The immune system is a very important part of the body. It’s the important task of defending and protecting the body against disease-causing germs. The immune system-with its system of special cells, proteins, tissues and organs-works hard day in and day out to avoid illness and infection. But there are times when it fails to work optimally, and we get ill consequently.
Everyone has experienced being ill, whether from simple ailments such as colds or the flu, or from something more serious like pneumonia or malaria. This implies that our immune system isn’t always in excellent condition. Sometimes it weakens and we become prone to ailments. At other times it’s strong, so much so that when a viral disease affects everyone around us, we nevertheless stay disease-free. It’s intriguing to learn about it and how it defends, and at times fails to defend, our entire body.
The cells which primarily which make it up are white blood cells known as leukocytes. They’re found in various areas of the body, like the thymus gland, bone marrow and spleen. They’re also in lymph nodes located throughout the body. Like soldiers, these white blood cells circulate throughout the body, monitoring a variety of places for the existence of “antigens” that identify dangerous foreign microorganisms.
When they discover an antigen, they create “antibodies” to attack the foreign bodies. Phagocytes are specialized white blood cells which neutralize invading entities by gobbling them up. Lymphocytes are another sort of white blood cells which”remember” previous invaders and handle them when they try another round of attack against the body.
Sometimes, these leukocytes or other pieces of it weaken, and the body becomes more vulnerable to various infections. Deadly germs can certainly colonize certain areas of the body and wreck havoc there. People that are “immunocompromised” are individuals that have a weak or compromised immune system. Examples are individuals with AIDS, cancer sufferers undergoing chemotherapy, and those about to get organ transplants.
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Many medications, like those for cancer, suppress it. Milder forms of immunocompromise are more commonplace and influence nearly everyone from time to time. When we are stressed, tired or depressed, our immune system suffers. This can also be caused by inadequate diet, lack of sleep or rest, and physical fatigue. Marathoners, by way of instance, are known to be particularly prone to infections after conducting the complete 42-kilometer race.
Dieters who deprive themselves of essential nutrients are also more susceptible to different sorts of illness. And studies have shown that depressed men and women are immunocompromised because the nervous system directly affects the immune system. Even aging tends to reduce the strength of the system, according to older people who tend to get ill more easily. Apparently, a great deal of things in our own lives can sap it.
The most common offenders being anxiety, exhaustion and poor diet, we could compensate by trying to lower our anxiety, get enough rest, and eat balanced meals. We can also take nutritional supplements that boost the immune system, such as multivitamins. We should all take decent care of our immune system, so we can remain healthy and disease-free.