Many people are very active in weakening their own immune system without even knowing it. Are you?
Your body works hard to keep illness away.
If your immune system is functioning well, it can recognize and defend you against most external pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi. Also, it can deal with internal challenges like faulty or cancer cells.
And while your immune system is quite powerful, it is also very delicate. There are many factors that can bring it out of balance.
Looking at the lifestyles most of us lead nowadays, we are constantly challenging our immune system without giving it much of a break.
Even though challenging the immune system regularly makes it stronger and keeps you healthy, you don’t want to overtax it.
The easiest way to have a healthier immune system is to know and … if possible … avoid those factors and habits that tend to weaken it in the long-term.
We will be updating this special Guide to a Stronger Immune System over the next weeks. As a part of that, we will be adding more background information for each of those factors so that you can get a better idea of what is going on in your body.
What Weakens The Immune System?
Below, is a list of scientifically proven factors that can weaken your body and health.
Stress is one of the most common ways people deplete their immune systems. It can include stress at work, stress at home, anger, and worry, especially when it goes on for a long period of time.
Not getting enough sleep.
Increased weight or obesity.
Consuming a lot of foods and drinks that are ultra-processed. These are high in sugar, carbohydrates, or refined fats.
Malnutrition, which includes not getting enough of the essential nutrients your body needs to function well.
Aging, specifically immunosenescence or the changes in the immune system associated with age, are related to a higher risk of infections and other diseases.
Exercising too much too often … or too little. There is a healthy balance that challenges your body but also gives it enough time to repair and strengthen.
Smoking makes you more vulnerable to diseases.
Frequently drinking alcohol, beyond just a nice glass of wine.
Not getting enough natural sunlight makes you not only deficient in vitamin D but also deprives you of the sun’s healthy waves.
Having poor oral hygiene and bad teeth.
Exposure to toxins including molds, pesticides in your food, toxic metals such as lead and mercury, preservatives and other food additives, and pollution. These toxins can come from your home or work environment.
Even loneliness has been connected to a depressed immune system.
You are not responsible for your genes, but if your family has a history of immune deficiency disorders, you might have inherited it.
In rare cases, other diseases like HIV or certain types of cancer may have weakened your immune system.
Medications can also deplete or suppress your immune system. Some of these include corticosteroids, cancer drugs, and immunosuppressants, which are used after organ transplants or to treat autoimmune diseases. Even a repeated or longer-term use of antibiotics can drain your body’s ability to fight diseases.