A breakout of the COVID-19 pandemic situation has opened a Pandora’s box. We are now beginning to question the various aspects of our lifestyle and whether our immune system can handle it. Viruses and bacteria have always been around and they outnumber humans by millions. It is our immune levels that help us to combat and these bacteria and viruses, reducing the number of ailments that we encounter. Hence, the immunity level of an individual is a critical factor when it comes to the body’s capacity to combat diseases.
Depending on our age, lifestyle, and habits, the immunity levels vary from person to person. The best example of this being that often around you, whether it is in the same household or whether it is in the office or even for children in school for that matter, you will find one child or individual that is constantly sick and an another who rarely falls sick and is hale and hearty most of the times. So what is the difference between both of these individuals? The answer is the immune level of the person/individual.
With technology and the human progression that we have achieved, our lifestyles have continuously changed. We are now looking at a sedentary lifestyle with a high level of junk food consumption. Add to this the constant sky-high stress that our body is under all the times. Stress causes the release of hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, which is minuscule quantities that are beneficial to the body. However, being continuously stressed at all times can have negative effects on the body.
So how does one come to know that their immune system is weak?
There are numerous signs that the body gives for a weak immune system:
Common colds are not something that concerns us as adults. As per studies, an adult would check a common cold anything between one to three times every year. On the other hand, if you are finding yourself falling sick more often than that, it should raise a concern.
The basic life of a common cold in about a week, out of which the body requires about three to four days to develop or produce the antibodies against the common cold. When the immune system is weak, the body has a problem with the generation of antibodies in the system. Due to which you will find that you are falling sick too frequently or the duration of the common cold is longer than a week.
2. Feeling fatigued or tired at all times
Another common symptom or sign of a weak immune system is the feeling of constant fatigue or tiredness. Feeling tired after a long day or after your body has been engaged in some sort of physical activity is perfectly fine. It’s even fine to sleep tired when you haven’t slept well or missed out on the required beauty sleep hours. However, what tends to be concerning is that when you have got the required sleep and are still feeling tired all the time, despite having slept well. Most of the time, in such cases, no matter the number of mugs of tea or coffee you have chugged, you still land up feeling tired to an extent that it begins to interfere with your normal activities.
If this is the case, there is a concern that needs to be raised that something is amiss in the body. In such cases, the body is constantly fighting or struggling, representing that your immune system is also undergoing the same struggle. Here what the body does is – it begins to save or conserve energy for the immune system. If you can connect with this situation, then getting yourself checked by a doctor would be advisable.
3. Staying sick for longer periods
Again touching back on the first point where we spoke about frequent bouts of common cold or persistent colds, taking time to get well is another way when your body giving you signs that there is something not right.
4. Malfunctioning digestive system
Your immune system has a lot to do with your gut health. If you are facing gut issues like bloating, constipation, diarrhea frequently; then this could be an indication that your immune system is not working as it should be, and maybe its time to raise a red flag.
It is a known fact that 70 percent of an individual’s immune system is located as a part of the digestive tract; Hence if you feel that you are having ongoing issues with your digestive tract, you might want to consider visiting a doctor for the same.
5. Frequent infections or changes in weight
If you frequently find yourself taking antibiotics for maybe an ear infection or a throat infection or some other infections, this could be another reason to considering that there is something not right with the immune system. The rate of infections could include –
- More than having more than 4 ear infections in a year
- Having pneumonia more than once during a year
- Having multiple lapses of sinus infections during the year
- Anything that leads to having more than two episodes of antibiotics during a year.
The list of symptoms and signs that the body gives when the immune system is down is probably endless. The way our bodies have been designed is such that they are capable of healing and taking care of you; however, when something goes amiss, the body begins to raise flags. Hence it becomes extremely important to be mindful and to pay attention to our bodies. This current pandemic situation now demands that we take greater care of our immune systems. This will not only help us to battle COVID-19 but will also help us in the long run.
Some simple steps that we can take towards increasing our immune system are –
- Reduction in smoking and alcohol consumption
- Getting enough sleep
- Following a workout regime
- Maintaining a healthy lifestyle
- Minimizing stress
- Being more mindful
Your immune system is responsible for you being able to perform your roles and responsibilities; hence ensure that you take care of it.