Surprising Things That Affect Your Immune System

Surprising Things That Affect Your Immune System

The cells and organs that comprise your immune system work 24/7 to keep germs out of your body and attack the ones that do get in. There are many things you can do to strengthen your immune system, like getting your annual flu shot and all the other vaccinations recommended by your doctor. However, your lifestyle habits also play a role. 


Intense or chronic stress increases the production of a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol inhibits the ability of T cells to fight infections effectively. In other words, stress can suppress your immune system. If you’ve been under a lot of stress lately, consider trying some relaxation techniques like tai chi or deep breathing.


Exercise can boost your immune system. It’s thought that exercise enable antibodies and white blood cells to circulate more rapidly, which may support the faster detection of infections. Exercise is also an effective way to fight stress, which weakens the immune system. Surprisingly, however, you can have too much of a good thing. Very intense, strenuous exercise can inhibit your immune system. Since a complete lack of exercise will also inhibit your immune function, it’s best to exercise regularly, but only in moderation.


Scientific research performed on rats suggests that loneliness and the anxiety that often accompanies it can affect the immune system. It’s thought that loneliness increases oxidative stress, which refers to damage inflicted by free radicals. Consequently, the oxidative stress adversely affects immune function.


It probably won’t surprise you to learn that smoking cigarettes is harmful to your immune system. But did you know that even smokeless nicotine-containing products can do the same thing? It’s due to cortisol, the stress hormone. Nicotine triggers the release of cortisol while simultaneously inhibiting the action of T cells and B cell antibody formation. In other words, vaping or using other nicotine products is not without risks. 

Your health is precious, so protect it by getting up to date on your vaccinations with help from the pharmacists at Downtown Health Mart Pharmacy in Ellensburg, WA. This store also offers diabetic supplies, wound care products, and high-quality supplements. You can call a friendly associate at (509) 925-1514.