Click here to see some of the CWC success stories. So much of life is about what you feel rather than what you think. The information provided is, to the best of our knowledge, reliable and accurate. And understanding is crucial for many people. These feelings stay in our muscles, ligaments, stomach, midriff, auras. When stress is chronic — that is, prolonged or unrelenting — it can do far more harm than good.
By Michael Biamonte, C.C.N.
Some 50 million to 70 million American adults suffer from sleep disorders or the inability to stay awake and alert, according to the CDC. Not getting enough sleep has been linked to a laundry list of mental and physical health problems, including those that stem from an impaired immune system.
Our immune system is designed to protect us from colds , flu , and other ailments, but when it is not functioning properly, it fails to do its job. The consequences can include more sick days. The relationship between lack of sleep and our immune systems is not quite as straightforward as mom made it out to be, however.
The immune system is pretty complex. It is made up of several types of cells and proteins that are charged with keeping foreign invaders such as colds or flu at bay. This could potentially lead to the greater risk of developing a cold or flu. In simple terms, sleep deprivation suppresses immune system function. Sleep loss not only plays a role in whether we come down with a cold or flu. It also influences how we fight illnesses once we come down with them.
For example, our bodies fight infection with fevers. But there are many things that can weaken an adequately strong immune system. The immune system defends the body from developing potentially harmful diseases and conditions caused by bacterial, parasitic, fungal and viral infections.
The immune system also restricts tumors and cancerous growths inside the body. However, problems with the immune system can lead to illnesses and infections. Immune responses can be weakened by various external influences.
Click on NEXT to find out the top 11 things that can weaken your immune system. P eople like to ignore it but stress has a major influence on your immune system. Chronic stress -- caused by stressful situations or events that last over a long period of time -- raises cortisol levels of the body which decreases the production of 'good' prostaglandins.
Chronic stress can make you more susceptible to colds and the flu, as well as more serious health problems like heart disease, diabetes and other diseases. By practicing stress-reducing activities like yoga, meditation and laughter, you can keep your body from going into chronic stress mode.
P rolonged and excessive consumption of refined sugars and highly processed foods containing pesticides, chemical additives, and preservatives can weaken the immune system and make you vulnerable to developing chronic conditions. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that the ability of white blood cells to kill bacteria is significantly hampered for up to 5 hours after eating gm of sugar equivalent to three cans of sweetened soft drink.
A lcohol, like sugar, consumed in excess can reduce the ability of white blood cells to kill germs. Damage to the immune system increases in proportion to the quantity of alcohol consumed. In the long term, alcohol can impede the functioning of immune cells, increasing your susceptibility to infectious diseases and cancer. W ithout adequate sleep, the immune system doesn't get a chance to rebuild, and it becomes weak. Poor sleep is associated with reduced number of T-cells, white blood cells that help the body fight disease.
Many studies show that people who don't get a good night's sleep or who don't get enough sleep sleeping under seven hours a night are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as the common cold.
O besity can lead to a weakened immune system. It can affect the ability of white blood cells to multiply, produce antibodies, and prevent inflammation. A study conducted by new University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine on laboratory mice shows that obesity reduces the body's ability to turn on elements of its immune systems needed for controlling influenza infection.
D uring moderate exercising, blood flow increases which promotes the process of expelling toxic waste out of your body. Fermented dairy foods contain these beneficial bacteria, which help to break down some sugars—such as lactose—making them easier to digest.
Some studies show that dairy products with the probiotic lactobacillus acidophilus, common in yogurts whose labels say they contain live strains, can be safely consumed by people who are lactose intolerant. You may also see other probiotics, such as lactobacillus bulgaricus and streptococcus thermophilus, in the ingredients lists of some fermented dairy products. In addition to containing probiotics, miso, made from fermented soybeans, is high in fiber and protein.
Eating right and still having gastrointestinal trouble? Try eating more slowly and taking smaller bites. It may also help to avoid or cut back on the following foods and drinks:. Both can overstimulate your intestines, which may leave you with diarrhea. Blends containing high fructose corn syrup may be difficult to digest and may cause abdominal gas. Red marbled meats and fried foods: Fat slows digestion, so food sits in your stomach longer. And fatty foods can temporarily weaken the muscles that normally keep gastric acid in the stomach, leading to heartburn.
Sugar-free candies and gums: Some of them contain sweeteners such as mannitol, sorbitol, and xylitol—nondigestible carbohydrates that can cause abdominal gas, discomfort, and diarrhea in people who eat 10 grams or more daily. For 80 years, Consumer Reports has been testing products and working to create a fairer, safer, and healthier marketplace.
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