The immune system is essentially a tool to help prevent or reduce infection, as it releases antibodies to attack germs that cause diseases.
The immune system consists of different organs and cells that protect the body from germs, such as bacteria, viruses, and toxins.
But, sometimes, the body’s natural defense system doesn’t work to the best of its ability. Here are six ways to know that your immune system is “dysfunctional”:
1. Extreme stress
We all feel stressed from time to time. But if this feeling is a constant background to your life, your immune system may not be in good shape, according to Penn Medicine.
A report issued by the American Psychological Association says that our bodies are well equipped to deal with stress in small doses, but when this stress becomes long-term or chronic, it can have serious effects on our bodies and hinder the immune system.
Nadia Hassan, MD, a physician at Delancey Internal Medicine, explained that because “stress reduces the body’s lymphocytes, the white blood cells that help fight infections,” it could mean you’re more at risk of contracting viruses like the common cold.
2. She constantly suffers from a cold
The average adult gets two to four colds a year, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.
More than this may indicate a weakened immune system, said Dr Peter Abell, senior lecturer in biomedical sciences at the University of Central Lancashire. Adding that this may be due to the body not producing enough lymphocytes that produce antibodies that fight viral infections.
One reason for this is that your diet may not provide you with the vitamins you need to produce these cells, such as vitamin B12, folic acid or zinc.
3. She suffers from abdominal problems
You may not think your stomach has anything to do with your immune system, but according to research conducted in 2012, 70% of your immune system is located in your digestive system in the lining of your intestines.
The beneficial bacteria and microorganisms that live there defend your gut from infection and support your immune system, but low amounts can put you at risk for viruses, chronic infections, and even autoimmune disorders.
“It normally fights toxins that may be ingested,” Dr. Appel explained. “It also regulates the nutrients that enter, so a weak immune system can lead to stomach cramps and diarrhea.”
Penn Medicine noted that frequent gas can also be another symptom of a weak immune system.
4. Being tired all the time
If you feel constantly tired despite getting a good night’s sleep, it may be a sign of a weak immune system.
According to Dr. Nadia, your energy levels drop when your immune system suffers because “your body is trying to conserve energy to fuel your immune system so it can fight off germs.”
5. Frequent infections
If you struggle with recurring infections, this could reflect conditions ranging from ear infections to pneumonia and sinusitis.
Bacterial infections of the gums, athlete’s foot (or tinea pedis, a skin fungal infection that usually starts between the toes), and abdominal upset can also be signs that your immune system is suffering, said Susie Perry, a food scientist and nutritionist from sisterlylab.com.
6. Slow-healing wounds
When you get burned, cut or scratched, your body works to protect the wound by sending nutrient-rich blood to the site of the injury to help regenerate new skin.
But this healing process depends on the presence of healthy immune cells, so your wounds will take longer to heal if your immune system is weak, according to Penn Medicine.
A huge study reveals the group most at risk of smartphone addiction!
Young women are the demographic group most at risk of developing smartphone addiction, according to a major study on phone addiction, which included 50,000 people worldwide.
The researchers, who conducted an online survey of people aged between 18 and 90 in 200 countries, found that a third of the world’s population uses their phones in an addictive way.
They discovered that citizens of some South Asian countries, such as the Philippines and Malaysia, are more likely to develop smartphone addiction, even more so than in the United States.
Experts say the scale of the international problem poses a serious mental health concern in many countries.
Previous studies have linked above-average smartphone use to a range of mental health problems, including sleep problems, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), depression, and anxiety.
In the new study conducted by experts at McGill University in Canada and Harvard University, 50,423 participants filled out a questionnaire about their phone use habits.
The majority of participants – 64% – were female, and the average age was 39 years.
The survey included 10 statements that participants rated from 1 (strongly disagree) to 6 (strongly agree), for a total score ranging from 10 to 60. The most common statement that participants agreed on was: “I use my smartphone for longer than I intend.”
The team said that a score between 31 and 33 indicates smartphone addiction. Accordingly, the sample found that 29 to 31% of the Earth’s population is at risk.
The researchers found that women under the age of forty are more susceptible to this problem, compared to men of the same age and older people.
The team said this may be because women tend to use their phones more for social purposes, such as texting.
They also said that women “generally have higher rates of depression and anxiety,” which could lead them to fail or use their phones.
The team explained that more research is needed to determine why rates are higher in some countries than others.
The study was published in the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction.