Having a Compromised Immune System
The Immune System
The immune system is vast, utilizing many mechanisms to fulfill its responsibilities for the recognition and destruction of all foreign pathogens that can be located within any biological system of the body. It is necessary for the immune system to recognize the pathogen before it can be destroyed. However, organisms (including bacteria and viruses) are consistently evolving and mutating new adaptations in attempts to successfully evade immune system detection.
The Compromised Immune System
A compromised immune system can occur in various ways. The immune system exists in equilibrium (a harmony). This equilibrium can be disrupted resulting from genetic diseases, specific conditions, infections, medications, and even improper nutrition/lifestyle habits.
Medicinally, immunodeficiency is defined as a state where the immune system is compromised, weakened, or entirely absent. As the immune system is responsible for recognition and destruction of foreign pathogens, any immunodeficiency can lead to a greater susceptibility for infections and diseases. Any individual that has a weakened or deficient immune system is immune compromised. An immunodeficiency can be primary or acquired dependent upon circumstances. A primary immunodeficiency is typically genetically inherited. An acquired immunodeficiency is one that is derived from the contraction of a certain disease or condition.
Strengthening a Compromised Immune System
Any compromise to the immune system can be devastating to overall general health. Due to this fact, ways to strengthen a compromised immune system will be discussed. There are several ways in which a compromised immune system can be strengthened. Common techniques include nutrition improvements (dietary choices), increasing amounts of exercise, and stress reduction.
Proper nutrition is required for the proper functioning and maintenance of all biological systems. If proper nutrition is not provided, the body can not automatically or naturally fix this problem. Nutrition, including vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids must be obtained or consumed. Nutrition is especially required by the immune system for the production of immune system cells (macrophages, white blood cells, B and T cells) and for the overall process of recognizing and destroying foreign pathogens, in addition to wound healing. There are also supplements available for this.
Moderate amounts of exercise on a regular basis (3 - 4 days per week), have been shown to have positive effects on immune system function. There are currently studies being completed to find exact reasons for these associations. Exercise is good for all biological systems within the body, and is also correlated with improvements in mood and attitude.
High levels of stress hormones have been associated with a suppression of normal immune system functions. This suppression leads to a reduction in the body's ability to repair and defend itself. There are many methods in which an individual can control or reduce stress levels including relaxation techniques involving visualization, yoga, support groups, or meditation. These relaxation techniques have been strongly correlated with reductions in stress. Reductions in stress act as bolsters for the immune system, associating with increased activity levels.