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What screws up our immune system?

Nice to be back after a (not-so) brief hiatus. While I was guilty about not keeping up my commitment of publishing twice a week here on Gingerchai, I’ve been working my butt off and also focusing on family and friends quite a bit. Lots of good things happening at work – son’s in a new academic year, I’ve had some major restructuring at work – in short – it has been a period of change – all for the good J I hope. I am back with some interesting health info. We all lead hectic lives and in the process, think nothing of various things that screw up our immunity. Fact is, if our immune system is not strong, we tend to fall sick often. The good news is – for most people, the immune system does kick in like a favorite friend – but constant abuse can make it weak, and reduce the body’s ability to fight illnesses – even minor ones.

Can you control your immune system?

Yes – by controlling our habits, because when we’re conscious about staying healthy, it keeps the immune system in check. Here are some things that sabotage our immune system – so you decide whether you can do anything about it:


Hmm. You really should kick the butt. Cigarettes not only weaken your immune system, but make you more prone to colds and ‘flus. The smoking habit can damage the linings of your mouth and nose, which are a part of your immune system. Smoking makes your immune system attack your lung tissue, laying you open to COPD – chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, a respiratory condition that has no cure.

Not getting enough sleep

So you’re one of those really great individuals who can get by with a few hours of zzz every night. You feel proud about sleeping late and waking up early. Not getting enough rest can open you to conditions like depression, diabetes and obesity. Not fun.  Every adult needs at least 7 – 8 hours of sleep everyday. If not? Well, you’re just screwing up that immune system and inviting colds and flus, not to mention gradually beginning to look like something even the cat will refuse to drag in.

One peg too many on a regular basis

Another think that attacks the immune system is regular alcohol intake.  If you cannot live without your daily dose of alcohol, think about how the alcohol wears away the linings of your mouth and esophagus, giving out an open invitation to    viruses and bacteria and the next thing you know, you’ve got a cold or flu. Women who drink must restrict themselves to one drink a day. For men, no more than two per day – if you really have to.


Pressure at work, home and near – and dear ones. What to do? The stress just gets to you and affects your immune response, lowering your resistance to infections. Stress causes conditions like herpes. Ugh. It is important to exercise and get rid of stress. Deep breathing is good too.

Unhealthy eating habits

Too many sugary foods can give you a temporary high, only to leave you feeling quite lousy when that wears off. You have to get enough fruits and veg to strengthen your immune system. Not eating healthy can make you susceptible to disease. You put on weight. How sexy is that?

Unsafe sexual behavior

Risk is good – but only with some things in life. Risky sex puts you at risk for HIV infections, which can kill the immune system. Practice safe sex. Always use a condom. Be safe. Not sorry.

Lack of exercise

Exercise keeps your body healthy. At least thirty minutes of vigorous activity is a must on a daily basis. Try brisk walking, playing a game, walking your dog – whatever works for you to sweat it out. It keeps your metabolism in balance and helps your immune system stay healthy.

So – again – can you control your immune system? Yes.

Stay healthy!

Your thoughts?

Vidya Sury is a full-time professional freelance content writer/Mom/blogger. She loves life and blogs at Your Medical Guide, Going A-Musing and Coffee with Mi.

0 23 April, 2011 Health April 23, 2011

About the author

Vidya's healthy concoctions (read: health posts) makes the perfect cup of GingerChai for body and soul of our readers. Follow @vidyasury You can read her personal concoctions in her personal blog, Going A-Musing

View all articles by Vidya Sury


      1. Mani

        sleep, stress,eating habits and lack of exercise. i don’t smoke. though i would like a cock tail once a year. And unsafe sex? Geez! my family will kill me if. I even think of it. 😀

  1. astrosunilnomy

    Thanks Vidya for the nice article, Wish it would be more elaborate listing out something like top 10 vegetables & fruits to keep you healthy, in modern lifestyle at least we can do the bare minimum including these in our diet to improve our immunity & i needed to ask, does immunity has got to do anything with allergy? if immunity reduces does it increase chances of being prone to allergic reactions, say i got hay fever or allergy cold, getting bad cold & throat infection often, needed practical really working tips to improve immune system to fight common cold or allergic cold. & what about those supplementary vitamins or pills suggested by our doc, Is it good to take them ? ofcourse its very difficult to include all things in diet, especially if one is staying away form home. So needed at least some tips which we can follow easily to improve our health generally.

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