10 signs that show you have weak immune system

Ayurvedic Remedies To Fight COVID-19

10 signs that show you have weak immune system

This COVID-19 pandemic has attracted everyone’s attraction towards important but often overlooked system of our body. Yes! You guessed it right- Immunity system. Everyone is searching for quick means of improving immunity along with maintaining personal hygiene and social distancing. This health crisis has given us a chance to learn more about immunity and take appropriate steps for empowering it. Our immune system forms first line of defence against attack of harmful foreign agents like viruses, bacteria, allergens. When on target, it is our life saviour. But eating less nutritious food, lack of sleep, and high stress levels can weaken our immune system making us an easy prey for germs. How to know that our immune system is not working efficiently and needs an uplift is a common question. Here are warning signs that indicate our immunity is below par and there is an urgent need to strengthen it up.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has attracted everyone’s attention towards an important but often overlooked system of our body. Yes! You guessed it right- Immune system. Everyone is searching for quick means of improving immunity along with maintaining personal hygiene and social distancing. This health crisis has given us a chance to learn more about immunity and take appropriate steps to boost it. Our immune system forms the body’s first line of defense against attack of harmful illness and disease causing agents like viruses, bacteria and allergens. Eating unhealthy food, lack of sleep, and high stress levels can weaken our immune system making us an easy prey for germs. How does one know that one has a weak  immune system is a common question that we receive. Here are 10 warning signs that indicate low immunity. If one sees these signs in oneself or a family member, there is an urgent need to act.  

Recurring infections

Its normal to have two or three episodes of cold in a year. But if one is catching a cold more often and needs more time to recover from it, this is suggestive of weak immunity.  A frail immune system loses its strength to effectively fight with disease-causing pathogens. Recurring episodes of ear infections, sinusitis are some of the indicators of a poor immune system.

Extended recovery period

Along with the chances of catching an infection, the severity also increases in a person with low immunity. In some cases it becomes difficult to treat and requires more time than usual for complete recovery . If infections last longer than usual, this is also indicative of low immunity. 

Frequent Fungal Infections

Repeated incidences of fungal infections or thrush in mouth is an indicator of an underperforming immune system. Most of the disease-causing fungi are opportunistic pathogens that only cause diseases  to a body with a weak immune system.  

Frequent digestion issues

The gut is reverently described as ‘our second brain’ and the ‘gateway to health’. Ayurveda believes that root of all diseases starts with a  weak digestive system. Beneficial microorganisms living in the gut defend us from infections and support the immune system. Frequent diarrhoea, bloating or constipation, could be a signal of depleted immune system. 

Excessive tiredness

If you are experiencing a feeling of consistent exhaustion and constant tiredness, it could be a result of weak immunity.  The body tries to preserve energy for utilisation by immune system which makes you feel tired. Researchers have observed suppression of several immune functions, especially natural killer cell activity and lymphocyte proliferation in patients with long term fatigue.

Slow healing of wounds

Whenever an injury occurs, our immune systems work efficiently to ward off any intruder and also helps in repairing of wounds without any infection. An impaired immune system severely impedes the wound healing process. Slower healing of wounds is yet another warning sign of low immunity. 

High stress levels

When one is stressed, there is a surge in cortisol levels. This stress hormone lowers the number of lymphocytes and thus, suppresses the effectiveness of the immune system. This compromises with the body’s ability to fight off antigens making us more susceptible to infections.  

Overweight

Being overweight is the cause of many health hazards. More weight means more adipose tissue. These tissues release more cytokines resulting in a low-grade, chronic inflammation. This constant inflammation causes excess burden on your immune system. In addition to this, there are disturbed levels of circulating nutrients and metabolic hormones.  All these factors negatively impact immune function and defence in obese individuals.  

Too much sugar intake

A high quantity of sugar intake temporarily tamps down the immune system’s ability to respond to challenges for several hours. Eating sweets too frequently may result in slowing down your immune system. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating 100 g of sugar (think three cans of an aerated drink) significantly hampered the ability of white blood cells to kill bacteria for up to 5 hours afterward.

Not getting enough sunlight

We all are aware of sun light’s role in producing Vitamin D. If one fails to get adequate sunlight, it may compromise immunity because researchers have discovered that sunlight also energizes T cells, which play an active role in our immune response. Thus, not being able to access sunlight enough can be a cause for weak immunity. 

Currently, having a strong immune system is paramount to staying healthy and fending off virus. These tips can easily help one identify weak immunity for oneself as well as near and dear. Ayurveda believes in prevention rather than cure and thus, looking at prevention of disease should be in focus. Using Ayurvedic herbs, supplements and treatments can increase immunity but first, one should be vigilant to identify these warning signs!

References:

  1. The impact of obesity on the immune response to infection, Proc Nutr Soc. 2012 May;71(2):298-306. doi: 10.1017/S0029665112000158. Epub 2012 Mar 14.
  2. The role of gut microbiota in immune homeostasis and autoimmunity. Gut Microbes. 2012;3(1):4–14. doi:10.4161/gmic.19320.
  3. Aspects of Gut Microbiota and Immune System Interactions in Infectious Diseases, Immunopathology, and Cancer, Frontiers in Immunology, 2018, 9.
  4. Stress-induced immune dysfunction: implications for health, Nature, 2005, 5:243-251. 
  5. Silverman MN, Neuroendocrine and immune contributors to fatigue. PM R. 2010;2(5):338–346. doi: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2010.04.008.
  6. Ellis S, Lin EJ, Tartar D. Immunology of Wound Healing. Curr Dermatol Rep. 2018;7(4):350–358. doi:10.1007/s13671-018-0234-9.
  7. Albert Sanchez, Role of sugars in human neutrophilic phagocytosis, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1973, 26(11): 1180–1184.

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