Our immune health plays a vital role in our body’s ability to tackle everyday germs, viruses and bacteria that it encounters. From the moment we’re born, this unique system is constantly learning and developing the right techniques to protect us from the inside. Some people are born with immune deficiencies but, for others, it’s just as easy to develop them if we don’t have the proper education or are unable to care for our bodies in the way it requires. In this guide, we’ll delve into immune health so you can take back control today.
Your immune system is an amazingly complex system of proteins and cells that work together to fight away infection. It is a culmination of:
Collectively, these components work in unison to fight infection and develop defence mechanisms to fight away repeat offenders. Your white blood cells (produced in your bone marrow and thymus) actively search for infections, using lymphocytes to set off an attack, if they are discovered. Antibodies in your system mark germs, microbes and toxins so that the body knows which ones to attack. Our lymphatic system reacts to bacteria and manages the fluid levels in our bodies while the spleen filters out blood, removing microbes and destroying old red blood cells. Our immune system is fascinating and has a robust structure that allows us to fight off most common bacteria, viruses and infections.
However, an impaired immune system can mean that gateways are opened up for more serious illnesses and even long-term auto-immune disorders.
While some health conditions may be the reason behind poor immune health, our lifestyle choices also play a significant role. Some of the key causes of reduced immunity include:
As our body sleeps, it manages our hormone levels - specifically the stress hormone cortisol. This vital hormone activates our fight-and-flight response when danger is protected, allowing blood to rush to our muscles and preparing us to attack. However, extended levels of cortisol in the body have also been linked to suppressed immune function. Alongside this, our body uses the time it is asleep to produce cytokines which are a vital component of the immune system when you have an infection or inflammation. Without the right amount of sleep, we are unable to produce these to the level required and, therefore, miss out on the added protection.
As we mentioned above, excessive and extended stress due to the cortisol hormone can have a significant impact on our immune system. As part of the fight-and-flight response, our body tried to redirect all of its energy towards the parts needed to make a hasty escape - our muscles primarily. Therefore, we naturally suppress the ability to fight off antigens during this time which makes us more susceptible to infections and causes the number of lymphocytes to reduce too.
Our body’s need an abundance of nutrients and vitamins to help it to function at an optimal level. Vitamins such as C, A, B6 and B12 are all vital for the immune system, as are minerals including iron and zinc. You can either take these through supplements or introduce them into your diet naturally - either way, it’s important to consider the ways that our diet can affect the immune system.
So, what happens if we continue to ignore our immune health? This complex system doesn’t just help to fight off things like the common cold and the flu. It is there to prevent serious illness in the long run and has the capacity to reduce the impact of viral and bacterial infections in many years.
Low immunity will increase the risk of you developing infection and infection. Not only is this unpleasant and inconvenient, but the act in itself can further weaken your immune system. If your body is never able to rebuild itself back to full strength. These can be low-risk infections all the way up to conditions like:
Our immune system also plays a key role in reducing infections within our bodies that can prevent organs from working properly. With a suppressed or weak immunity, you can expect more inflammations and issues that can impact the movement of blood, the clearing of waste from the body or the inability to clear unwanted fluids.
A good immune system allows the body to produce red and white blood cells optimally, ensuring we have a solid level of protection at any given time. If we have issues with immunity, we can see conditions like low platelet count or even anemia.
It’s not uncommon to experience many digestive issues when we have low immunity, including a loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhoea or constipation on a regular basis.
And, perhaps at the top end of the scale are autoimmune disorders. These can include conditions like lupus (long-term joint pain, skin rashes and tiredness), rheumatoid arthritis or even type 1 diabetes.
Now that we have an understanding of the impact that poor immunity can have on our bodies, it’s time to take action. Many of the causes of poor immune health that we mentioned above are easily counteracted with lifestyle choices. Natural health remedies can help here. We recommend considering the following when looking to support your own immunity:
Natural health remedies can have a significant impact on your immune system, helping it to work at optimal levels and keeping you both healthy and strong. Here at Natural Health 4 Life, we have the experience and knowledge to help support you as you implement natural health methods into your life. From supplements for immune health, like Propolis and Hydrocotyle Asiatica through to changes in diet, we’re here to help you feel your best at all times. If you have any questions or would like to speak to a member of the team, please get in contact here today.
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