Having a weakened or poor immune system is not entirely uncommon in today's society. It is very often due to external or internal influences. Reasons for the weakened or bad immune system include the environment, diet, medication, stress, depression, mental illness. The list of reasons can certainly be made very long.
I myself have struggled with my recurring throat infections and am pretty sure it probably has something to do with my immune system and stress. Or, they started when I had a period of a lot of inner stress and then the immune system has not really come back again.
So to learn more about the immune system and how it works, what you can do to improve your immune system and everything around it. So I thought I would make a big post about the immune system. The subject is also highly topical now with the immune system corona and how the corona virus can affect the immune system.
I hope you will benefit as much from this as I do! That you can boost your immune system and feel better in these corona times! It is not just corona that you want to beware of, because even common cold symptoms mean that you end up in quarantine mode if you do not test for coronation.
What is the Immune System?
Table of contents of "Immune system - Do you have a bad or weakened immune system?":
- What is meant by immune system?
- How does the immune system work?
- When and how do you get your immune system?
- How to get a better immune system?
- The food to strengthen and boost the immune system!
The immune system is the body's internal defense against viruses, bacteria and other substances that do not belong to the body. The bacteria and viruses that manage to get through the body's external defenses will meet our immune system.
Our immune system repairs damage that occurs and takes care of residual products that the body does not need. The immune system also cleans up the cells and repairs what needs to be repaired.
The immune system consists of, among other things:
- White blood cells, which are the body's defense cells.
- The blood, which transports the white blood cells.
- Lymph, a fluid in the lymphatic vessels that carries white blood cells.
- The lymph nodes, are part of the lymphatic system and contain white blood cells.
- The spleen, an organ that contains many white blood cells.
- Thymus, where white blood cells of the type T lymphocytes mature.
- Other cells, such as epithelial cells in intestines, lungs and tissues. These respond to viral infections and call for help and signal danger.
The immune system protects the body by attacking foreign substances in different ways and thus creates immune reactions. Some examples of immune reactions include inflammation, antibodies, overeating cells & killer cells.
What happens to inflammation in the body?
Inflammation occurs when the body is damaged by something and the cells in the damaged tissue release various chemical substances. This results in fluid flowing through the blood vessels and into the damaged tissue. The white blood cells gather in defense of the body and against what is attacking or to repair damage that has occurred.
When more blood flows to an injured area, it feels swollen, hot and can hurt. With a severe inflammation, you can also have a fever.
It is precisely the fever that is most troublesome when I get my throat infections. The default is that I get 39.4 degrees when the fever is at its highest. Then you are not cocky;) I have become a bit of a fever expert. Two diversions and an ipren (although different times of the day so that they never go out completely) as well as sleeping in a terry bathrobe and heating mattress. That's my routine!
Wart formation in an infected wound is part of the defense and is part of healing. These include dead white blood cells, bacteria and dead degraded tissue.
Here you see a feverish Helena trying to keep her spirits up! A little worn :) I have had these problems for 2.5 years now and have had around 30 relapses during that time.
I have received a proper examination both at the ear-nose-throat clinic and at the infection clinic. Type a thousand samples and also x-rayed the lungs. So I can relax and know that it's not dangerous at all, I just have to make it stop.
What are antibodies and how are antibodies formed?
Antibodies are a protein used by the immune system to fight foreign substances. The antibodies are formed by white blood cells of the type B lymphocytes.
Antibodies can, among other things, make the body immune to some diseases as part of our immune system.
The first time you are exposed to a virus, it takes time for the body to make enough antibodies and causes you to be more affected by the virus. If after a certain time you are exposed to the same virus again, it goes faster, and is due to the fact that some of the cells from the previous attack have been converted into memory cells.
Memory cells remember the virus from the last time and can therefore quickly form new antibodies against the virus.
When you become immune to a disease, it is these memory cells we have to thank! :)
Immunity can be obtained partly by becoming ill or by vaccinating oneself. During vaccination, you are exposed to the same virus but so weakened that the body easily has time to take care of it even if it is new. Thus, memory cells are also formed for the same disease and if you become infected in the future, the body knows how to handle it.
What are killer cells and what do they do?
Killer cells or T cells are as the name indicates killer! Among other things, they can kill cancer cells and other cells that have been infected by viruses, provided that the killer cell recognizes the virus. They kill the cells by injecting poison. Sounds nasty but it's part of how the body protects itself! :)
What are binge eating cells and what do they do?
Bulk-eating cells are similar to their companion killer cells and instead eat cells and other microorganisms. In this way, the binge-eating cell destroys what it eats.
We already have an immune system when we are born, however, you must also see the immune system as a newborn and it must learn to "stand, walk and talk" just like the child. :)
For the first time, babies have antibodies that were transmitted from the mother during the fetal life but also through the breast milk. Also found an article about breastfeeding and the positive effects of breast milk.
When you are small, you learn your immune system to function properly by exposing yourself to various viruses and bacteria. Maybe that's also why children often have to put things in their mouths?
What I myself have reflected on over the years is that children who grew up in more "clean homes" have more allergies and sensitivities. Now I mean meticulously cleaned homes and a ban on "getting dirty". : P
How do you really strengthen your immune system? The immune system can be strengthened against e.g. specific diseases through vaccinations and through a healthy lifestyle.
Tips to strengthen your immune system:
- Eat healthy food - Vitamins and minerals are important for the immune system, so it is best to eat varied and healthy. Lots of fruits and vegetables work wonders!
- Exercise and movement - Moving is important for the body, it reduces inflammation, among other things! You should try strength training and or cardio training once a week. Everyday movement is also important, especially if you have a sedentary job. You should think of the little things like taking the stairs instead of the elevator and walking instead of the electric scooter.
- Sleep and recovery - This is very important and the body needs rest to recover from both mental and physical activity.
I do all these things except that I do not have a full pot of "training and movement". Most of the time I work in front of the computer and in the autumn / winter there are not many steps .. And the training is difficult to get started with when I get sick all the time. You should not train with fever!
However, I am good at getting healthy food in me! Miska has the ability to cook food that is healthy and delicious at the same time! Even for me who is very picky haha. Like a child :)
Eat less of food that is "broken down" and more of food that comes directly from nature! In this way, you get in you lots of good bacteria, vitamins, minerals and other good substances that the body needs to function properly. But also for the immune system to do its job as intended!
Here are some simple tips on foods that strengthen your immune system:
- Fruit vegetables - Can not overeat, the more the better! However, in as much variety as you can, to just eat e.g. Bananas will probably get you constipated. :)
- Berries & nuts - A fantastic source of vitamins and minerals and is enough in small amounts to boost your immune system!
- Dark Chocolate - The high content of cocoa found in dark chocolate produces large amounts of phenols and boosts the immune system. Of course, it is also possible to drink a cup of homemade chocolate with dark cake powder. I usually take 1-2 small pieces of 70+ dark chocolate a day, but the darker the better. :)
- Fat fish - Boosts your Vitamin D intake which activates the T cells and is a good source of omega 3 fats. Fatty fish include mackerel, salmon, tuna and char.
- Yogurt & fil - More and more research shows that the intestinal flora is an important part of a functioning body and above all a functioning immune system. So in order to get good bacteria, you can in addition to the other steps also eat some yogurt & filet. This of course applies to natural unsweetened yoghurt & filet. :)
- Spices - Many spices are super good for the immune system, I do not go deeper into all and what they do here. But some examples of good spices for the immune system are garlic, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, garlic, chili, basil, black pepper and mustard. So make sure to season the food properly and add most of the spices at the end of cooking so that good substances are not destroyed by heating. :)
I also drink an effervescent tablet with vitamin C and Zinc every day (becomes a nice dark pink drink!) While I try to find relaxation and a little extra luxury in everyday life. Usually as simple as that I do not "just take a cup of tea" but I think actively "now I'll snuggle up to it with a hot cup of tea”And then I put on slippers and a blanket as well. Stress is not only "urgent" but also internal stress, so it is very important with relaxation and to live the life you want to live :)
Also check out one of my other posts on health:
- Probiotics, Prebiotics & Lactic Acid Bacteria
- Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) - Dietary supplements, serum & food
- Vitamin D - What is it good for & What happens in case of deficiency?
Hope my post on the immune system and how the immune system works was helpful! I make these posts to get rid of my recurring throat infections, I am so tired of being sick every month and need to find a solution!
Probably something that has been out of balance for a long time and I have to blame it for when the body's warning signals hit a little slippery. I was also very bad at listening to the body in the beginning, I stuffed myself with antipyretic tablets until I forgot that I was sick and then I loaded wood until the lungs burned .. But now I take my body seriously! I have to balance it up a bit now and show the body that there is no danger :)
Feel free to write a comment if you yourself are struggling with something and if it is something that has worked well for you or if you have any questions or concerns!
If you, like me, have also been very ill, I can also give tips on my previous post about putting on healthy make-up! Click here to get to that post.