Why Do I Need a Strong Immune System?
You need a strong immune system because your immune system is your first line of defense against bacteria, viruses, infections, disease, and other serious conditions.
When you have a strong immune system, you’re able to easily defend common flus and colds and recover more quickly from an infection, virus, or other serious disease.
It’s important to remember that your immune system does not work alone. It’s important you think about your whole health when you think about your immune system health. When your body is healthy and strong, your immune system is able to function at its full capacity.
This is why we want you to remember the basics of good health: a balanced diet, adequate sleep, daily exercise, and a low-stress lifestyle.
Keep reading to learn the facts on your immune system including what your immune system is, the signs of a weakened immune system, and how you can naturally strengthen your immune system.
What is the Immune System?
Your immune system’s job is to protect you from harm.
Your immune system is an active system in your body – constantly scanning for bacteria, viruses, toxins, parasites, and other pathogens that have entered your system or if any of your cells have mutated or become abnormal.
You have two types of immunity: innate and adaptive:
- Innate immunity: launches an immediate, non-specific attack against a threat in your body.
- Adaptive immunity: takes longer to act but produces a specific targeted response to the identified microbe.
Your innate immune system relies on key players to keep you healthy and strong:
- Cytokines: these are the chemical messengers that help your immune system cells communicate and coordinate an immune response.
- Natural killer (NK) cells: these white blood cells (WBC) recognize and destroy infected or abnormal cells by injecting granules into them, causing them to explode.
- Macrophages: these WBC engulf and ingest bacteria and cellular debris.
- Dendritic cells: these WBC work with your adaptive immune system to initiate an adaptive immune response.
Your adaptive immune system relies on your B and T cells to deliver a targeted response to recognized microbes. Both B cells (these mature in your bone marrow) and T cells (these mature in the thymus) are a type of WBC called lymphocytes.
These cells can recognize any invading bacteria, viruses, or other microbes and destroy them with an appropriate and specific response.
Along with the cell types that make up your innate and adaptive immune system responses, your skin and mucous membranes are also key parts of your immune system.
Consider your skin as your protective layer – preventing dangerous germs from entering your body. However, as soon as you have a cut, burn, or other break in your skin, it’s much easier for germs and bacteria to enter your body.
Germs also enter your body through any of the openings in your body, such as your mouth, ears, nose, throat, etc. To catch germs before they get too far, these openings are lined with a mucous membrane that acts quickly to destroy germs.
What are the Signs of a Weakened Immune System?
The signs of a weakened immune system can include:
- Constant fatigue. If you’re getting enough sleep and are eating well, but feel exhausted all the time, this can be sign that your immune system is weakened.
- Frequently ill. You seem to always have a cold, sore throat, cough, flu, or general physical malaise. If you have regular colds, flus, bladder infections, mouth ulcers, rash, or other constant problems – you should talk to your doctor.
- Allergies. Sometimes your immune system will become overly reactive, causing you to have signs that appear to be allergies. Think of watery eyes, dry eyes, a runny nose, a reaction to food, rashes, joint pain, or stomach problems – these can be signs that your immune system is weakened.
- Slow to heal. Cuts, bruises, and scabs that are slow to heal or lingering colds and flus can all be indicators that your immune system is weakened. These are all signs that your immune system isn’t able to do its job properly.
- Stomach and digestion problems. We know that our ability to digest food is highly connected to our immune system health. The health of your intestinal bacteria has a strong correlation to the health of your immune system. Frequent diarrhea, ulcers, gas, constipation, cramping, or bloating can all be signs that you have a weakened immune system.
As you can understand, it’s very easy to overlook these signs that indicate you have a weakened immune system. Many of us assume that colds and flus normally last longer than a week or that it’s not strange to have diarrhea or bloating.
And this is why so many people are trying to live full lives with a weakened immune system. We get used to feeling tired or dealing with watery eyes, overlooking the possibility that there is something bigger going on.
If you do experience any of these signs of a weakened immune system or other symptoms we haven’t listed here – it’s important you contact your healthcare specialist.
How Can I Naturally Strengthen My Immune System?
There are 10 key things you can do to naturally strengthen your immune system:
- Eat a balanced diet. Make sure you’re getting plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins, and carbohydrates.
- Exercise daily. Try to get a minimum of 30 minutes of daily exercise. This doesn’t need to be super strenuous. Go for a walk, bike ride, run, swim, lift weights, yoga – whatever you enjoy.
- Sleep. Your body restores and recovers when you’re sleeping. Do not cut corners with your sleep. Try to keep a regular sleep pattern.
- Wash your hands. This is simple – wash your hands to help prevent the spread of bacteria and germs.
- Take natural supplements. A natural supplement like AHCC is proven to strengthen your immune system. Learn about how AHCC has been clinically proven to help people fight infections and other serious disease.
- Keep up with your vaccines. Make sure you get the flu vaccine, HPV vaccine, shingles vaccine, and any other recommended vaccines.
- Maintain a healthy weight. When you’re at a healthy weight, there is less stress placed on your organs, joints, and immune system.
- Limit your alcohol intake.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking is very bad for you and regardless of your age or how long you’ve been smoking can have serious health consequences.
- Manage your stress. Some stress is good for you, but too much constant chronic stress can have a draining impact on your immune system. Pay attention to your signals that you’re overly stressed and learn how to limit this stress.
Remember, the entire AHCC Research team is here to answer your questions about your immune system health. We want each of you to reap the benefits of a healthy and strong immune system.