How do people get a weakened immune system
Weakened Immune System: Causes, Symptoms & Tips
Our immune system is always at work and has to perform at its best. However, if the loads are too great, the all-round protection can show weaknesses. Read more here about the possible causes and factors for a weakened immune system and how a weak immune system can express itself so that you know what you can do to strengthen the immune system.
Table of Contents:
1. Weakened immune system due to lack of sleep
2. Weakened immune system due to constant stress
3. Weakened immune system due to nutritional deficiencies
4. Weakened immune system due to unfavorable fats
5. Weakened immune system due to negative emotions
6. Weakened immune system in old age
7. Weakened immune system from cold
8. Weakened immune system from nicotine and alcohol
9. Weakened immune system due to virus-friendly indoor climate
10. Weakened immune system due to excessive hygiene
11. Weakened immune system from environmental pollutants
12. Weakened immune systems in children
12.1 When the defense weakens
12.2 Beloved infection spinners
Weakened immune system due to lack of sleep
Lack of sleep is a stress factor for the body and in the long run puts a strain on the immune system. In addition, sleep is indispensable in order to transfer data collected during the day about germs into the long-term memory of the immune system. Certain hormones, which mediate the transmission of information from short-lived immune cells to long-lived T cells, are only released during deep sleep. The T cells are, so to speak, the long-term memory of the immune system and the basis for the specific immune system.
In keeping with this, researchers in San Francisco were able to show that short nights make it particularly easy for cold viruses. In the experiment, 164 volunteers were “steamed” with cold viruses. The result was impressive: Anyone who, according to the sleep knife on their wrist, had slept less than 5 hours a night the week before, was very likely to get sick. Almost half of these subjects contracted a cold. More than 7 hours of sleep protected 80 percent of the test participants from infection.
Weakened immune system due to constant stress
Stress or psychological stress triggers an alarm condition in the body to which the immune system also reacts. This is basically a sensible adaptation to special challenges. Chronic stress, on the other hand, puts a strain on the body's defense system. The immune system reacts as it does with any danger report: with inflammation. As soon as the cause of the alarm signal has been eliminated, the immune reaction should actually be turned down. In the event of a permanent alarm, a dangerous smoldering fire can occur instead. Such chronic inflammations can cause damage in various parts of the body and overwhelm the immune system.
Weakened immune system due to nutritional deficiencies
They patrol and control, eat pathogens, divide and produce armies of antibodies: the cells of the immune system are in the daily fight against pathogens. Since immune cells have a higher turnover than many other cells, they depend on a good supply. Various micronutrients are necessary for the numerous processes involved in the immune reaction to take place. If individual micronutrients that are important for the immune function are missing, the defense reaction can be impaired and fewer immune cells are formed. In addition to nutritional deficits such. B. can occur with various diseases, an unbalanced diet also hinders the performance of the immune system in the long term.
Weakened immune system due to unfavorable fats
Saturated fats put a strain on the immune system. Saturated fatty acids promote inflammatory processes and simulate a bacterial invasion to certain cells of the early immune system. This messes up the immune response and can hinder the fight against real pathogens. The intestinal immune system also reacts to the fat content of the food: The type and amount of available fatty acids determine the composition of the microbial community in the intestine.
Weakened immune system due to negative emotions
In studies, people with more negative feelings reacted worse to the flu vaccination and produced fewer antibodies. In other studies, test subjects who reported low mood or high stress levels in questionnaires were more likely to be infected with cold viruses and showed worse symptoms - regardless of the virus strain used. However, these connections were also positive: Those who felt they were well supported by their fellow human beings fell ill less often in a similar experiment and showed weaker symptoms. In other words: love strengthens the immune system.
However, researchers at the University of Wisconsin have found that optimists have stronger immune defenses. Our defenses are thus also influenced by emotions. A certain region of the brain, the prefrontal cortex, is responsible for this.
Weakened immune system in old age
Just as the skin increasingly loses its ability to regenerate with age, organ and cell functions also decline over the years. Our immune system is also affected. For example, the bone marrow produces fewer and fewer defense cells with age. As a result, the immune system can lose its performance. These aging processes are complex: As a result, pathogens and changed body cells can no longer be consistently combated. Support for the immune system in old age is particularly important now.
Weakened immune system from cold
Cold comes from cold. In fact, our immune system is more easily overcome by "runny nose" viruses if we get too cold. In a cold nose, for example, various mechanisms of the unspecific immune defense function worse than at our usual body temperature of 37 ° C. Freezing is not only an uncomfortable feeling, it also puts a strain on the immune system.
Weakened immune system from nicotine and alcohol
It is well known that cigarette smoke and alcohol impair immune function (and can cause damage to many other parts of the body) should be common knowledge by now. For example, nicotine disrupts the function of certain white blood cells (granulocytes), which are part of the innate immune system.
Weakened immune system due to virus-friendly indoor climate
Effective ventilation is important, but should only be done briefly when the outside temperature is very low. Cold air can store little moisture. The result is dry room air, which then heats up quickly with the help of the heater and dries out further. The immune system has several problems with it. First, viruses can survive longer in dry, heated air. Second, the mucous membranes, which play an important role in defending against pathogens, suffer. And thirdly, parts of the immune system react to the dry climate by producing messenger substances that promote inflammation. Indoor plants provide a certain balance, and water bowls on the heater can also increase the relative humidity.
Weakened immune system due to excessive hygiene
Too much cleanliness is bad for our immune system. A clean, aseptic home is the dream of many - but not of the immune system. If the immune system is not constantly occupied with new challenges, the immune system is not stimulated and in the long run it is “under-challenged”. So training is important!
Weakened immune system from environmental pollutants
The fine dust concentration in your own four walls has hardly been discussed so far. The fact is: Even in non-smoking households, cooking, stoves and candlelight accumulate considerably more fine particles than the limit values for inner cities would allow. Studies show that in times of high particulate matter pollution the number of infectious diseases increases disproportionately. Apparently the immune system is acutely stressed by poor air quality. You can improve the conditions for the immune system in your own living room by regularly ventilating sufficiently. Outside, it is more difficult to avoid the stress on the immune system from environmental pollutants.
Weakened immune system in children
The immune system can deal with many pathogens in our environment before symptoms of an infection are even felt. The defense is a sophisticated system, it works strongly and effectively. Usually. Because in some situations she is overwhelmed. Then it is good to know how to support the immune system.
When the defense weakens
In order for the immune system to work effectively, its defense forces must be well supplied with nutrients and micronutrients. If the supplies are not secured, the defense can weaken. Then bacteria and germs can more easily overcome the immune system and trigger infections. With each new attack, the defenses are further challenged and the susceptibility to infection increases. This process can also be called an infection spiral. A situation in which affected children, concerned parents and doctors should think about nutrition, because the immune system can be actively supported with vitamins and the like.
Beloved spreaders of infection
Sick children are also a burden on the parents' immune system: sleep deprivation, worry and stress around the sick child weaken the immune system. In addition, small children seek physical contact, but hygiene rules such as frequent hand washing and regular nose blowing are difficult to stick to.
In addition, it only helps to remain optimistic: In the infectious years of childhood, not only does the child’s immune system train, but also their own defenses refresh their immune protection when they come into contact with pathogens.
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