More and more we’re seeing the term ‘immunocompromised’ filter into the public spotlight to detail individuals who are at greater risk of contracting unwelcomed viruses, such as COVID-19. Still, the term itself doesn’t say much beyond the fact that it means you’re more susceptible to illness. We will dig into the term by exploring what the immune system is, what a strong immune system looks like, and how you can fortify yours.
What is an Immune System?
In essence, the immune system is a complex, interconnected network of cells, proteins, chemicals, and tissues that is the body’s natural defense mechanism against infection and disease. The immune system functions as a biological ledger, keeping track of every germ and pathogen it comes across in order to be able to recognize and neutralize them. It comprises the innate immune system (the one you were born with) and the adaptive immune system (the one that responds to and develops via exposure to harmful substances).
How It Works
Once an intrusive substance enters the bloodstream, the innate immune system kicks into gear, marshaling disease-fighting cells in a non-specific way that may include increasing overall body temperature (fever) or expelling fluids (cough or runny nose). Depending on the pathogen, a more specific response may be required, in which case the adaptive immune system will be triggered to activate highly specialized cells and proteins that are capable of recognizing and fighting particular pathogens.
Characteristics of a Healthy Immune System
A healthy immune system is the result of both effective innate and adaptive systems, which can temper the effect of intrusive germs initially, and prime the body to combat them down the road. Generally, a good indication of a healthy immune system is that an individual rarely gets sick. This means that the immune system is functioning at the proper intensity in order to be able to destroy viruses and bacteria before they can cause harm. That said, there are occasions where immune systems are too strong and overreact to foreign substances. The results of an overactive immune system can be as dangerous as an underactive one, so a truly healthy immune system will be balanced between these two poles.
How to Fortify Your Immune System
There are a variety of ways to help build a healthy immune system. These include:
- Exercise: Studies have proven that increased fitness and physical activity boost the immune system.
- Sleep: Sleep plays a crucial role in the body’s ability to combat disease and sleep deprivation has been linked to underperforming immune systems.
- Nutrition: What we put into our bodies greatly affects how our immune systems function. Pursuing a diet rich in whole foods and fortified with natural supplements can ensure that our bodies are prepared to ward off intruders more effectively.
Find Your Healthy Life with Vitruvian Wellness Center
Vitruvian Wellness Center is here to help guide you on the path to recovery and wellness, naturally. The services of Dr. Morin can assist patients in rediscovering a body defined by optimal health and wellness each and every day. Along with the services, there are a collection of carefully curated supplements available in our online store that you can integrate into your routine for a healthy immune system or any other health goals you may have.