There are several reasons why doctors, nurses, and the larger healthcare community refer to the body as a complex system. And one of them has to do with the immune system. For those not as familiar with it, the immune system is a network of cells and proteins that work collectively to protect the body against infections and illnesses.
In other words, the stronger the immune system, the better off we are in terms of our overall health. Of course, the inverse is also true in that when the immune system fails to perform as it should, we are worse off when it comes to our overall health.
Multiple studies have found that a weak immune system can make individuals more susceptible to harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi, and environmental toxins. The same was also said to apply to autoimmune disorders.
Further, in a study published by Pfizer, a renowned multinational pharmaceutical company, researchers revealed that an unhealthy immune system increases the risk of developing certain cancers. Fortunately, there are many things that we can do to not only strengthen the immune system but also improve how it performs.
Understanding How the Immune System Works to Keep the Human Body Healthy
Without making things overly complicated, the immune system keeps the body healthy through immunity and resistance. To understand to what degree, it helps to know more about the different aspects of the system first. That stated, the immune system is a seven-part system that consists of the following:
White blood cells – The primary role of these cells is to search for and ultimately destroy microbes that invade the body. For context, microbes are bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi that are responsible for numerous infections and diseases that can significantly compromise one’s health.
Antibodies – Although white blood cells are primarily responsible for ridding the body of dangerous microbes, they need help from antibodies. In short, antibodies help white blood cells recognize antigens, a substance on the surface of microbes that have invaded the body. The objective of antibodies is to mark microbes with this substance, which identifies them as foreign invaders. In turn, this makes it easier for white blood cells to identify and destroy them.
Complement system – Essentially, the complement system is a collection of proteins that work in concert with antibodies and phagocytic cells to remove microbes and damaged, unhealthy cells from the body. They also play an invaluable role in promoting inflammation, which helps fight off infection and speeds up healing.
Lymphatic system – In short, the lymphatic system is a network of vessels that aid in removing microbes from the body. The lymphatic system also plays a role in remove pathogens from the body that could potentially lead to the development of certain diseases, including cancer.
Spleen – The spleen is yet another critical component of the immune system. Much like the lymphatic system, it also plays a role in removing microbes, disease-causing pathogens, and other contaminants from the body.
Bone marrow – This spongy material inside bones known as marrow is responsible for secreting the white blood cells that make up the immune system. However, it also secretes red blood cells, which contain a protein known as hemoglobin. This particular protein transports oxygen to the lungs and facilitates the removal of carbon dioxide from the body. And it does not end there as hemoglobin from red blood cells also improves cognitive function and protects against neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.
Thymus – The role of the thymus when it comes to the immune system is threefold in that it filters and monitors blood content in the body. And it also produces specific white blood cells known as T-lymphocytes as needed.
What Factors Impact Immunity and Resistance During Childhood?
As impressive as the immune system is when it comes to the human body, it does not perform as efficiently in children as in adults. And this is, much like other bodily systems, because it is not yet fully developed. According to a study published by the National Institutes of Health, the immune system in children fully matures when they are around 7 to 8 years old.
Before this time, they are more susceptible to illnesses, infections, and diseases. Some of the more common factors that impact a child’s immature immune system and compromises their health include the following:
- Consuming too much sugar
- A vitamin D deficiency
- A human growth hormone (HGH) deficiency
- A lack of exercise
What Factors Impact Immunity and Resistance During Adulthood?
While adults do have a fully developed immune system, certain factors can prevent it from functioning optimally. And they can increase their chances of developing illnesses, infections, and diseases. Many of these factors are identical to those that impact immunity during childhood, such as a vitamin D deficiency, human growth hormone deficiency, chronic stress, and leading a sedentary lifestyle.
Speaking of the Growth hormone deficiency it would be reasonable to add that the therapy is given only in clinically proven cases and as for the prices it appears not that expensive as it’s commonly considered. Here is most updated information about HGH injection cost across USA.
However, the following factors can also lead to a suppressed immune system in adults:
- HIV or AIDS
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Consuming a poor diet
- Allergic diseases
- Certain autoimmune disorders
How to Increase Resistance and Make the Immune System Stronger
Irrespective of age, there are many things that people can do to increase resistance and further strengthen their overall immune system. Some of the ones frequently recommended by physicians, nutritionists, and dieticians include the following:
Regular exercise – Along with improved cardiovascular health, exercising for a minimum of 30 minutes per day can go a long way toward strengthening the immune system. It might also be a good idea to exercise outside to get the added benefit of vitamin D exposure from the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
For reference, vitamin D, along with supporting strong bones and teeth, helps strengthen the immune system. Of course, you don’t want to overdo it by engaging in overly strenuous exercises or exercising for too long as either can cause the following in the way of side effects:
- Hormonal imbalances
- A weakened immune system
- Chronic fatigue
- Sore muscles
Staying hydrated –Drinking a minimum of eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day is yet another way to strengthen the immune system. Staying hydrated allows oxygen and nutrients to circulate throughout the body more efficiently and helps flush away bacteria and toxins that could cause infection and disease. Plus, there are virtually no side effects associated with drinking water. And the cost of bottled water is next to nothing. Current data shows that the average price of a 16.9-ounce bottle of water, for example, is a mere $0.70.
Vitamins and nutrients – Getting the recommended daily intake of vitamins and nutrients is an excellent way to strengthen the immune system. Like bottled water, they are generally safe to consume and are not too expensive. For example, fish oil and vitamin D3 supplements, both of which can benefit the immune system, are around $0.20 to $0.37, respectively, per serving.
Routine physical exams – The benefits of regular physical exams with a licensed physician are many. For example, the blood tests that many physicians order for their patients as part of a comprehensive physical exam can detect hormonal imbalances, such as low HGH levels, that weaken the immune system early. The same tests can also identify underlying health problems that keep the immune system from functioning as it should.
All in all, the immune system keeps the body healthy. But it can only do so when it is functioning optimally. That said, if you find that you’re developing infections or otherwise getting sick frequently, it could be indicative of a suppressed immune system. However, the only way to know with absolute certainty is to schedule an appointment with a licensed physician. Thanks to medzone.clinic for consulting.