4 things to know about the immune system

The immune system is the body’s defense mechanism that protects against harmful bacteria, microbes, viruses, toxins, and parasites. This protection system is vital to life, though sometimes it does get overzealous. Here are a few things you need to know about the immune system:

  • What causes immune system failure?
  • While the exact cause of immune system failure remains unclear, the functional capacity of the immune system can be impacted by several factors such as stress, lack of sleep, and improper nutrition.

  • What happens when the functional capacity of the immune system deteriorates?
  • A compromised immune system increases the risk of infectious and life-threatening diseases, such as cancer and AIDS.

  • What are the consequences of an overactive immune system?
  • An overactive immune system is as harmful and dangerous as a deteriorating one. In this case, due to the hyperactive immune responses, the body is unable to tell the difference between normal, healthy cells and invaders, resulting in autoimmune disorders such as celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, and Sjogren's syndrome.

  • How to maintain a healthy immune system?
  • Optimal immune functions can be achieved by following a healthy lifestyle and taking the following steps:

    • Quit smoking
    • Exercise regularly
    • Regular check-ups
    • Get adequate sleep at night
    • Avoid mental and physical overload
    • Consume a healthy and well-balanced diet

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