Building immunity is all the craze at the moment, to help avoid contracting the contagious Coronavirus. The lessons we learn about safety, hygiene and cleanliness during this virus will help us throughout our life.
But we can avoid various pathogens only to a certain extent. Not every aspect of our life can be sterilized. So rather than constantly obsessing over being exposed to germs, bacteria and viruses, we should take the matter into our own hands and lend a supporting hand to our immunity system.
In this fight for our well-being let's inculcate the following habits in our daily routine and bring about a change in our lifestyle:
1. Leading an active lifestyle and avoiding being sedentary.
Just making sure to keep your body on its toes by moving around and giving it some exercise can go a long way to build immunity. This can be easily instilled in your daily routine. Being active helps in achieving proper sleep as well. Regular exercise increases blood flow and the movement of immune cells to different areas of the body.
2. Releasing stress and anxiety is crucial.
Stressing out hampers the natural production of antibodies and therefore suppresses the immune system. It is an unfair expectation to scour stress away from our life completely. The world is dynamic, uncertain and ever-changing. This can lead to situations of pressure, anxiety and stress in all individuals and thus rather than trying to avoid stressful situations entirely, we should learn to manage them. Check out our article on mindfulness to help you on your road to control stress.
3. Laughing your illnesses away.
Having a hearty laugh helps in the production of white blood cells, which help in fighting off bacteria and viruses. It also helps increase the antibodies in the mucus present in our nose and respiratory passages, which are the gateway for pathogens. So have a sense of humor and find comedy and mirth in your daily life.
4. Sleeping for a healthy new day.
Just like your body, your immune system also tires from its job of routinely making sure your body remains healthy. Adequate sleep helps replenish the immune system and makes sure it does its duty day in and out. Not following the required sleep recommendations has links with inflammation in the body and higher secretion from the stress hormone.
Check this out for more insights- Healthy Sleeping Habits For you and Your Kids
5. Give Extra Attention To What You Eat
During these times of isolation and quarantine, the need for keeping our body strong is required more than ever. You are what you eat. Try to eat clean as the need of the hour. As we are naturally moving less, it becomes even more important to watch what goes inside the body. Inculcate certain immunity-boosting foods in your diet like green leafy vegetables, turmeric milk, etc. which might play a vital role in making the soldiers of your body stronger and healthier.
For more information on immunity-boosting foods- Notes For Kids- Healthy Eating during Lockdown
6. Maintaining proper hygiene.
We are taught certain habits regarding cleanliness since childhood for a reason. Washing hands and keeping surroundings clean and sterile helps in lending a hand to your immune system and lessening its burden. Being cautious of the dangers that sick people and dirty areas provide is a step in the direction of being a healthy individual.
How does the immune system respond to the virus?
The virus makes its progression in 3 different stages. During the first two stages, the body attacks the virus. However, during the 3rd stage, the immune system worsens the condition of the body rather than help fight off the virus.
In stage 1, the virus attacks the host by attaching itself to the protein known as the ACE2 receptor. This protein is mostly present in the lungs and intestines. Thus, the symptoms are based on where the virus is attached. In case of an attack on the respiratory tract, a cough may develop whereas an attack on the gastro-intestinal tract, one might suffer from diarrhea. The immune system tries to shut the virus off from replicating itself. The response is supported by antibodies and T cells. This leads to a cytokine storm from the immunity system which causes inflammation in the body. The cytokine storm breaks down the protective lining of the lungs and blood vessels. The symptoms subsequently become more severe.
In the 2nd stage, the virus replicates fast enough to overtake the response from the immune system. This is common when exposed heavily to the virus. It is more common amongst healthcare workers, who are at risk of major exposure as well as the older and immuno-suppressed population.
The 3rd stage or the hyperinflammatory stage is where the immune system goes completely haywire and starts attacking itself. The inflammation present in the body adversely affects the functioning of different organ systems. This can lead to a multi-system organ failure, which can be lethal. Those with many serious symptoms are noticed to have elevated levels of cytokines in their system.
During the first couple of stages, the immunity system is the first line of defense in protecting us from the virus. It is during this period we should make it our absolute priority to boost our immunity. But as we progress into the 3rd stage, the immunity system stars to do more harm than good. It is recommended to actually suppress the immune system during this period.
Making sure of the proper functioning of our immunity system is significant as it remains the first line of defense in stopping pathogens from affecting the body.
Stay Tuned, Stay Relevant!