The coronavirus has changed and changed again, getting more transmissible each time. Because of this current situation, many people are taking additional precautions to stay healthy.
Wearing a mask, practising social distancing and hand hygiene are key to preventing the spread of coronavirus. However, it is also important to have a strong immune system that can fight off any infections you could come across.
What exactly is “immune system” or “immunity” that we often talk about?
The immune system is a complex network of cells, tissues, and organs that provide resistance to infection and toxins. The main parts of the immune system include white blood cells, antibodies, the complement system, the lymphatic system, spleen, thymus, and bone marrow. Together they help the body fight against invaders, such as viruses, bacteria, and foreign bodies.
For instance, when your immune system recognises a virus, it attacks them. This is called an immune response. Part of this response is to make antibodies that work to destroy this virus. Later, your immune system remembers this virus. In case you encounter it again, your immune system will instantly send out the right antibodies to fight it off and that is why you don’t get sick. This protection against a certain disease is called immunity.
During this pandemic, a weak immunity is too big a risk to take. You don’t have to wait for a disease to hunt you down to understand how good or bad your immune system is doing. Our body sends signals pretty often, all you need to do is catch them before it is too late.
Here are 5 major signs and symptoms of weak immunity:
1. You always have a cold and cough.
It is perfectly normal for an adult to catch a cold each year. But according to the CDC, if you catch a cold and cough more than four times in a year then your immunity is on the weaker side.
2. You feel tired all the time.
If you are getting enough quality sleep and still suffering from exhaustion, then your immunity might be at stake! There is significant evidence indicating that chronic fatigue syndrome is a biological illness linked with immune dysfunction, often triggered by an infection.
3. Your wound heals really slow.
The immune system plays a central role in the skin wound healing. The healing process depends on healthy immune cells. If your immune system is at optimal, then new skin starts reappearing in a few days and the wound is healed. But if the healing process takes too long, then this may indicate that your immune system is sluggish and is not providing enough material to repair your skin.
4. You have frequent infections.
Apart from regular cold and cough, if you seem battle frequent infections, your immune system might be sending you signals that it is struggling. It is medically proven that if you are suffering from any criteria from the below following, you must concentrate on boosting your immune system.
- More than four ear infections in a year
- More than two pneumonias in a year
- Chronic sinusitis or more than three episodes of bacterial sinusitis in a year
- Needing more than two courses of antibiotics in a year
5. You have lots of tummy troubles.
Ate outside food and now you are feeling the heat? Then, your immunity is definitely weak. Our gut houses over 70% of the immune cells! So if you ate something and end up with tummy troubles, that means your tissues are not responding well. And if they are not responding well in the area where they can be found in majority, then the rest of your body also won’t be able to stay immune.
A huge proportion of immune system is in the gut. So, if you want to boost your immunity, look to the gut! The gut flora (microorganism living in the intestines) plays a huge role in regulating our overall immune balance. They protect the gut against infections by sending necessary signals to the immune system. When the gut flora is imbalanced, this irritates the gut and cause stomach-ache, diarrhoea or other gut problems. The communications between the gut flora and immune cells broke off and this in effect weakens the immune system.
Gut flora richness and diversity are two important factors in developing strong and stable immune system. With high richness and diversity, you have a much more capable and resilient community. To diversify your gut flora, feed them with diverse foods. However, we have largely distilled our food choices to a few options. Fret not! Broadcare got your gut covered. M101 contains over 160 genus of microbe strains that are readily available for your body! Click here to get yours now!
- Aaaai.org. 2021. Recurent Infections PIDD | AAAAI. [online] Available at: <https://www.aaaai.org/Tools-for-the-Public/Conditions-Library/Immuno-Deficiency/recurrent-infections-immunodeficiencies> [Accessed 26 June 2021].
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2021. Common Colds. [online] Available at: <https://www.cdc.gov/features/rhinoviruses/index.html> [Accessed 26 June 2021].
- Franziska Sotzny, Julià Blanco, Enrica Capelli, Jesús Castro-Marrero, Sophie Steiner, Modra Murovska, Carmen Scheibenbogen., 2018. Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – Evidence for an autoimmune disease, Autoimmunity Reviews. 17(6), pp.601-609.
- Larouche, J., Sheoran, S., Maruyama, K. and Martino, M., 2018. Immune Regulation of Skin Wound Healing: Mechanisms and Novel Therapeutic Targets. Advances in Wound Care, 7(7), pp.209-231.
- Zheng, D., Liwinski, T., & Elinav, E., 2020. Interaction between microbiota and immunity in health and disease. Cell Research, 30(6), pp.492–506.