Our immune system is the main line of protection we have against infectious microbes. It works round the clock to keep us healthy and disease-free. A balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle help maintain your immune system. On the other hand, things like stress, sedentary lifestyle and excess intake of alcohol can negatively affect your immunity, making you prone to infections. Given the current situation, many of us have had to evaluate the status of our health – those with a weaker immune system have shown to be worse affected by COVID-19. If you’ve often wondered how your immune system is doing as well, here are four signs to look out for that could indicate a weak immune system.
1. Frequent infections and longer healing time
This is probably the most obvious sign of weak immunity. A weakened immune system cannot properly eliminate harmful bacteria, fungi and viruses and as a result, you become prone to frequent infections.
According to experts, if you tend to catch a cold more than three times a year and you take longer than usual to recover from a common cold, it indicates that your immune system is not working at its best.
Same goes for any wounds or cuts you have. If you have weak immunity, your skin would take much longer to heal itself.
As per the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology reports, if you need more than two courses of antibiotic treatment in a year or if simple bacterial infections tend to turn severe for you, you may have an immunodeficiency disorder and it is best to consult with a doctor.
2. Excessive tiredness
If you are constantly tired and even catching on some extra hours of sleep does not help, it might be a sign that your immune system is struggling. Your body needs energy for all of its functions and a weak immune system would need more than the normal levels of your body’s energy reserves to keep on fighting infections. As a result, you may end up feeling tired all the time.
3. Stomach issues
According to Johns Hopkins, a big part of your immune system lies in your gut. Your gastrointestinal tract has a lot of good bacteria that release antibodies and other useful substances to maintain your immunity.
When there is an imbalance in your gut bacteria or when you have low gut bacteria, you may become prone to more infections. It may also make you prone to autoimmune diseases and various inflammatory conditions.
Gut bacteria also play a role in digestion. So, if you tend to get frequent stomach issues like constipation or diarrhea, it may be a sign that you need to have your immune system checked.
4. Mouth ulcers
Mouth ulcers can occur due to a number of causes such as when you accidentally bite down your tongue or cheek. However, a weak immune system (due to cold or flu) may also be the reason for a mouth ulcer.
Also, stress is another cause of mouth ulcers and it is known that constant stress can weaken the immune system.
For more information, read our article on What it means to be immunocompromised.
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