Do you often find yourself sick or catching a cold while everyone else is perfectly healthy? It must be due to your weak immune system.
The immune system plays a crucial role in stopping diseases and infections from taking over your system. It also defends your body against potentially harmful conditions caused by viral, bacterial, fungal, and parasitic infections, and restricts cancerous and tumor growths in your body.
However, every person has different levels of immunity, some with stronger immune system compared to the others. What's more, there are many low immune system causes that could make you weaker; hence prone to sickness. Keep reading to know more about it.
What Causes Low Immune System?
It seems common, but stress could take a major toll in your immune system. Stress, especially chronic stress, raises your cortisol levels, thereby reducing your body’s production of prostaglandin. This component is important because it supports immune function; hence the drop could weaken your immune system.
Too Much Alcohol
Alcohol is fine, but anything in excess could wreck your immune system. It impedes proper function of your immune cells, thereby making you more susceptible to infectious diseases.
When it comes to boosting your immune system, you need to make sure that your white blood cells are also healthy and intact. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, white blood cells’ ability to kill bacteria is hampered significantly for five hours every time you consume 100 grams of sugar. So sugar-rich food you consume stops white blood cells from doing its job of keeping you healthy and protected; thus weakening your immune system.
Since you are on a poor diet, it’s not surprising if obesity follows, which is also one of the low immune system causes. This is because obesity affects your white blood cells’ abilities to develop, produce antibodies, and prevent any form of inflammation.
Lack of Sleep
There is a reason why your grandmother tells you to get at least eight hours of sleep. During your sleep, your body, including your immune system, gets a chance to rebuild and produce T-cells or white blood cells that fight various diseases. When you are not getting enough sleep, you take away your body’s chance to rebuild itself and keep you stronger.
Medications are invented for a reason: to treat whatever illness you have. Unfortunately, there are certain drugs and excessive use of antibiotics could make your immune system weaker. This is because when you take medicines, whether prescription or non-prescription drugs, the levels of cytokines are reduced, which is also the hormone messenger of your immune system.
Lack of Exercise
Have you heard of the phrase, “fats are crying” every time someone exercises? It is a humorous way to look at exercise, but the truth is the sweat coming out of your body is one way of getting rid of the toxic wastes. As a result, there is better blood circulation, thereby promoting better circulation of white blood cells and antibodies in your body.
If you are unable to exercise regularly, then your body is unable to produce enough antibodies to keep you protected against various infections and diseases.
From the name itself, you know that some people are born with weaker immune system. Although rare, some people develop primary immunodeficiency conditions like:
IgA deficiency, which happens in one for every 333 people
SCID or severe combined immunodeficiency wherein T cells do not either develop or mature
Surprised? Apparently, poor hygiene makes you more susceptible to germs; hence weaker immune system. If not wash them away, these germs and bacteria tend to stay longer in your body; thus increasing the possibility of penetrating your system.
Smoking is and will always be dangerous to one’s health. Aside from increasing your risk of developing lung cancer, smoking is also one of the low immune system causes, making you are always on sick leave. Cigarettes contain thousands of chemicals that are toxic to your body. The more toxic substances you have inside, the weaker your immune system will be surely. Secondhand smoking can be worse. This may trigger asthma attacks or aggravate symptoms if you have allergic reactions.
Tips on How to Improve Your Immune System
Why not do anything when you can stop yourself from getting sick? There are many ways to boost your immune system. You can try the simple and effective tips listed below:
Get enough sleep. Seven to eight hours of sleep every night could do wonders to your immune system.
Chicken soup a day can save the day. Apart from being a comfort food, chicken soup has mild anti-inflammatory effect because of the veggies and chicken ingredients. It slows down the migration of white blood cells to your upper respiratory tract as well.
Exercise regularly. Whether it’s a 20-minute jog in the park or enrolling in Yoga class, working out flushes the bacteria out of your lungs and makes you fit and healthy.
Laughter is the best medicine. It lowers your stress level, one of the common low immune system causes, and helps you develop a positive attitude.
Say hello to Mr. Sun. The sunlight is an excellent source of vitamin D, which helps supercharge your immune system. 15 to 20 minutes of sunlight before 9 in the morning is fine.
Eat garlic. Known for its immune-boosting effects, eating garlic could prevent heart disease as well.
You'd better first figure out the reason behind poor immune system and then take responding actions to boost it, thus protecting yourself against various diseases.