There are so many germs in the world that it can feel a little scary sometimes. This is especially true right now during the current COVID-19 pandemic. But if you have a healthy immune system, you have a better chance of fighting germs off and getting better faster when you do get sick.
Made up of cells, tissue and organs, your immune system tries to keep those germs from affecting you. It also fights to get rid of them if they do get inside your body.
Certain things can weaken our immune systems, like poor nutrition, stress, lack of sleep, smoking, drinking alcohol or having other underlying health conditions. If you’re experiencing any of the six symptoms below and aren’t sure why, your immune system might not be working as well as it could.
A large part of your immune system is in your digestive system, including your intestines. If you find yourself having stomach problems all the time, like constipation, diarrhea and gas, it could mean something’s up with your immune system. This is especially true if these issues last for weeks at a time.
In many cases, it means you don’t have enough healthy bacteria in your gut. Taking a supplement may help, but before doing so discuss this with your primary care provider.
Several colds per year
The average person has one or two colds every year. If you have more than three, you may have a weak immune system. If you only have two or three but you aren’t feeling better within a week or 10 days each time you get one, this could also be a sign of a weak immune system.
We all live busy lives. It’s natural to feel tired and stressed sometimes. But if you feel that way and a good night or two of sleep doesn’t help, it could be your immune system.
This is also true if you get tired easily. Try changing your sleeping habits. Take a break from stressful situations, like work. Take time to do things you enjoy. If you still don’t have any energy, it may be time to talk with a medical professional.
Everyone burns their hand while they’re cooking or scrapes their foot on the cement from time to time. Minor wounds like burns, cuts, scrapes and punctures should heal within about five days. However, if your wounds take much longer to heal than that, it could be that your immune system is weak. It might be unable to help your skin cells regenerate as fast as they should.
If your immune system is weak, you’ll also have a harder time fighting off infections. These might include urinary tract infections (UTIs), sinus infections, pneumonia or even infections in your minor scrapes and wounds. Fungal infections, like thrush or yeast, are also common in people who have weak immune systems.
Unhealthy lifestyle habits
You may or may not have any of these symptoms. But if you don’t live a healthy lifestyle, there’s a chance your immune system isn’t working as well as it could be.
People who smoke or drink excess alcohol often fall under this category. If you eat an unhealthy diet or you’re overweight, you’re also at risk. Not getting enough sleep or exercise can lead to a weak immune system too. Even poor hygiene like not brushing your teeth regularly can cause issues with your wellness.
Try your best to adopt health habits that will help strengthen your immune system.
Have more questions about your immune system? We’re here to help. Find a Bon Secours primary care provider near you today.