Aside from diseases, most of the factors which weaken immunity are preventable – such as:
- Stress: long-term chronic stress can damage and weaken immunity
- Lack of sleep: severe sleep deprivation diminishes white blood cells, your immune system’s front line of defence.
- Alcohol: this can alter gut microbes, essential to normal immune function, and can lead to leaky gut – and this can unleash all kinds of immune problems
- Oxidative stress: watch what you eat!! Cooking oils overheated (especially damaged fats like vegetable oils) trigger liver inflammation, trigger massive amounts of free radicals, weakens the lungs and impairs immunity.
- Sugar: one system handles both vitamin C and sugar absorption. Too much sugar monopolises the proteins which transport both glucose and Vitamin C, and you are left short of vital vitamin C.
- Fructose: part of the sugar molecule and also found naturally in fruit, lowers vitamin D levels when excessive amounts are eaten. It is in soft drinks, processed food and in so many foods you don’t even expect.
- Smoking: cigarette smoke depletes vitamin C dramatically by inducing oxidative stress.
- Diabetes: diabetics get more complicated infections. This is because the disease weakens the immune system. This then lowers the activity of certain immune system cells and anti-microbials.
- Nutrient deficiencies: vitamin c supports the immune system in more than 20 ways. Without adequate vitamin C, D and zinc your body can’t produce vital immune system cells. And without a good B complex forget about making antibodies. A healthy whole food diet is crucial to a good immune system.
- Obesity: excess body fat is a major threat to the immune system
- Autoimmune diseases: MS, Lupus and others are where the immune system attacks itself, and the drugs used to treat them are equally to blame for lowering immunity as they are there to block an immune reaction.
- Chronic inflammation: here white cells end up attacking healthy organs and tissues. This damages the body and destroys immune cells needed to fight off real threats.
- Medications which suppress immunity and some cancer treatments, organ transplants etc do affect our immune system’s ability to function optimally.
- Certain illnesses: even the common flu, measles and other illnesses do suppress immunity temporarily, but the body does recover
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Originally published on https://www.facebook.com/SallyAnnCreedSA/ in 2020.