Your immune system helps you stay optimally healthy by attacking invading microbes and various substances that can cause diseases and other problems. If your body’s defense mechanism is weakened or compromised, you are more vulnerable to having all sorts of health-related woes, ranging from the common cold to deadly cancer.
Having a healthy diet and regular exercise keeps your immune system in tip-top shape. It’s also a good idea to avoid the following things that are proven to weaken your immunity:
Being Stressed Chronically
Feeling stressed from time to time is perfectly normal for a human being like you. However, the chronic kind can be really bad for the immune system and overall health.
With your stress hormone cortisol constantly elevated, the levels of prostaglandin wanes. Prostaglandin regulates the blood pressure, prevents inflammation and supports the immune system. Make sure that you try to avoid as much stressors as you can, and engage in stress-busting activities like yoga, massages, music listening, painting and having some laughs.
Excessive Alcohol Intake
A serving a day of alcohol for women and a couple of servings of it daily for men is actually good for the general health, say the experts. Having more, however, can make you more susceptible to diseases.
Drinking too much alcohol can reduce the microbe-killing ability of your white blood cells, which are important components of your immunity. Initially, you will notice you’re experiencing more and more colds and coughs. Continue drinking excessive amounts of alcohol and you will eventually be at higher risk of infectious diseases and cancer.
Not Getting Enough Sleep Nightly
It is while you’re in dreamland when your immune system tries to rebuild itself and readies for another action-packed day. Deprive yourself of sleep nightly and your defense mechanism will certainly weaken.
Numerous studies have shown that individuals who don’t get to sleep for at least 7 hours nightly are more susceptible to getting sick after being exposed to bacteria and viruses. Experts say that sleep deprivation causes a reduction in the number of white blood cells, in particular the immune system’s T-cells which shield you from infections.
Carrying excess pounds puts you at higher risk of various health problems such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and osteoarthritis. Obesity also harms your immunity big time.
According to the experts, obesity in mice showed that the immune system had reduced ability to activate its various components to fight off invading microbes. To effectively shed off excess pounds, you should strive to eat healthy foods and exercise on a regular basis — two things that also help fortify your immune system.
Excessive Intake of Medications
So many prescription and OTC medications, ironically, can make you more susceptible to being sick in the long run. Taking them excessively may cause toxin accumulation and the weakening of the immune system.
Based on certain researches, some people who regularly took antibiotics ended up with reduced levels of cytokines — substances that signal the various cells of the immune system to spring into action. Excessive intake of antibiotics may also leave you developing bacteria that are highly resistant, thus putting you at higher risk of various infections.