The summer is upon us, but the warm weather does not mean your body is not susceptible to infection and illness, especially if your lifestyle is taking its toll. Below are some of the factors and conditions that may weaken your immune system. Some measures have been added that can assist you to get back on the healthy track.
1. Stress & Lower Immunity
Being stressed can actually undermine your immune system. In a stressful situation your body releases a lot of different hormones. These are cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline which can lead to symptoms commonly associated with stress, such as sweating, increased blood pressure and heart rate. As a result, it will make you more susceptible to infections.
If you find yourself frequently stressed, you need to address what is causing it. Can you find a way to manage the situations which are making you stressed out? Are you able to deal with stress by yourself? Get some support. Talk about your worries with someone you trust and seek professional advice if necessary.
2. Depression & Poor Health
Being depressed can also make you more prone to illness. Research into depression has found that those affected are more likely to have a compromised immune system, which in turn, increases the risk and severity of infections.
Depression is a serious medical condition in its own right, so if you suspect you may be suffering from it, you should see your doctor at once.
They will be able to advise you on the most effective treatment for depression, which can range from talking therapy to medication.
3. Lack of Sleep & Weaker Immune System
If you are short-changing yourself on sleep, you may well be undermining your immune system. Getting enough sleep – 7 to 8 hours per night – is key to good health. Research has found that people who get enough sleep get fewer colds than those who don’t.
For starters, if you’re not making the time to get a proper night’s sleep, try to find it. Perhaps cut out some screen time before bed. If you do make the time, but find yourself unable to sleep a full night, address what’s disrupting your sleep.
Is it how you sleep in bed that’s causing it? Make sure your bed is comfortable; your room is well shielded from the morning sun; it is well ventilated and at a good temperature; and get some earplugs if your partner snores.
4. Level of Exercise & Weakened Immune System
While moderate exercise is good for you, “extreme” exercise has actually been found to lower your body’s immunity. There were studies on some people who exercised for more than 90 minutes at high intensity that they were more prone to illness for up to three days after exercising.
The lowered immunity appears to be caused by the release of certain hormones during intense exercise. You can argue that this depends on the level of health for a certain period of time prior to prolonged exercise.
In the event you’re training for a marathon, just be aware of the risk. Whatever sports you want to try, do make sure you build up your stamina slowly but surely. If there are no concerns from yourself or your doctor, well done for keeping fit.
5. Wrong Nutrition & Poor Body Defence
Eating highly processed foods full of saturated and hydrogenated fats can make you overweight, and in turn this can have an impact on your immune system.
Opt instead for fresh vegetables, fruit and whole grains, as well as beans, lentils and fish.
Some explores different ways of losing weight. It is essential to avoid fad diets, especially if they suggest avoiding entire food groups as you may be cutting key nutrients from your diet. Speak to your doctor or a registered dietician first.
6. Vices & Damaged Immune System
Drinking alcohol and smoking are bad for your immune system in many ways.So cut down alcohol consumption to normal limits and stop smoking them.
Weaker Immunity and You
A weaker immunity will put you at higher risk of falling ill. We can avoid this by having a happy disposition in life. Start measures to avoid stress or reduce stress. Socialise and have a good support group network. Say no to bad habits.
Improve your sleeping pattern by avoiding distractions to sleep. Good exercise may promote sleep. Conversely, lack or absence of exercise may predispose you to a lot of medical conditions associated with living a sedentary life.
The key here is keeping it well-balanced lifestyle. There are plenty of health remedies that you may be able to do at home. However, it is always important to discuss your plans and concerns with your GP and always seek advice if in doubt.