We all are aware of the fact that our bodies are equipped with immune systemsthat helpusfight against the harm-causing germs and bacteria, right? This immune system is a complex system that includes certain special cells and organs which defends us from all the nanoscopic/microscopic foreign invaders that can weaken our body. Now, at times, this immune system underperforms or over-performs; when this happens, the body starts to attack and destroy its own cells and tissues — this physiological process is called as autoimmune disease (1). It negatively affects the immune system’s ability to take care of our body which makes our body prone to infections.
And it is the women who are more vulnerable to deadly infections than men. This is because it’s the women who have a faster and stronger immune system and when it takes a hit, the consequences too are tripled! Irrespective of the gender, here are a few factors that weaken the immune system and a combination of these can lead to the risk of contracting autoimmune diseases. Have a look:
- Inflammation: Causes of this include poor sleep, nutrient deficiencies, chronic stress, lack of exercise, and yes, of course, infections.
- Insulin Resistance: Those who have insulin resistance, diabetic or pre-diabetic, they are all the more prone to infections.
Imbalanced Hormones: Events w.r.t. hormones like puberty, menopause, perimenopause, pregnancy, estrogen dominance, insulin resistance, thyroid dysfunction — all of these contribute to the onset of autoimmune issues.
- Hypometabolism: Heavy toxic load, an underactive thyroid, aging — these lead to hypometabolism which adversely weaken one’s immune system, it causes fluctuations in body’s temperature, and makes one vulnerable to all kinds of infections.
Ways To Increase Your Resistance Against Infections
While we all live under the notion that eliminating an infection resolves the autoimmune condition you’re facing, that’s not true at all! The problem is solved in understanding how your immune system failed to fight the bacteria, causing infection. The conclusion you can derive from this is that your body has been tightly roped into an unhealthy one. And the only way to snap these ties is to adapt to healthier lifestyle practices and revving up your metabolism. Doing these will strengthen your body’s natural defense mechanism. Let’s take a look at how we can achieve this:
Step One: Increase Your Metabolism
A sluggish metabolism is one of the major reasons for autoimmune diseases to sprout. Another name of this is hypometabolism. Our body’s thyroid gland as well as the energy-producing gland mitochondria, both seem to go on a strike in this condition (2). This makes us feel cold, tired, and unable to carry out our everyday works efficiently. It also prevents weight loss. It decreases our body’s vitality and also affects the robustness of our system. Try these strategies to fix the screwed-up metabolism back to normal.
1. Learn To Practice Breathing Efficiently
Learn to breathe slowly and deeply whenever you can. One of the most efficient ways of fixing one’s metabolism is to understand and practice conscious breathing. It also helps your body to relax (3).
Take around 10 conscious breaths in the ratio of 1:4:2. What we mean to say here is if you inhale for 4 seconds, then hold the breath for 16 seconds and then exhale for eight seconds. Do this in three rounds or more. This will surely boost your metabolism.
2. Take Cold Showers Routinely
Just like fasting, even cold-water immersion releases a rush of blood through our body. The cold water will push the body to work harder to keep it warm, this will burn more calories, which activates the metabolism rates instantly on the positive side.
Take 20 seconds of the hot and cold shower when you are under the shower for a few minutes.
3. Follow Intermittent Fasting
Studies have confirmed that fasting between intervals has numerous health benefits such as boosting metabolism, improving insulin sensitivity, regulating energy levels, etc. (4).
Don’t just jump at it. For starters, try maintaining 12 hours between your dinner and breakfast. Or skip dinner every day.
StepTwo: Unburden The Immune System
If it’s working efficiently, there isn’t a more powerful curative system than the immune system of our body. The good news about an imbalance in the immune system is that it can be brought back to its normality within a span of a few days or weeks. And this can be done by:
1. Eliminating Processed Foods, Starchy Carbs, And Sugars
It’s the microbes that love sugar; our immune system clearly doesn’t! Studies have shown how sugars in any form (sucrose, fructose, and glucose) suppress our immune system for at least five hours after consumption (5). To avoid this mishap, steer clear from sugars as much as possible.
2. Adding Foods That’ll Enhance Immune System
We all know how garlic and ginger provide us with enormous antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, don’t we? Similarly, even coconut oil is known to control a fungal pathogen called Candida albicans. Curcumin, the yellow substance found in turmeric root is also known to modulate our immune system (6). Lastly, even fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut are immune-enhancing and anti-microbial (7).
Apart from these, we also need to practice good sleeping habits, minimize our stress levels, and stay positive for our body’s immune system to do its work. Is there anything that you want to add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.
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