With the coronavirus pandemic taking over the world, what do you need most to keep yourself safe? The answer you’re looking for is a strong and healthy immune system.
Your immune system works as a shield 24/7 and offers protection from the common flu to the deadly COVID-19 virus.
But how can you know if your immune system is strong enough? In this article, we discuss the signs of a weak immune system and ways to boost your immunity. Read on to learn more.
What is the Immune system?
Your immune system is a defense mechanism of your body that protects you from various kinds of bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms. Most young and healthy people have a decent immune system, but it may not always protect them from illness.
In case your immune system is weakened, you may face minor to major health issues. Your immune system guards you against any infection. If you have a weak immune system, you are more likely to get frequent allergies, rashes, etc.
White blood cells (also known as leukocytes) play a crucial role in building your immune system. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) concluded that white blood cells circulate in your body through blood vessels to keep you protected from
There are certain tell-tale signs that can indicate if you have a weak immune system. We’ve listed five of them below:
1. You’ve constantly got a cold
Having the old cold every now and then is normal, but if you’ve permanently got one, then your body could be telling you that your immune system’s really suffering.
Permanent colds are an indicator that your body isn’t equipped to fight off germs. Catching two to three colds during the winter, that linger for a while, is a sure sign your immune system isn’t quite right.
2. You develop regular ear infections
By this, we mean more than four infections a year. As with colds, if you’re constantly getting ear infections, then your body’s immune system isn’t quite firing on all cylinders. It could possibly mean you have an underlying health condition.
3. You’re always tired
Most people feel tired as a result of the busy, always-switched-on lives we now all lead, but if you’re feeling permanently drained, then your immune system may not be operating properly. This means you can get worn out quicker because your body’s having to work so hard to fit off germs, infections and bacteria.
4. You’re feeling really stressed
According to research, long-term stress is capable of weakening the immune system due to the fact it reduces our lymphocytes, the white blood cells that fight off infection. The lower your white blood cell levels, the more likely you are to catch a cold or other form of infection.
5. You’ve got digestive issues
If you experience diarrhoea for two to four weeks, then your immune system may not be functioning properly and may actually be harming the lining of your small intestine or digestive tract.
Constipation is also an alarm bell too. If your bowel movements are hard to pass or look like small pellets, your immune system may be forcing your intestine to slow down. This may also be being caused by bacteria, viruses and other health conditions too.
How to look after your immune system
If you look after your immune system, then hopefully it’ll be better able to look after you. Here are some ways you can look out for it:
Stress has been linked to causing immune system disruption, so where possible, try to reduce your stress levels.
You can do this by:
Getting a good night’s sleep
Not drinking too much alcohol or caffeine
Chatting through your worries with people you trust or writing them down
Relaxing by using mindfulness, meditation or breathing exercises
Doing more of what you love/enjoy doing most