Immune system: how to strengthen the immune system

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Elia Tabuenca García
@eliatabuencagarcia
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What is the specific purpose of the immune system? And how can the immune defenses be strengthened?

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Il immune system it is a vast network of identification, of reaction and of defense of our organism. In practice, it is the natural defense of our body against infections and the most common diseases. But what is the specific purpose of the immune system? And what does it mean to strengthen the immune system?





We are "gifted" with immune defenses since birth (immune response innate o non-specific). That is, we have all those in our "kit" protective systems that help us repair wounds, recover from trauma, prevent or fight infections. Then there is an acquired or specific immune response, which allows the recognition of a pathogen which overcomes the defenses of the innate immune system.

In any case, it is protective systems that can sometimes fail or be particularly weak, especially in the presence of stress and certain diseases, or even in old age and pregnancy.

Index

What is the Immune System

The immune system is a big one army of cells, tissues and defense organs: thanks to it, our body is able to keep away "external invaders" such as virus, bacteria, mushrooms o parasites (the so-called "pathogens"), but also to recognize and combat body cells showing abnormalities, such as cancer cells, damaged cells or those infected with viruses.

Taken as a whole, the immune system is made up of three essential components that contribute toimmunità:

  • organs of different parts of the body (spleen, thymus, lymph nodes, tonsils, appendix) and lymphatic tissues. They are distinguished in primary lymphatic organs (the bone marrow and, in the case of T lymphocytes, the thymus) which is the place where i leukocytes (white blood cells) develop and mature; secondary lymphatic organs, which capture the antigen (the foreign body) and this is where the lymphocytes can interact with the antigen. In fact, theirs is one reticular structure that imprisons the foreign material found in the blood (spleen), lymph (lymph nodes), air (tonsils and adenoids) and food and water (vermiform appendix and Peyer's patches in the intestine)
  • isolated blood and tissue cells: the main ones are white blood cells or leukocytes, of which there are several subgroups
  • chemical substances which coordinate and execute immune responses, and through which the cells of the immune system exchange signals that mutually regulate their level of activity.



How the immune system works

There are three "instruments"With which our immune system carries out its protective activity against viruses, bacteria and other pathogens:

  • mechanical-chemical barriers
  • innate or non-specific immunity
  • acquired or specific immunity

The mechanical-chemical barriers prevent the penetration of pathogenic agentsi in the body and are:

  • intact skin
  • sweat
  • lysozyme
  • sebo
  • mucus
  • ciliate epitaph
  • acidic pH of the stomach
  • intestinal commensal microorganisms
  • sperm
  • vaginal commensal microorganisms
  • body temperature (our normal temperature keeps some pathogens away, whose growth is more hindered in the presence of fever, which also favors the intervention of immune cells)

READ also: CHILDREN FEVER: 5 WAYS TO ADDRESS IT WITHOUT ANXIETY AND WHEN TO CONTACT THE PEDIATRICIAN

La innate (or nonspecific) immune response it is the defense mechanism that we have since birth and which is able to act immediately against external agents. This mechanism is active towards all microorganisms and exploits mechanisms existing from birth.
La acquired (or specific or adoptive) immune response: develops slowly after the first encounter with a specific pathogen. The body retains its memory of the resulting antibodies for life to act more quickly following any further future exposures.

What are autoimmune diseases

Le autoimmune diseases they are conditions distinct from an exaggerated and improper response of the immune system, which functions abnormally in these cases. These are therefore particular pathologies due to the malfunctioning of the immune system. In fact, in a person suffering from an autoimmune disease, the cells of the immune system attack the body, thus damaging tissues and organs.



The causes of autoimmune diseases are still unclear today. For the time being, more than 80 different types of autoimmune diseases have been identified. Some of the best known are:

  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • multiple sclerosis
  • systemic lupus erythematosus
  • scleroderma
  • Psoriasis
  • celiac disease
  • Hashimoto's thyroiditis
  • inflammatory bowel diseases
  • pernicious anemia
  • Addison's disease
  • dermatomyositis
  • Graves' disease
  • type I diabetes
  • vitiligo

READ also: 7 FOOD ADDITIVES THAT INCREASE THE RISK OF AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES

What weakens the immune system

Abuse of antibiotics, poor diet, stress: several factors are around the corner to weaken our immune system. There can be many causes that weaken the immune defenses, the main ones are:

  • a wrong and unbalanced diet
  • anxiety and stress
  • lack of sleep
  • refined sugars
  • alcohol
  • some types of drugs
  • refined grains
  • deficiency of some vitamins
  • lack of physical activity
  • dehydration

READ also: TIPS AND REMEDIES TO PROTECT OUR BODY FROM VIRUSES AND BACTERIA

How to strengthen the immune system

On the other hand, there are a whole series of measures we can take to strengthen the immune system. There are, in fact, some good habits to always put into practice, sleep well and catch up on sleep, exercise, maybe pamper yourself with some massage, in addition to some alimony e natural remedies which can help us strengthen the immune system.

Basically, let's never forget a healthy diet that includes:

  • fruit, especially citrus fruits
  • garlic
  • carrots and all plant foods rich in beta-carotene
  • mushrooms
  • dates

READ also: 10 FOODS AND TIPS TO STRENGTHEN IMMUNE DEFENSES

Then there are gods natural remedies that we can adopt, in addition to specific supplements:

  • turmeric
  • ginseng
  • echinacea
  • Probiotics

Here you will find all super foods that strengthen the immune system.

Finally, the key word is moderation: at the table we never exceed ed we avoid the extra pounds, and in sport, let's not train too intensely, because this would predispose to infections and diseases, activating specific cells that “slow down” the immune responses.

Germana Carillo

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