Medically reviewed by Dr. Shunmukha Priya, Ph.D. in Food Science and Nutrition
A strong and healthy immune system is the first line of defence against flu, cough, cold and other seemingly common viruses and infections. Alas, many do not have the resistance and are easily prone to catching infections and flu.
Poor lifestyle, bad food choices and stress in general has and is still affecting the immunity of many. Immune deficiency has now become a common problem among young and old alike.
How do you know that you have an immune deficiency or a weak immune system? Well, there are some indications to determine this. It is prudent to consider these as a warning signals and you need to boost immunity to prevent diseases and infections.
1. Suffering from cold – always
Generally a healthy adult can experience two to three colds in a year and they will bounce back to health within 7-10 days.
After catching a cold, the immune system develops antibodies within three or four days to fight off the infection.
However, a person with immune deficiency catches a cold more often than a healthy person will take a longer period of time to recover. This is a sign that the body’s immune system is finding it difficult to ward off infections.
2. Slow wound healing
Slow healing of wounds is not only a sign of diabetes but also a poor immune function. When you get a cut, scrape or burn, your body kick starts its defence system.
The skin begins its damage control process and the body sends nutrient-dense blood to assist the wound in healing. This helps in the regeneration of the new skin.
Our immune cells also play a role in the healing process. A healthy immune system speeds up the skin regeneration process.
On the other hand, a sluggish and slow immune system will not support the healing and lets the wound linger for a long time.
3. High-stress levels
Remember children or adults falling sick right before an examination wedding, project delivery etc? This is because of the high level of stress during these periods.
Carrying high levels of stress over a period of time can weaken the immune system and cause immune deficiency. Stress reduces the production and efficiency of WBC (white blood cells) which play a vital role in fighting off infections.
That’s why stress can invite cold, flu and other infections since it directly affects your immune function. Therefore, it is very important to keep stress at bay.
4. Stomach problems
The beneficial microorganism and good bacteria in the digestive tract support the immune system by defending the gut from infections. This is why at Possible, we always insist on ensuring a healthy gut for overall wellness.
A poor immune system leads to low levels of good bacteria in the digestive tract. This makes you susceptible to infections, chronic inflammation and even autoimmune disorders too.
5. Constant fatigue
When you are suffering from immune deficiency, you are likely to feel tired all the time even though you are resting enough. Your immune system and energy levels are interrelated.
6. Catching infections frequently
Frequent infections are a sign of immune deficiency. Some of the signs include,
- Chronic sinusitis.
- Developing pneumonia twice in one year.
- The need for antibiotics (two courses) a year.
- Developing ear infections more than four times in a year.
- Suffering from bacterial sinusitis more than three times in a year.
Before resorting to pills, one can naturally try to boost their immunity. Making lifestyle changes is the key to stronger immunity.
Some of the ways to boost the immune system naturally are,
- Sound sleep
- Regular exercises
- Well balanced diet
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Quitting smoking and limiting alcohol consumption
- Washing hands frequently
- If required, taking vaccines as suggested by a doctor
- Minimizing stress
Read – Know How To Improve Immunity
It is important to note that the above remedies can be followed only by those who are suffering from common immune deficiency and otherwise healthy.
People who are suffering from certain immune disorders like – temporary acquired immune deficiencies, over/hyperactive immune system, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) and any other autoimmune diseases must seek medical help immediately to improve their condition.
A healthy immune system is a key to a sound body and immune deficiency can make your life difficult. Therefore, it is crucial to build a strong immunity to protect your body against infectious diseases and take precautions to keep diseases at bay. For improving immunity, follow the tips shared above and if necessary, one should not be hesitant to visit a health care professional.
Eat well, sleep well and be well – that’s the best we could do to our body.