Weakening of the Immune System
So often we only focus on the things we can do to strengthen our immune system’s. Instead, let’s focus on the factors that we can avoid that cause weakening of the immune system in our day to day to lives.
Stress – if you’re subjected to prolonged episodes of intense stress, your immunity is impacted. Stress increases cortisol production in the brain. This impairs the way that the T-cells that fight infection work.
Loneliness – if you’re lonely, your immunity can be impaired. The increased anxiety that is caused by loneliness suppresses the immune system.
Living a sedentary lifestyle – if you sit for too long and avoid exercise, your body struggles to combat infections
Excessive exercise – while a sedentary life affects your immune system, so does extreme exercise. Over training syndrome is debilitating and makes your body more vulnerable to diseases.
Nicotine – exposure to nicotine, either through regular cigarettes or vaping can cause weakening of your immune system. This is due to the increased cortisol levels that nicotine creates paired with a reduction in the formation of B cell antibodies.
UV radiation – harmful ultraviolet rays can weaken your immune system, affecting the cells that trigger immune responses and lowering your defenses.
Diet – if you eat unhealthy foods like saturated fats, sugar and salt, you are at risk of obesity. This impacts your immunity by reducing the function and number of white blood cells required to fight infections.
Alcohol – excessive alcohol consumption reduces your immune response to any invading pathogens. Acetaldehyde, the major metabolite in alcohol, impairs the lungs’ ciliary function so they become more susceptible to viral and bacterial invasion. Alcohol also negatively affects the body’s process of breaking down and attacking viruses and bacteria increasing the risk of infection.
Grief – a tragic event may weaken your immune response by boosting the hormones and nerve chemicals that put you at a greater risk of viral infections. Bereavement has been linked with immune imbalances and increased cortisol response.