Understanding Your Immune System

Your immune system is your body’s version of the military – sworn to defend against all who threaten it, both foreign and domestic. It has some really interesting soldiers that help make this possible.
Your immune system protects against disease, infection, and helps you recover after an injury.
Your immune system is ready for anything you can throw at it. But it can only handle so much.
Stress has a significant effect on your immune system. During stress, a series of events release cortisol, adrenaline and other stress hormones from the adrenal gland. Together they help your body cope with stress. It’s important to find healthy ways to deal with your stress. This will decrease your risk of long-term stress and its related health problems.
Your immune system can adapt, which is why human beings have been around for so long.
Once your body comes in contact with a foreign substance, it attacks it and remembers it. If it comes back, your body knows what to do. This is most apparent with measles: One infection is usually enough to protect you for life.

The complexity of the immune system is secondary only to that of the central nervous system, although the immune system is older in evolutionary terms (1). Our immune system is often described as possessing two principal components: innate and adaptive immunity, which work in concert to defend the body against infection.

Can You Really Strengthen Your Immune System?

The good news is that it IS possible to strengthen your body’s immune system so you’re less likely to develop an attack in the first place. The other advantage of a robust immune system is that on those occasions when you pick up a bug, your body will return to health faster than the “average” sufferer.
As humans age, the immune system evolves from the immature and developing immune responses in infants and children, through to immune function that is potentially optimal in adolescents and young adults, followed by a gradual decline in immunity (particularly adaptive processes) in older people [1].
Age-related changes are compounded by certain lifestyle factors (e.g., diet, environmental factors, and oxidative stress) specific to each life stage that can influence and modify, in some cases suppressing, immune function. Accordingly, the risk and severity of infections such as the common cold and influenza (the most common illnesses in humans [2]), pneumonia and diarrheal infections also vary over a lifetime.
The optimal immune function is dependent on a healthy immune system. In turn, adequate nutrition is crucial to ensure a good supply of the energy sources, macronutrients and micronutrients required for the development, maintenance and expression of the immune response [2].
There is a bidirectional interaction among nutrition, infection and immunity: the immune response is compromised when nutrition is poor, predisposing individuals to infections, and a poor nutritional state may be exacerbated by the immune response itself to an infection [4].

It is clear that optimal immunocompetence depends upon the nutritional status [5]. It is recognized that micronutrient deficiencies and suboptimal intakes are common worldwide [6], and certain micronutrients may be more likely to be insufficient at different stages of the life course. This can affect the risk and severity of infection, and in fact an individual’s nutritional status can predict the clinical course and outcome of certain infections such as diarrhea, pneumonia and measles [3].
Resistance to infection may be enhanced by adding the deficient nutrient back into the diet and restoring immune function [3]. However, it is not always possible to achieve good nutritional status via the diet alone. In developing countries, for example, it may be difficult to find an adequate and varied supply of food. Even in industrialized nations, where it may be presumed that healthy, nutritious food is easier to obtain, social, economic, educational, ethnic and cultural backgrounds influence the diet and may adversely affect an individual’s micronutrient status [7].

References Chapter 1 Can You Really Strengthen Your Immune System?

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Level 1.No real concern, there is only a need to maintain.

Level 2. Concern and symptom needing solutions 

Level 3. Severe symptoms and some real concerns needing solutions

Level 4. Sever symptoms and serious concerns
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