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The immune system protects one against diseases and infections by recognizing and destroying pathogens and tumor cells. Lymphatic system, lymph nodes, lymph fluid, lymphocytes, phagocytes (which protect the body against foreign particles and bacteria), and other white blood cells are the important parts of the immune system. This system and all other body systems work together and make you immune.

Causes

Since the body's immune response involves proper functioning of all the body systems along with the immune system, dysfunction of any system can lower your immunity. Excessive consumption of sugar severely affects the capacity of the immune system to destroy germs. Diseases like diabetes and AIDS or allergies can suppress the system. High supply of vitamin C ensures high immunity but excessive sugar can destroy vitamin C and can affect the function of the system. Red as well as white blood cells are produced in the bone marrow. Deadly diseases like bone marrow cancer, leukemia, or other cancers can seriously affect the production of red and white blood cells. Any damage to the parts of the system can lead to a low immune system.

Disorders due to an inborn defect of the system cells or due to an external environmental agent can affect the function of the system. Autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis and lupus indicate weak immune system and they can further affect the function of the system. Excessive consumption of alcohol, excessive smoking, drug abuse can cause nutritional deficiencies, and can lead to a poorly functioning immune system. Lack of regular exercise, wrong diet, wrong eating habits can lower your immunity. Deficiency of essential vitamins and minerals, inadequate rest and sleep, a stressful and exhausting lifestyle, certain therapies like chemotherapy and radiation therapy, use of certain drugs, medications, steroids or antibiotics can impair the function of the system. Exposure to environmental toxins, synthetic elements in food and medicines, surgeries, and blood transfusion, can also be major causes.

Signs and Symptoms
  • Falling sick regularly
  • Often getting affected by viruses and flu
  • Unending bouts of illness
  • Delay in recovery from any illness
  • Excessive tiredness, increased fatigue despite sufficient rest
  • Persistent headache and dizziness
  • Watery eyes and running nose, often falling victim to the common cold
  • Constant muscle pain, joint pain
  • Exhibiting a fixed pattern of illness; showing the same characteristics each and every time
How to Boost Your Immune System

Vaccines and vaccination help the body produce appropriate antibodies and offer complete protection against the disease. Vaccination is thus one of the ways to strengthen the immune system in children. Poor immunity can affect the overall growth of a child. As a result of successful vaccination, diseases like polio, mumps, tetanus, and diphtheria are hardly seen today. Administration of immune-boosting medicines such as interferon, (which contains protein for combating viral infections) helps strengthen the immune system. Following a balanced diet and increasing vitamin intake can help improve its functioning. Eating raw, fresh, natural foods that are grown in the nutrient rich soil is recommended for maintaining the health of the system. Fresh fruits, vegetables, garlic, sage, basil, ginseng, goldenseal, echinacea, aloe vera, grape seed extract, etc., belong to the list of foods that boost immunity.

With regular exercise, balanced diet (especially diet rich in antioxidants), sufficient rest, stress-free lifestyle, consumption of healthy food, liquids, and plenty of water, you can easily boost your immunity. You should quit smoking, avoid excessive consumption of drugs, medicines, and alcohol.