Your immune system, made up of organs, cells and tissues, is a biological powerhouse that never stops working for you. It protects you from toxins, pathogens (bacteria or viruses) and environmental substances that can harm your body, causing sickness and disease.
It’s vital to know how to keep yourself in top form to build up your immunity so that your immune system can do its job properly.
10 factors that hamper your immunity:
- Unhealthy diet
Not getting the nutrients your body needs can inhibit the function of immune cells and antibodies (blood proteins that attack toxins). Obesity also has a harmful effect on the white blood cells your body needs to fight infection.
- Not moving enough
Sitting too much and not exercising can dampen your immune response: reducing your body’s ability to fight infection, cause inflammation, put you at risk of developing chronic diseases, and may even lead to premature death.
- Smoking too much
Nicotine (including nicotine in e-cigarettes) increases cortisol levels in your blood and harms the blood cells responsible for protecting you against antigens (toxins). It damages the lungs which leaves you at further risk of infection.
- Excessive alcohol consumption
Drinking too much alcohol can interfere with your immunity against pathogens, putting you at higher risk of infection.
- Not getting enough sleep or rest
During sleep, your body is in a state of restoration where your immune system produces cytokines (molecules communicating with other cells that an immune response needs to occur). Not getting enough sleep obstructs the function of cytokines and your immune cells.
- Being overstressed
Stress over long periods produces high levels of cortisol in your body which interferes with the T-cells (your body’s defence against infection) from functioning properly. It can also cause inflammation and damage to your cells.
Feelings of intense grief can cause inflammation. In this state, your body produces nerve chemicals and hormones which can lead to viral infections such as the flu, and may even hamper the effectiveness of certain vaccines.
- Feeling alone
Loneliness may lead to anxiety which can slow down your immune response. This could cause damage to the body by free radicals. This damage can leave you at risk of developing diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer, etc.
- Exercising too much
Too much exercise puts too much stress on your body, leaving you open to infection.
- Sun exposure
Ultraviolet radiation from sun exposure can damage your skin cells, suppress the formation of T-cells which fights infection, distress other immune cells in your bloodstream and trigger cold sores.
How to boost your immunity
Sometimes your immune system needs a boost to help it along. You can start by maintaining a healthy lifestyle: looking after your body and mental well-being, going for regular check-ups and visiting your GP when sick.
If you’re a GetSavvi Health member, you’ll have access to our FeelBetterFast benefit where you can go for a consultation with a nurse or pharmacist at a network pharmacy clinic, with acute medication for minor ailments, health tests, and vaccinations.
FeelBetterFast also offers the following immune support medication:
- Immune Booster Effervescent (any), 10 tablets
- Vitamin C Effervescent (any), 10 tablets
- Multivitamins and Minerals, 30 tablets
- Vitamin C 250mg/500mg, 30 tablets
If you’re not a GetSavvi Health member and would like access to quality primary healthcare and value-added benefits at an affordable rate, click here for an obligations-free quote.
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