Boost your immune system

During the past year and a half, eighteen long months we have learned many valuable lessons about the world and those living in it. From coast to coast, throughout every country people have endured the stress, fear, and anxiety from a wildly contagious and deadly virus. Some of the most prominent issues with COVID-19 are the misinformation that has been shared in the news and social media, but also those that are refusing to get vaccinated and or wear a mask. Too many people have politized this virus, which should NEVER have been a political issue because it is science-based. This virus has already killed millions of innocent people worldwide and has not stopped. Throughout this post, I am going to share important information on the complications from COVID and ways we can strengthen our immune system to defend against illnesses and viruses.

COVID-19 may be different for each person that gets the virus, but some are going to be similar. Symptoms may range from minor to severe and even lead to death. The symptom may include fever, coughing, shortness of breath, trouble breathing, fatigue, chills, body aches, headache, sore throat, congestion, loss of smell or taste, nausea, and diarrhea. Some people are asymptomatic, which means they have the virus, but do not display any symptoms and are continuously spreading the virus.

Unfortunately, some people may experience COVID-19 complications that are caused by a condition called “cytokine storm”. This condition is when an infection prompts the immune system to flood the bloodstream with cytokines, which is are inflammatory proteins. These proteins may kill tissue and damage organs, and, in some situations, lung transplants will be required.

The immune system behaves similar to the way a security system we have in our homes does. My immune system does not behave the way it should, which is where my fears stem from. Although, our immune system is complex it is the first line of defense against illness. Our immunes system is comprised of various organs, cells, and proteins that have several vital roles, which include:

1. Fighting disease-causing germs such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi and eliminates them from our body.

2. Acknowledges and negates harmful substances from the environment

3. Fights disease-causing changes in the body.

Considering how crucial our immune system is and the ways all the variants of COVID-19 are impacting the world, we must do everything we can to keep our immune system healthy. Personally, the medication I take for my Multiple Sclerosis causes my immune system to be weak. Even though I have been fully vaccinated, I work from home, have groceries delivered, and rarely leave the house, I am still worried. On the rare occasion, I do leave my house, I do wear a mask because there is no way to know if the vaccine was effective for me. Also, I would not want to be an asymptomatic carrier and pass it onto someone else, even though they had the option to get the vaccine and did not.

Unfortunately, as we age our immune response capability may become reduced. With cases of COVID from the Delta variant steadily increasing, now is an important time to do everything we can to keep our immune system as healthy as possible. I am going to share several ways to help build and maintain a healthy immune system. Before you continue reading, please remember I am not a physician, nutritionist, or health expert, this is just information I have learned through a little research.

Maintaining good gut health could be the golden ticket! It has been suggested that doctors believe up to 80% of our immune system is found in our gut. A diet that is abundant with plant-based and unprocessed foods such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spice display a protective effect. Utilizing this type of diet can reduce inflammation and promote good gut bacteria, which establishes stronger immune health.

As COVID-19 continues to mutate into different and more contagious variants, continuing good hand hygiene is crucial. Washing our hands multiple times, a day for at least 20 seconds is the best and most effective way to not spread bacteria, viruses, and infections. You can count to 20 each time you wash your hands, or you can sing happy birthday or Mary had a little lamb 2 times as you wash your hands!

Continue or start taking vitamins daily. Vitamin C supplies immune defense by assisting cell function and defending against environmental contributors. If you do not want to take a vitamin C supplement, there are several natural sources including oranges, strawberries, spinach, kiwi, and grapefruit. Vitamin D can increase the immune response and defend against respiratory conditions. Of course, there are vitamin D supplements, but 10 minutes of sun exposure a day is an effective natural source.

We have all heard many times that stress is a silent killer, but it also harms our immune system as well. Stress can cause us to produce additional levels of cortisol and cytokine, which triggers inflammation. Stress can also decrease the number of white blood cells in our body that help fight off infections. Discovering ways that work best for us will restore much of what is needed for a healthy and fulfilled life.

Developing a schedule to get an adequate amount of sleep every night can help boost our immune system. Research suggests that less than six hours of sleep each night might make someone four times more likely to get sick, than someone that does get the proper amount of sleep. Our body depends on a full night’s rest to replenish cells and proteins. Of course, during the workweek, it is easier to stay with a sleep schedule because we have a set time our workday will begin, but we should use the same sleep schedule on the weekends as well

If you are currently a smoker, it is time to quit. Smoking does so many awful things to our bodies and increases the risk of cancer. There are many programs available to help you quit smoking, but it does take you making the first step! If you drink alcohol, it is best to only do this in moderation. Alcohol not only creates negative impacts on our physical body but also on our mental health.

Staying hydrated might not protect us fully from viruses but becoming dehydrated has many negative impacts on us that can easily be avoided. Dehydration can cause terrible headaches and hinder our physical performance, focus, mood, digestion, heart, and kidney function. I have mentioned before the importance of staying hydrated and provided a few useful tips. I drink water all day and even have a bottle beside my bed at night, so if I become thirsty it is available. I have purchased a few phenomenal bottles on Amazon that keep my water cold all day. I leave one bottle in the freezer, filled halfway with water so when I take it out there is ice in the bottom that helps keep the water even colder! I will share a link to the bottles that I have and hope you will find them as helpful as I do! https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0764PGKL4/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I hope the information I have shared will be helpful for you. I know there are many other ways we can work to keep our immune health the best it can be, so if you have other advice, please share with us! I have already said before, the vaccine is free, and everyone needs to get this as soon as possible. Being vaccinated and or wearing a mask will save lives. The people that are not getting vaccinated and wearing a mask are contributing to the death count, which is wrong and selfish.

Thank you for visiting my site today! I hope you are having a relaxing, safe, and wonderful weekend! I am looking forward to reading your comments, which I will respond to as quickly as I can. Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

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