For many of us, it’s the first time we’ve observed such widespread concern over disease and the suggested measures to fight it- and the fact that school is back for students across the country isn’t helping matters. While we can take preventive measures to avoid getting sick once it is in our body, it’s the immune system that’s left to fight for our health. When a war breaks out, our internal army needs to be equipped with all the strength it requires.
What Exactly Is the Immune System?
The immune system is a complex system of cells and compounds that protect the body from harmful pathogens. The pathogens are microorganisms that can cause disease. There are five main types:
In the event that one of the foreign species is introduced into our body, an immune reaction is typically triggered. But, the timing and effects of this initial reaction depend on a variety of variables.
Immunity is the measure of how our bodies are able to resist a particular pathogen. There are three main kinds of immunity.
Innate, also known as natural immunity, is a kind of general immunity to illness that an individual is born with. Even if there has been no prior exposure to harmful invaders, the body does quite well in performing a successful attack.
Active immunity, also known as adaptive immunity, is the process of defending ourselves throughout our lives. If we are exposed to certain pathogens, the immune cells have ways of storing them in their memory and allowing faster response every time a similar pathogen is confronted. The adaptive immunity we develop is developed when we are exposed to diseases or seek vaccination via vaccination.
Passive immunity is a condition that occurs by inheritance of protection from outside sources. The most common examples are the temporary antibodies that babies develop by consuming breast milk, as well as the transfer of specific antibodies from one person to another via gamma globulin injections.
Antibodies to the Rescue
If pathogens are introduced into the body, specific immune cells like the T-cell and B-cell declare the substance to be harmful, leading to the creation of an enormous amount of antibodies specialized to be made specifically to bind the pathogens that match.
Antibodies are proteins that essentially function as locksmiths, generating different keys from sugar and protein that bind to and neutralize harmful substances that are introduced into our bodies. Apart from the function of removing foreign substances, it also recruits various defense cells, such as an adolescent road flare attached to the invader, resulting in a heightened attack against the pathogen.
When an infection is effectively fought, these antibodies stay in our blood for a long period. Based on the pathogen they are targeting, some are able to last for the rest of their lives, while others are only present for a few months. When antibodies are present, your immune system will be in a state of readiness and ready to fight another attack.
Signs of Immune System Weakness
It’s not necessary to have an underlying medical condition that is serious to compromise our internal defenses. Research has shown that more than 3 percent of U.S. adults have a weak immune system. While children have the most robust immune system, adults also may be affected by weakened immunity when the health of their family isn’t considered a top priority. Here are some common signs of weakened immune systems:
Stress levels are high.
Incessant, constant fatigue or sickness.
Reactions to common illnesses that are strong.
Factors that may suppress our immune system are:
Environmental factors like airborne contaminants.
Conditions underpinning the conditions.
Sleeping habits that are not optimal.
Strengthening Our Defenses
In terms of the power of our anti-pathogen forces, we hold some influence. Here are a few simple methods to boost your immune system and give it the greatest chance of success against unwanted visitors:
To create antibodies and immune cells, our bodies require substances. These comprise proteins and important nutrients that come from the foods that we consume. If we make a point of eating healthy, balanced meals in a reasonable amount and in a fair amount, our bodies can lend us greater health.
It has been established that exercise can boost levels of white blood cell production, an essential immune system response. Exercise also aids in reducing stress and helps to avoid excessive weight gain and a negative effect on our body’s defenses. A regular, consistent exercise routine can benefit the immune system.
Sleep deprivation can seriously strain the body. It is essential to get enough rest so that our cells are able to recharge for the following day. Insufficient sleep can have negative psychological, mental as well as physical. According to the CDC suggests that you follow these guidelines to sleep:
Newborns 14-17 hours.
Children 12-15 hours.
Toddlers age 11-14 years.
Preschoolers: 10-13 hours.
Children of school age 9-11 hours.
Teenagers 8-10 hours.
Adults • 7-9 hours.
Adults who are older (65 plus) Age: 7-8 hours.
Supplements such as a daily multivitamin are an effective way to get important nutrients your body requires. While these supplements may benefit your immune system as well as your overall health, it’s recommended to consult your doctor prior to including them in your routine.
Immunity is our most trusted partner in combating illness and ensuring general health. We can aid it in achieving its goals by leading an enlightened lifestyle by eating healthy food, exercising regularly, and getting enough rest. In Total Health and Fitness, we develop specific fitness and nutrition programs that help people, both old and young, to establish healthy, sustainable ways to live a more peaceful mental and body. The key to health lies easily accessible.