Generally, immune system protects the body from germs, foreign invaders and other threats. However, sometimes it gets off track and gives low response to these threats. This low activity known as immune deficiency in which cause you less capable on fighting infections.
Immune deficiency may come from medications or illness, or even the one you were born with. Primary immunodeficiency disease or known as genetic disorder is a disease that present from birth which are include SCID (severe combined immune deficiency) and CVID (common variable immune deficiency. Whilst secondary immunodeficiency disorders occurs when foreign source like toxic chemical or infection attacks your body. These includes human immunodeficiency virus / acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), drug-induced immune deficiency, cancers of the immune system (like leukaemia), and immune-complex disease.
What are the signs and symptoms of having immune deficiency?
1. Frequent Infections
If you are battling with frequent infections, that is the sign your immune system is in trouble.
Several infections that include are:
- Having more than four ear infections in a year
- Suffer from chronic sinusitis or more than three episodes of bacterial sinusitis in a year
- Need more than two courses of antibiotics a year
- Having pneumonia twice in one year period
2. Experience Digestive Problems
If you having an episode of frequent diarrhoea, gas or constipation, nausea or cramping, it could be the result of your low immune system.
Studies shows that almost 70% of your immune system is located in your digestive tract. Beneficial bacteria and microbes work together to help your gut from infection and support the immune system. Thus, low amounts of helpful gut bacteria may lead you at risk to viruses, chronic inflammation and also autoimmune disorders.
3. Constantly having cold
It’s normal for adults to sneeze and sniffle through two to three colds each year. Most people bounce back in 7-10 days. But, if you are constantly catching colds or having colds that won’t run the course, that's the result for your immune system to struggle.
4. Delayed wound healing
Your skin set up into damage control mode after having burn, cut or scrape. Your body aid in protect the wound by sending nutrient-rich blood to the injury part by regenerating new skin.
This healing process depends on healthy immune cells. Low immune system causes your skin can't regenerate. Instead, your wounds stay and have a hard time healing.
5. You feel tired all the time
If you're getting enough sleep and still suffered from exhaustion, it's worth considering if your immune system is giving you a hint. When your immune system struggles, so does your energy level. Your body is trying to conserve energy to fuel your immune system so it can fight off germs.
How to boost my immune system?
1. Have a balanced diet
Maintaining a healthy diet can help the immune system to be healthy.
2. Adequate sleep
Adequate rest boost mood and reduces stress. Getting adequate sleep can help enhance the immunity. Adults usually require an average of seven to eight hours of sleep a day.
Intense exercise may increase cortisol levels and suppress immunity. However, moderate exercise boost immunity function. If you're a working person, exercising in moderation for three hours a week is sufficient to enhance immunity.
4. Stress management
When people are psychologically stressed for a long time, it might trigger the hormone level cortisol. Cortisol, at increased levels may suppress the cells of the immune system. Hence, increased stress lowers the body's ability to fight infections. A person needs to manage their stress as those will affected their body's immune health.
What foods can boost my immune system?
1. Fruits and vegetables
They are rich in nutrient, especially vitamin C, in which may help to reduce the period and frequency of common cold and other infections. Plant food are rich in fibres, where they aid in maintaining a healthy gut by preserving healthy gut bacteria.
2. Whole plant foods
Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes are rich in nutrients and antioxidants. Antioxidants help to minimise inflammation and free radicals in the body.
Probiotics are a healthy gut bacterium. They prevent harmful microorganisms from entering the body through the gut. Fermented foods, such as yogurt, contain probiotics. Probiotics also can be taken as a supplement.
Antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties are found in clove, oregano, cinnamon, and cumin. Foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals (zinc, folate, iron, selenium, copper, and vitamins A, C, E, B6 and B12) boost immune health and overall health.