Boosting Immunity: Myths And Facts

By Brian Wallace Brian Wallace has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on June 5, 2020

COVID-19 has caused many people to become more serious about health concerns and are looking for ways to make sure that they and their families are safe. An important way your body keeps itself safe is with the immune system. The immune system is a network of cells and organs around your body that team up to defend your body against antigens. Antigens are biological organisms that cause disease and illness, such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi. When the immune system is functioning properly, it can help recognize antigens and help fend them off from doing any damage to the body.

COVID-19 brings new problems to the table because we haven’t encountered it ever before. Because no one has been exposed, no one is immune, regardless of how healthy they are. This doesn’t mean that there are those that aren’t especially at risk. The CDC has warned that anyone could contract the virus. But, those with lowered immune systems could be at risk of life-threatening complications.

Breaking Down The Basics

A normally functioning immune system is exposed to antigens all the time. They are everywhere – in public places, in our homes, and outdoors. The immune system creates a natural barrier to keep antigens from entering the body. But, if an antigen manages to enter the body, the body produces white blood cells to attack the invaders. The white blood cells try to attack the intruders before they can reproduce. A weakened immune system, however, may not be able to fend off an attack or may not have a strong enough barrier to repel antigens.

The people with weakened immune systems or those who are immunocompromised can result in greater susceptibility to infection. Some symptoms of those that are immunocompromised include recurrent infections, slow healing wounds, fever, chronic fatigue, and digestive issues. Being compromised is also surprisingly common. Anyone suffering from common disease and are taking several medications are at risk including those with, cancer, diabetes, and AIDS. Also, those who have recently undergone organ or stem cell replacement, those taking certain drugs including anticancer medications, and those undergoing radiation therapy are all at risk.

Immune System Health & Resources

Keeping your immune system functioning as best as it can to help fend off viruses is more important than ever. There are ways to make sure that your immune system stays healthy as can be. Staying up to date on vaccinations, even though there is no vaccine for COVID-19 yet, can help prevent disease rather than treat it once you have it. Keeping extra people out of hospitals is vital as hospitals are already overloaded. Exercise can help lower cortisol, the stress hormone, and help boost your immune system. But, too much exercise can lead to a weaker immune system. A 2020 study found that high-performance athletes were at an increased risk of infection. Too much sugar in the diet can also suppress the effectiveness of the immune system.

Learn more about how to keep your immune system in tip-top shape to combat COVID-19 here. For some easy reference sheets, take a look below.

By Brian Wallace Brian Wallace has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Brian Wallace is a Columnist at Grit Daily. He is an entrepreneur, writer, and podcast host. He is the Founder and President of NowSourcing and has been featured in Forbes, TIME, and The New York Times. Brian previously wrote for Mashable and currently writes for Hacker Noon, CMSWire, Business 2 Community, and more. His Next Action podcast features entrepreneurs trying to get to the next level. Brian also hosts #LinkedInLocal events all over the country, promoting the use of LinkedIn among professionals wanting to grow their careers.

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