COVID-19: Is It Possible to Boost Your Immune System?
Your immune system is your friend. It protects your body from infection. As with a good friend, give it your full support and there will be perks. Faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever to have a balanced immune system.
There’s an endless supply of products considered being immune-boosting, but is it all a marketing ploy or it's indeed possible to boost your immunity? Immunologists say that the concept of boosting your immune system is inaccurate. There's also widely held confusion about:
- how your immune system functions
- how your body combats diseases and infections
Your Immune System at Work
You get a cold; you feel run down, congested, and your nose is runny. Though a nuisance, these symptoms are vital signals that you’re protected by your body’s major safeguard against infection, illness, and disease: your immune system. With every one of these symptoms, you can determine your immune system is at work.
Your immune system's role is to recognize and identify an infection or injury in the body. These cause an immune response, working to restore normal function.
Your immune system is a vast network that coordinates your body’s defenses against any threats to your health, made of:
Without it, something as minor as a seasonal cold could be fatal, as you’d be exposed to billions of viruses, bacteria, and toxins.
The immune system relies on millions of leukocytes - defensive white blood cells - that originate in our bone marrow. The immune response has to be adaptable to hugely variable threats to our bodies. That means relying on many types of leukocytes to tackle threats in different ways.
Strengthen Your Immune System?
A common misconception is that the more active your immune system is, the healthier you will be. When the immune system is concerned, there can be something as too much of a good thing. A hyperactive immune response handles allergic reactions to ordinary nontoxic substances. It also underlies several major diseases, including diabetes, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.
You want your immune system to be balanced. Too much of an immune response is just as bad as a too-brief response. Adding to that, most of the things people take to boost their immune systems, such as supplements or vitamins, don't have any effect on your immune response.
Protect Your Immune System
The single best step you can take toward keeping your immune system balanced and healthy is to follow general good-health guidelines. Your immune system functions better when protected from environmental assaults and bolstered by diet and lifestyle strategies such as these:
Reduce Your Risk of Exposure to COVID-19
The immune system is complex. There's a lot we don't understand about why some people have a more balanced immune response than others. There is still much that researchers don't know about how our immune system functions, but there are ways to keep from getting sick. The major way to prevent infections is to:
Experts believe that the virus that causes the disease COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following measures to avoid being exposed to the virus and prevent illness and:
- wearing a mask
- keeping distance from people who are not from your household - at least 6 feet away
- avoiding crowds
- washing your hands often