There’s a lot of talk going around about immune health. Wash your hands for 20 seconds, wear a mask, and social distancing are all ways you can cut down your chance for a COVID-19 infection.
But do you really know how your immune system is doing?
A healthy immune system can help you fight illness when you become infected with a harmful bacteria or virus. It might make battling certain illnesses easier or make it so you rarely notice a symptom.
Certain warning signs can indicate a weakened immune system. Here are a few of them:
- High Stress: Long-term stress may weaken the immune system by lowering lymphocyte levels. Lymphocytes are white blood cells your immune system uses to fight infections.
- Always Fighting a Cold: It’s normal to go through two or three bouts of the cold per year. But if you’re getting them more frequently, and they are hanging around for more than ten days, it’s a sign your immune system lacks strength.
- Regular Indigestion: Frequent diarrhea, gas, or constipation could also be a sign of a compromised immune system. Studies are indicating roughly 70% of your immune system is located in your digestive tract. Digestive troubles could indicate a low level of healthy, beneficial bacteria, which may boost infection and inflammation risk.
- Skin Wounds Stick Around: Little cuts, scrapes, or burns can also shed some light on immune strength. Your immune system is what causes these wounds to heal, so if they take an extended period to repair, your immune system is not functioning ideally.
- Getting Sick Often: If you experience ear infections, pneumonia, bacterial sinusitis, or take more than two courses of antibiotics per year, it can indicate issues with immune health.
- Fatigue: If you’re sleeping well but still feel fatigued, it could mean your immune system is working hard.
All of these could be signs of a weakened immune system. If you’re experiencing any of them, it is worth talking to your doctor.
You can also attempt natural immune-strengthening lifestyle measures like:
- Balanced, nutrient-rich diet
- Adequate sleep
- Regular exercise
- Appropriate hand washing
- Healthy weight
- Stress management