General Practice 2022

7 razõs that can lower immunity (and that you should avoid)

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7 razõs that can lower immunity (and that you should avoid)
7 razõs that can lower immunity (and that you should avoid)

Excessive stress, poor diet and consumption of alcohol or cigarettes are some of the most common causes that can lead to a weakening of the immune system, making it more likely to get a disease from viruses, fungi or bacteria.

However, these are causes that can be avoided or eliminated, making the immunity stronger again. For this, small changes in lifestyle are necessary, which include exercising regularly, eating a more balanced diet and reducing the consumption of substances such as cigarettes or alcohol.

Check out the 7 most common reasons that can lower immunity and what to do in each case:

1. Excessive Stress

Excessive stress is closely related to the weakening of the immune system. This happens because, during very stressful situations, the hypothalamic-pituitary axis is activated in the brain, which stimulates the production of glucocorticoids, which are hormones capable of inhibiting the production of factors important for the proper functioning of the immune system, such as cytokines, regulatory factors or white blood cells.

This is why people who suffer from a lot of stress and who may experience depression are generally more susceptible to developing allergies and some autoimmune diseases.

What to do: Measures should be taken to try to reduce stress, practicing regular physical exercise or participating in relaxing activities, such as yoga or mindfulness, for example. In addition, sleeping well and for at least 7 hours can also help.In the most serious cases, where there are symptoms of depression, it may be necessary to go to therapy with a psychologist, for example. See more ways to manage stress.

2. Bad feeding

A poor diet can also lead to a weakening of the immune system, as the acidity of the stomach can change, helping the installation of infections and reducing the absorption of many of the vitamins and minerals from foods that play very important roles in strengthening of immunity.

For example, antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, copper or zinc are very important to neutralize the damage caused by free radicals in the body, in addition to participating in the formation of T cells, lymphocytes and other important components of the immune system. Already vitamins A and D, when in amounts below normal, are related to an increase in the number of infections and failures in the immune system.

As for B vitamins, if they are lacking in the body, they can lead to reduced antigenic response and reduced antibody and lymphocyte formation, which are essential for the immune system.

What to do: in order to avoid the insufficiency of important nutrients for the immune system, you should adopt a balanced diet, rich in vegetables and fruits, nuts, seeds, fish, meat and eggs. See which foods you should include in your diet to strengthen immunity.

3. Lack of hygiene

The lack of proper hygiene, especially of the hands, can make it easier for viruses, fungi and bacteria to come into contact with the mucous membranes of the face, that is, eyes, mouth and nose, facilitating the entry of microorganisms that can cause infections.

What to do: In order to avoid contamination and transmission of diseases, it is very important to maintain good hygiene, paying special attention to hand washing. Watch the following video and learn how to properly wash your hands:

4. Poor sleep quality

Insomnia and poor sleep quality also make the body more susceptible to infections. This is because poor nights sleep can lead to an increase in cortisol levels and a reduction in melatonin, causing the body to go into a process of chronic stress, greatly impairing the production of cells essential for the immune system.

Furthermore, sleep disorders such as insomnia or sleep apnea also lead to increased nervous system activity, which further compromises immunity.

What to do: It is very important to try to create a he althy sleep routine. For this, you should respect bedtime every day, create a relaxing environment in the bedroom and avoid stimulating activities, such as watching TV or playing on your cell phone. In addition, there are also herbal teas and herbal supplements that can help you relax and sleep better, such as valerian or passionflower.In cases of insomnia that lasts for several days or sleep apnea, a specialist in sleep disorders should be consulted.

Check out 10 infallible tips to sleep well and have a good night's sleep.

5. Obesity

Obesity and overweight are other very important factors for the functioning of the immune system, since excess fat cells affect the integrity of lymphoid tissues and the distribution of white blood cells, leaving the body in a state of of generalized and chronic inflammation, increasing the chances of developing infections and even chronic or metabolic diseases, such as diabetes and dyslipidemia.

What to do: to control obesity and excess weight, it is important to consult a nutritionist, who should prepare a diet plan adapted to the person's needs. In addition, regular physical exercise also contributes to weight loss, as well as improving immunity.Learn about all types of obesity and how to treat it.

6. Use of medication

The use of some medications, especially immunosuppressants and corticosteroids, can greatly contribute to weakening the immune system, as they act directly on immunity, decreasing the body's response.

Furthermore, other medications such as antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and nasal decongestants, although they do not have an immediate impact on the immune system, when used too long or too often can also end up reducing the body's natural defenses.

What to do: It is very important to avoid self-medication, and you should always use medication under the guidance of a doctor. In addition, it is recommended to inform the doctor of any symptoms that may arise during treatment with a medication, so that, in justifiable cases, the medication can be suspended or changed, reducing the impact on immunity.

7. Consumption of alcohol and cigarettes

Consumption of alcohol in excess is harmful to he alth, can cause liver damage, hypertension and heart problems, increasing the chances of catching infectious diseases such as lung infections.

Tobacco use, as well as prolonged exposure to smoke, increase the risk of developing respiratory diseases such as asthma and COPD, making the body more susceptible to infections. In addition, cigarette use can cause cellular damage and inflammation, altering the nasal flora, which is responsible for preventing viruses and bacteria from entering the body.

What to do: consumption of alcoholic beverages and cigarettes should be avoided or reduced.

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