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Healthy Immune System Healthy Life - How to Boost Immunity

Healthy Immune System Healthy Life - How to Boost Immunity

Posted By HealthcareOnTime Team Posted on 2021-10-22

Questions about Immunity lies at the heart of many of the veterans of COVID-19 pandemic. Why do some people become extremely ill and others don't? Can infected people ever be sickened by the same virus again? How will the pandemic play out over the next months or years? Will vaccination work?

Healthy Immune System Healthy Life - How to Boost Immunity

To answer these questions, we must first understand how the Immunity system reacts to Coronavirus or rather to any of the infectious agent.

What is Immune System?
Immune system is a home port in the fight against infections and diseases. It identifies a pathogenic agent, causing an immune response, with an aim to restore normal function. Arguably, being the most complex part of the human body outside the brain, immune system is an intricate network of cells and molecules protecting us from perilous viruses and other microbes giving us immunity.

Of course, the term "Immunity" is perplexing. Immunologists use this term when they mean immune system has responded to a pathogen, perhaps by producing antibodies or mustering defensive cells. And when it is used by us, we mean we are protected against an infection. However, getting immune depends on how effective and durable those antibodies and immune cells are.

Immune System in Action! It all starts with a virus drifting into your airways, and invading the cells that line them. The first of three phases involves- threat detection, call for help and launching counterattack.

Level One-Innate Immunity
When cells sense particles which are uncommon to humans, they produce proteins called cytokines. Some of these cytokines act like burglar alarms, summoning and activating a diverse squad of White Blood Cells (WBC) . These WBCs lash out the intruding viruses, swallowing and digesting them, bombarding them with destructive chemicals, and releasing yet more cytokines. Some cytokines called interferons, directly prevent viruses from replicating. These aggressive actions lead to inflammation causing redness, heat, swelling, soreness - these all are the signs of immune system working as intended.

Minutes of the viral entry, without concerning which specific pathogen is afoot. However, it lacks precision. It mainly focuses on shutting down an infection as soon as possible. If it fails to notice the infection, it buys time for the second phase of the immune response.

Amidst all the fighting in your airways, messenger cells carry off small fragments of the pathogen to the lymph nodes, where highly specialized WBCS - T-cells are waiting. T-cells are pre-programmed and selective defenders to attack a few of the million pathogens. For any new pathogen gaining entry, your body finds and mobilizes the Tcell that clones itself into an entire battalion to fight against it.

Level Two-Adaptive Immunity
Some T-cells called Natural Killer cells, blow up the infected respiratory cells in which pathogens are hiding. Others are helper T-cells which activate the B-cells that produce antibodies. Antibodies primarily are small molecules that neutralize infectious agents by blocking the structures they use to hook on to their hosts.

Both T-cells and antibodies are part of Adaptive Immune System. This system is much slower than the innate immune system, but is much precise and long-lasting. Unlike the innate branch of the immune system, the adaptive one has memory. However, finding and activating the right cells may take several days.

Level Three- Keeping the Experts on Tap
After the virus is cleared, most of the mobilized T-cells and B-cells die off, except for a few specialized cells. This is the third and final phase of immune response. If the same virus attacks again, these specialized cells called "memory cells' can spring into action and launch the adaptive immune response without delay. These memory cells are sheltered within organs and patrol bloodstream.

Relation between COVID-19 and immune system
This might sound relevant if you consider people who got infected with COVID-19. The innate immune system switches on first, and the adaptive immune system follows the suit. In several studies, most people who are infected, develop reasonable levels of Coronavirus-specific T-cells and antibodies.

The novel Coronavirus seems to rely on early stealth, somehow delaying the launch of the innate immunity, and preventing the production of interferons that block viral replication initially. It creates a brief time window in which the virus can replicate unknowingly before the alarm bells start sounding. If the innate branch is slow to mobilize, the adaptive branch will also lag, delaying the cascade.

Why do some people recover and some don't?
Many infected people successfully clear the virus after a few weeks of nasty symptoms. But others don't. Perhaps, they inhaled a large dose of virus initially, or their innate immune system was already weakened due to old age or comorbidities. In some cases, the adaptive immune system also underperforms- T-cells mobilize, but their levels recede before the virus is vanquished, almost causing an immunosuppressed state.

How does COVID-19 damage your systems?
This failure might allow the virus to migrate deeper into the body, towards the vulnerable cells of the lungs, and to other organs including the renal, gastrointestinal and nervous systems. The immune system cannot constrain it, but does not stop trying. And that's also a problem!

This is apparently what happens in severe cases of COVID-19. If the virus is not cleared quickly, patient is susceptible to the damage caused by the immune system. Many people in intensive-care units seem to succumb to the ravages of their own immune cells, even if they eventually beat the virus. Others suffer from lasting lung and heart problems, long after they are discharged. Such immune overreactions also happen in extreme cases of Influenza , but they wreak greater damage in COVID-19.

Normally, the immune system mobilizes different groups of cells or molecules while fighting three broad groups of pathogens- viruses that invade cells, bacteria and fungi that stay outside cells, as well as parasites. Only the first of all the phases that we learned should get activated during a viral infection. But it was recently found that all three get activated in severe COVID-19 cases. The immune system almost seems confused as to what it is supposed to be doing.

All in all, it has been one and half years in the pandemic. Yet the variety of COVID-19 experiences remains a vexing mystery!

Immune Boosting Mechanisms - Healthy Immune System Healthy life.

Immune system is a complex interconnected network of many different organs, cells and proteins that work together to protect the body from illness. Its primary function is to prevent or limit the infection and keep us Health .

Our body naturally prevents invasion of microbes. A healthy system can fight pathogens like bacteria, viruses, parasites and prevent growth of tumor cells, thereby protecting the healthy tissues. Let's understand how the immune system works and how immune response is triggered to fight an infection.

Our immune system is pervasive. There are numerous cell types and subtypes that circulate throughout the body or reside in specific tissues. Immune system detects danger by recognizing specific Pathogen Associated Molecular Patterns (PAMPs) released by infectious agents and triggers a specific immune response in the form of antibodies. If immune response is not activated at the correct time, diseases arise. There's a catch here! If immune response is activated unnecessarily or is not turned off once the danger passes, different conditi like allergic reactions and autoimmune diseases arise.
Understanding the mechanism behind this network helps a researcher to examine immune responses to confront specific disorders.

What is the Mechanism of Immune System? Immune system has a complex group of defense responses to fight pathogens
Physical and chemical barriers (Innate Immunity) This forms the first line of defense against the pathogen. Innate immune system provides non-specific protection through a number of defense mechanisms. These include.
Physical barriers Skin, Mucous membranes, Hair, Cilia serve as mechanical barriers to infections. They help to trap and propel the microbes.
Chemical barriers Antimicrobial proteins like Interferons and Proteins from gut-dwelling microorganisms inhibit growth of invading microbes and destroy them.

Cellular defense Scavenger cells like leukocytes, granulocytes, macrophages, NK cells destroy infectious agents by engulfing them directly through the process of phagocytosis or other mechanisms.

Non-specific Resistance (Innate Immunity) This forms the second line of defense. The body has a number of non-specific ways to fight an infection. Usually called as early induced response, it does not provide lasting immunity against pathogens. It includes

Acute phase response When pathogens enter the body, macrophages release interleukins,that induce fever. These proteins bind to the pathogen and activate the complement system that destroys the pathogen.

Specific Resistance (Acquired immunity) This is the third and final line of defense. Protection is acquired by experiencing the infection or through vaccination and is specific to the infection. This immunity is also called as adaptive immunity depending on the activities of T and B lymphocytes (T and B cells).

B cells They interact with invaders that remain outside the body cells, secrete antibodies that bind to foreign antigens and provide humoral immunity (Antibody-mediated immunity).

T cells They recognize infectious agents that enter into cells and attack them without producing antibodies. This immune response is called cell mediated immunity.

Immune system disorders By now, you must have realized the vital role immune system plays in defending our body. But what will happen if the immune system fails or has low activity?
Immune system disorders are failures in body's defense mechanism against infectious agents. There are various disorders associated with the immune system

Immunodeficiency It is when one or more parts of the immune system are unable to fight an infectious disease. In some cases, immuno deficiency is genetic where people are born without an effective immune system. This is due to mutations that prevent immune cells from maturing. Also, diseases like HIV, tuberculosis and cancer , cripple the immune system, making an individual severely immunocompromised.

Autoinflammation In this, innate immune cells get activated and damage body's own cells. This inherited illness is caused by mutations in sensory systems that the innate immune system uses to calibrate dangers.

Autoimmunity It is when adaptive immune system mounts an attack against healthy cells or tissues. Some autoimmune diseases affect a number of organs (widespread inflammation and tissue damage in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus) whereas others attack a single organ (Pancreas in Type 1 Diabetes ).

Allergy Allergy is caused by an inappropriate immune response. The triggering antigen, however, is not an autoantigen, but a normally harmless environmental protein. Allergy can be developed in response to a wide variety of stimuli. There are 2 types of stimuli- Natural (pollen) and Drugs (antibiotics e.g. penicillin). Allergies are typically based on IgG test -mediated immune response to environmental antigen.

In case of coronavirus, it was never seen in humans before however, those who got infected must have gone through a full immune process to fight it off. People with a weakened immune system have got severely ill and lost their lives. To fight the disease, researchers have developed vaccines, that are effective and can protect people from getting severely ill from COVID-19.

It's time to get Vaccinated, Boost Immunity and Eradicate COVID.

How to Boost Immunity - A guideway for good health
Below are three ways to boost Immunity:
Spices and Herbs

Whenever a new ailment arises, a few lucky people put up a potent natural shield. Disha isn't lucky, she's simply healthier than others. She has earned good health by leading a healthy Lifestyle and hence she's less likely to fall ill.

Does that mean the rest have a compromised immune system?
We've been hearing a lot about immunocompromised people being at a greater risk of contracting undesirable diseases.

What does "immunocompromised" actually mean?
Immune system is a network of cells, tissues and organs that make your body fight infection or diseases, but when you're immunocompromised, your defenses are low, affecting your ability to fight off diseases, which eventually puts emphasis on Boosting your immunity.

How to know if your defenses are low?
The immune system changes over your lifetime, but it's time to be on guard if
You fall sick too often
You always have a cold
You have a lofty stress level
Your wounds take forever to heal
You're drained of energy all the time
You have lots and lots of tummy troubles
and in some severe cases, you do not even experience natural signs of infection like fever, swelling or even pus from a wound until it worsens.

A blood tests can help in determining how well an immune system is functioning by counting your white blood cells and immunoglobulins.

What weakens your Immune System?
Stress Stress can have a negative impact on the microbiome. Stress hormone, corticosteroid, can weaken the immune system and reduce its ability to fight off diseases.
Poor diet Malnutrition or diet lacking one or more nutrients can weaken the production and activity of immune cells and antibodies, thereby potentially disabling them.
Alcohol By default, alcohol makes it difficult for the immune system to gear up and protect the body, by killing the normal healthy gut bacteria that keep us in good health. Excessive alcohol consumption can also suppress the white blood cells.
Lack of Exercise Exercise slows down the release of stress hormone, it increases cell integrity and reduces digestive problems.
Lack of Sleep During sleep, the body releases a large group of proteins called cytokines that are needed for the regulation of immune system. Plenty of cytokines are required when the body is attacked by pathogens or is under stress and therefore lack of sleep obstructs the ability to fight infections.
Traveling Frequent traveling can upset sleep cycle and also increase the potential exposure to different types of pathogens, sequentially creating chaos in the immune system.

How to naturally Boost Immune defenses? There is no surefire way for keeping away all maladies. But here are some steps you can take to protect yourself from falling sick or minimize any effects, if you do catch them

Exercise to boost immunity and reduce stress levels Exercise has measurable effects on immunity. Exercising can be as simple as taking a 30minute walk. Starting a new health regimen to get fit can be a smart way to combat diseases.

When Sleep is Sound, Health and Happiness Abound Getting enough sleep not just helps to support immune system, but also manages stress and helps in weight-loss.

Meditation, one of the best ways to engage in restorative activities It can provide relief to immune system. A mindful meditation can reduce stress and anxiety, reduce blood pressure and enhance your way of living.

Devour your probiotics 70% of your immune system is tied to your gut Probiotics are nothing but the good bacteria in your gut. They help in enhancing immunity. Consuming food that have these bacteria can prevent certain gastrointestinal infections and keep your gut healthy and happy.

Be smart with Vitamins Not all of us need to take vitamin supplements. An average person's nutritional needs can be met by eating a variety of vegetables and fruits. However, occasionally a nutritional deficiency might call for supplements, so it's smart to get your vitamin levels tested regularly.

Spice it up Although some people are skeptical about using lots of spices, many people swear by its potential. Some spices and herbs, like turmeric, pepper, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, thyme and mushrooms have been proven of their immune-enhancing properties. Moreover by spicing up your meal you will be making it more flavorable and enjoyable making it likely for you to snack less and reduce both stomach and brain hunger.

Clean hands to protect health Hand washing is one of the most effective ways to prevent the bacteria and viruses that cause infection in all settings. Clean hands can stop spreading illness from one person to another and throughout the community

Does having good Immunity exempt you from getting vaccinated?
It is always good to prevent a disease than treating it later. Immunity is body's way of preventing diseases from pathogens, but sometimes the immune system cannot work fast enough to prevent the pathogens from causing a disease. In this case, vaccine plays a vital role. Vaccines contain heat killed or inactivated antigens, that elicit an immune response and make our immune system produce antibodies way before pathogens invade the body.

The best & most effective medicine is within your system


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