Hundreds of thousands of people have fallen victim to the coronavirus. While others only suffer mild symptoms and recover over time, some, unfortunately, are losing their lives. Though medical experts are still unraveling the mysteries of this “silent enemy”, what is known is that patients with strong immune systems have a better chance of making a full recovery. While the hope is that you don’t contract the coronavirus, it is best to be proactive and work on boosting your immune system.
What Is The Immune System?
The immune system is essentially the body’s natural defense system against illness, infection, and disease. It does this by detecting unhealthy cells (due to infection or cellular damage) or infectious microbes (due to viruses and bacteria) then developing an immune response to try and ward off the invader in your body. The stronger your immune system is, the faster and more effective your body’s natural defenses are in fighting off things like the coronavirus.
Strengthening Your Immune System
There are a lot of factors that could have a negative impact on your immune system including your age, preexisting conditions, and lifestyle. To strengthen your body’s natural defense system, you’ll need to make several adjustments. Here are some suggestions below:
Manage Preexisting Conditions
Individuals with pre-existing conditions ranging from diabetes to cancer are at the greatest risk of contracting and even passing away from the coronavirus. This is because your immune system is already working hard to fight the existing condition. To boost your immune system, it is, therefore, necessary to manage your health.
By effectively managing your conditions you improve your health and ease symptoms giving your immune system a break. Whether you have to take medication, look into std testing track your blood sugar, get exercise, or limit your intake of certain foods, start developing routines to help you keep your health on track.
Watch What You Eat
Most people are aware that eating a healthy diet complete with all the vitamins, nutrients, and minerals your body needs is essential to optimal health. However, there are some things you could be consuming that are categorized as healthy but could be doing you some harm. For example, soy is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, B vitamins, and antioxidants. However, some people have a food intolerance or allergy to soy products which could throw off their gut health and trigger an immune response. Therefore, it is important that you’re selecting food choices that are not only categorized as healthy but that work well with your body’s natural systems. This may require trial, error, and testing, but is essential to optimal immune health.
Trying to reduce stress during these crazy times may seem nearly impossible, but it is necessary for good immune health. When the body is under stress for too long, it goes into flight or fight mode and triggers cortisol throughout the body to try and combat the stress. When high levels of cortisol are present, however, it hinders the immune system from doing its job.
One of the biggest ways to combat stress during the coronavirus pandemic is to stop trying to control or change things that are beyond your control. This outbreak wasn’t your fault nor are the things that may have followed (i.e. schools closing, being laid off, having to stay home, etc.). Spending too much of your day focusing on these things will exacerbate your stress.
The next step to reducing stress is to get a handle on what you can control. Create a new budget, apply for financial assistance, contact creditors and service providers to negotiate new payment terms, develop a schedule and environment for your children to complete online learning, create new routines to provide structure while you’re staying home and find ways to do things you enjoy.
Lastly, learn when you’re too stressed out and find ways to calm down. Take a nap, read a book, go for a walk outside, watch a funny movie, get a massage, take a bath, or spend time with loved ones.
There is a lot to be discovered about the coronavirus including finding a cure or treatment option. Until that time comes, it is highly recommended that individuals do what they can to boost the immune system of themselves and their families. In doing so you’re giving your body a fighting chance to prevent or beat this serious and often deadly virus.