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Why is My Immune System So Weak?

Why is My Immune System So Weak?
Puritan's Pride
Writer and expert2 months ago
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Taking control of your health involves more than just keeping common cold and flu remedies to hand. It means making lifestyle choices that support your immune system year-round.

So, if you’ve been asking yourself ‘why is my immune system so weak?’, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll help you to start recognising the signs of a weakened immune system and making conscious choices to support it, you can ensure that your body is ready to fight illness to its best ability whenever it strikes.

Signs of a Weak Immune System

In many instances, a compromised immune system might go unnoticed and be brushed off as seasonal sickness or another common illness, but you might wonder why you’re more susceptible than those in your inner circle. There are a few indicators that your immune system may be compromised, including:

Regular Occurrence of Colds and Infections

For an average adult, experiencing two to three bouts of a cold or infection annually, with recovery within seven to ten days, is considered normal. However, individuals with a weakened immune system might face these issues more frequently and need a longer recovery period.

Digestive Issues

There is also a strong connection between a weak immune system and digestion, as it's thought that the gastrointestinal tract makes up just under 70% of the immune system, housing a huge number of immune cells. If this is compromised, poor digestion may further weaken immunity,

Slow Healing of Wounds

When the immune system is not functioning optimally, the body's ability to recover from inflammation, trauma, or surgery can be impaired, which could lead to slower wound healing and a heightened risk of infection. This is because the number of immune fighter cells sent to heal wounds, and their ability to take action, is often reduced.

Persistent Fatigue

While it's common to occasionally feel exhausted after a busy day, those with a weakened immune system may experience more frequent fatigue, even after getting sufficient rest. This is because a compromised immune system can have an impact on the nervous system.

Skin Conditions

As the body's first line of defence, the skin can also be affected by a weakened immune system. Often, this can manifest into common skin conditions such as rashes, inflammation, dryness or even infection.

What Causes a Weak Immune System?

The most common causes of a weakened immune system are certain lifestyle factors, such as:

Aiming to follow a healthy, balanced lifestyle, prioritising regular medium-intensity exercise, a nutritious diet and adequate rest may help to contribute towards the functioning of your immune system.

Note:Certain medications may also act as key contributors to a compromised immune system, so if this resonates with you, we recommend talking to a healthcare professional.

How to Strengthen your Immune System

Although it is not technically possible to ‘strengthen’ or ‘boost’ your immune system, there are a few steps you can take to help support it, including:

Stress Management

The role of stress management in maintaining immune health is crucial and not to be underestimated.

In response to stress, the body releases the hormone, cortisol. Although this can actually be beneficial in small quantities, promoting an anti-inflammatory response, consistently high levels could cause resistance, which may increase the risk of infections.

Physical Activity

Even for individuals with busy schedules, engaging in regular moderate-intensity exercise may contribute towards immune health.

Whatever your ability, exercise such as brisk walking, jogging, yoga, dancing or swimming are great ways to get your body moving – simply pick one that you enjoy and can easily fit into your daily routine.

Additionally, as there is a link between vitamin D and immune function, it may be beneficial to incorporate some outdoor exercise into your schedule, as exposure to sunlight may help with vitamin D synthesis.

Adequate Sleep

It’s no secret that sleep is incredibly important, with adults being advised to aim for a minimum of seven hours per night. However, studies have found that those who don’t quite hit that target may be more susceptible to illnesses such as the common cold.

There are a few reasons for this.

Firstly, during sleep, the immune cells release proteins called cytokines, which are crucial to combat infection or inflammation. However, sleep deprivation may reduce the number of cytokines produced by the body.

In addition to this, inadequate sleep has been linked to increased stress levels, which, as we covered earlier, can also contribute to a weakened immune system.

Nutrition

There is ongoing research into the role a nutritious diet plays in helping to maintain immune health There are some key nutrients that are thought to contribute towards immunity, including:

There are certain foods that are rich in some these vitamins, such as citrus fruits, leafy green vegetables, nuts and seeds, eggs and oily fish, so it’s advisable to incorporate these into your diet to help support your immune system.

In addition, maintaining a diet rich in micronutrients may also be beneficial to incorporate gut-friendly foods into your meal plan to support your digestive health, which plays a key role in immunity. Some of the best options include:

  • Fermented foods, such as kimchi, sauerkraut and yogurt
  • Fibre-rich foods, including wholegrains, legumes and fruits
  • Prebiotic foods, such as onions, garlic and asparagus

The key here is to maintain a good balance of foods, incorporating a diverse range of options into your diet to ensure you’re nourishing your body with everything it needs.

Immune Support Supplements

If you’re unable to get everything you need from your diet, it may be beneficial to incorporate some supplements into your routine. Some of our most popular immune support supplements include:

Remember, these supplements are not a substitute for a healthy diet and lifestyle. They should be used in conjunction with other immune-supportive habits such as getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, managing stress, and maintaining a regular exercise routine.

 

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Puritan's Pride
Writer and expert
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