination of toxins from the system.
4. Green tea
Green tea is rich in antioxidants that help in protecting the immune system against oxidative stress by the destruction of toxic free radicals. You can drink 2 to 3 cups of green tea in a day (depending on your health, it is better to consult a doctor if you are undergoing treatment).
Ayurveda claims that ginger is an excellent home remedy for immunity. It helps in warming the body and aids in the disintegration and elimination of the accumulated toxins from the body. Drinking ginger tea on a daily basis helps to reduce the risk of infection and improve blood circulation.
A reliable and robust immune system is the backbone of a healthy and hearty life. If you notice any of the signs of a weaker immunity, then try the natural remedies and methods to restore the strength and resistance of your system. Consult a physician if the weakness becomes worse or triggers autoimmune diseases. Do keep the tips, tricks, remedies, and cures in mind to preserve the healthy functioning of the immune system and lead a happy and flourishing life.