Understanding How Your Immune System Works Can Help You to Improve Your Health
Most people don’t really understand how your immune system works. The truth is that we’ve all kind of taken our immune systems for granted, and we fail to really look into the way it protects our bodies from invaders and threats. Your immune system is complex, multi-layered and fascinating. There are many good reasons for you to learn more about it. First, it is very interesting to understand where things like colds, fevers, rashes, infections, etc., originate when they happen inside your own body. Every hour you inhale hundreds of germs (viruses and bacteria) that are in the air you breath. Normally, your immune system repels them without a problem. However, sometimes a germ escapes or overpowers the immune system and you get sick, or worse. A cold, flu, infection, or rash is an indication that your immune system failed to stop the virus or bacteria. The fact that you get over the illness is a good sign that your immune system was able to eliminate the invader. Otherwise, If your immune system did not react to the germ, you would never get over any illness.
Check out this video to understand how your immune system works what it does:
So, to sum it up, there are three basic layers of defense:
- The basic external defenses — This includes your skin, the mucus membranes in your respiratory and digestive tracts. The outer layer of dead skin cells essentially protect your skin, and your sweat washes the microbes away. Your lungs contain cilia that collect the microbes and cough them up. Any microbes that are swallowed are plunged into your stomach acid, where most of them are destroyed. Bacteria in your intestines kill off any invaders that survive the acid bath.
- Non-specific internal defenses — This includes phagocytes that kill pathogens, the inflammatory response to isolate and eliminate threats, and fever, your body’s final defense against general threats.
- The immune system — These are the antibodies that target specific threats and the white blood cells that overwhelm and destroy all microbes.
Essentially, the immune system is your body’s last line of defense against threats, but it’s definitely one of the most effective!
Facts About the Immune System
- Not sleeping enough (less than 5 hours per night) is known to reduce your body’s natural immunity.
- You lose 5 billion white blood cells when you donate blood, but there are roughly 50 billion white blood cells floating around in your bloodstream.
- The best way to increase your body’s natural immunity to disease is to reduce the stress in your life. Stress is the strongest immunosuppressant around.
- Just 30 days after quitting, smokers experience significant boosts to their immune system.
- Humor and laughter is one of the best ways to increase your body’s ability to fight off diseases and microbes.
- Toxins–including pollution, smoke, and pesticides–will reduce your body’s natural defenses drastically.
- Sunlight is needed to produce Vitamin D, but too much Vitamin D can cause your immune system’s function to decrease.
- Dieting weakens your immune system by decreasing the ability of killer cells to function.
- Massages gives your immune system a boost by increasing the aggressiveness of the protective antibodies and NK cells in your blood, as well as the number of cells present.
- 80% of your immune system activity takes place in your intestines. Gut bacteria is essential to have a healthy immune system.
- Most autoimmune disorders affect women far more than men.
- Many symptoms of disease are just a sign that your immune system is doing its job properly. This means that fever and swelling in your body is usually a good thing.
- Having regular sex can provide more IGA, a protein that prevents pathogens from entering the body.
- Oil on your skin is the first line of defense against germs, so using too much antibacterial soap can make you more susceptible to attacks.
- Chicken soup can help to reduce respiratory infections and reduce the inflammation caused by colds and other viral infections.
Wow! Pretty fascinating stuff, right? You’ll find the more you known about how your immune system works, and take steps to bolster your immune system, the healthier you will be!