You have an army within your body fighting constantly to keep you safe. And you are weakening this army with your carelessness. Eventually, you will suffer the result of damaging your defenses.
This army is your immune system. It works constantly to keep you safe from illness.
The immune system creates and manages the white blood cells. And these white blood cells fight against viruses and bacteria, guarding you against infections. If you don’t keep this natural defense system strong, you will fall sick again and again.
Immunity is a strong system and can withstand a lot. However, you need to make sure it stays strong. While you are caught up in your modern lifestyle, you may not notice the damage you are doing to your immunity. But a strong immunity is essential for a healthy body. If you have a weak immune system, you are more vulnerable to infections. You will fall sick more frequently, and your illnesses might be more severe and damaging.
Modern lifestyle is unhealthy in many ways. It is more sedentary, more exposed to pollutants, and under a constant attack of stress, bad diet and sleeping habits. All this puts our immune system under strain. There are many factors that can weaken your immunity. Some of the biggest causes are given below.
Causes of weak immunity
Most people know a balanced diet is essential to maintain a healthy body. Yet, too few care to follow a healthy diet. Your diet is often too high in saturated fat, leading to unhealthy weight and obesity. Obesity has a direct effect on immunity. It reduces the number and efficiency of the white blood cells, weakening the immune system.
Poor diet also leads to a deficiency of vital nutrients. When your body does not get sufficient minerals and vitamins, it cannot function properly. A nutritious diet is essential for a strong immune system too. If you are not careful about what you eat, you are weakening your immunity.
2. Lack of sleep:
Do you often sacrifice your sleep to stay ahead of your workload? Well then, you are directly damaging your immune system.
When you sleep, your immune system releases cytokines. Cytokines are vital protein-messengers needed to fight against inflammation and various diseases. If you don’t sleep enough, you reduce the quantity of these cytokines in your body. Result? Weak immunity and increased risk of serious troubles like obesity, heart disease, cardiovascular problems, and diabetes.
So, if you want strong immunity, you need to take proper sleep. 7 to 8 hours of sleep per day is recommended for adults and up to 10 hours for children and teenagers.
Make a note that too much sleep is unhealthy too. If you spend half the day sleeping, that will not help your immunity either.
3. Stress can lower immunity:
Modern life is full of stress. And stress has a direct effect on the immune system too. A normal level of stress is healthy and boosts performance. But chronic stress exhausts the body and lowers its immunity, making you fall sick more often.
You can’t escape stress in today’s world. But try to ease it out. You need to relax and pace yourself to control your stress level and stay healthy.
4. Environmental pollution:
Environmental pollution is increasing day by day. And so are its negative effects on your health.
According to some studies, air pollution can even weaken your immunity. Certain pollutants in the air are depleting the ozone layer. This is increasing the harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. UV rays have long been linked to skin cancer. But they can also increase the risk of cataracts and weaken your immune system.
So, when you step out in the sun, guard yourself against the UV rays by wearing sunglasses and a good sunscreen.
5. Negative outlook:
Your thoughts don’t just affect your mood. They can affect your health too. Negative thoughts and feelings can attack your immunity, making you fall seek. Feelings of loneliness, anxiety, grief, and depression can weaken your immune system. A study published in the Journal of Neuroimmunology in 2014 shows that increased anxiety associated with loneliness causes increased suppression of the immune system.
When you feel sad, you stop taking care of yourself. You may eat an unhealthy diet, give up exercising, even ignore personal hygiene. All this affects your immune system.
6. Sedentary lifestyle can damage immunity:
Your work may require sitting and working on the computer for hours. Or you may like relaxing and enjoying movie marathons at home. But if you are not exercising enough, you are hurting yourself in more ways than one. An excessively sedentary lifestyle increases your risk of obesity, heart diseases, and weakened immunity. If you combine the lack of activity with bad habits like smoking, alcoholism, you are directly damaging your immunity.
Various Immune system disorders like autoimmune disorders, primary immune deficiency, or acquired immune deficiency also weaken out immunity. These are serious conditions that require proper medical care. But for most people, poor immunity is the result of just bad lifestyle and dietary choices.
Proper diet, sleep and exercise, and a positive outlook can go a long way in strengthening your immune system. Take a healthy diet. You can take food supplements (after consulting a doctor) if you are deficient in any vitamin or mineral. Take proper rest, manage your stress, adopt clean and healthy habits. Environmental pollution is increasing. Newer and more dangerous strains of viruses are emerging. Modern life is full of challenges. You need to stay strong to face the increasing stress on your body. You need a strong immunity.