First, let’s define immunocompromised. According to the National Cancer Institute, it means having a weakened immune system. Immunocompromised people have a reduced ability to fight infections and other diseases. To know more and get help, visit the CGHMC Cancer Institute.
Who are the immunocompromised?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these are the examples of people who have immunocompromised systems:
- cancer patients or transplant patients who take immunosuppressive drugs;
- those with inherited diseases that affect the immune system (e.g., congenital agammaglobulinemia, congenital IgA deficiency)
What are the signs that you have a weakened immune system?
Amid this COVID19 pandemic, more people are taking precautions to stay healthy, especially now that there are variants like the Delta variant coming out, each more transmissible than the other. Aside from practicing safety protocols and being vaccinated, your immune system is your built-in defense system against COVID19. Your body is programmed to let you know when it’s not feeling good, but here are signs to look out for to know your immune system is weak.
- Your stress level is high
- You always have a cold
- You have a lot of stomach trouble
- You have frequent infections
- You feel tired all the time
If you feel the signs or see the signs in someone you know, you should do something about it. Boosting the immune system is easy but it becomes a challenge because of the lifestyle choices we make.
Visit our Center for Respiratory Services to help you cope with Covid-19 and the Delta variant.
Here are five ways to boost your immune system against the virus:
1. Eat a balanced diet.
A healthy diet is key to a strong immune system. This means making sure that you eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, healthy fats, and lean protein. It’s also advisable to get sufficient amounts of micronutrients including Vit. B6, Vit. C and Vit. E.
2. Drink plenty of water.
Drinking water regularly helps flush out the toxins from our bodies. Fluid in the circulatory system called lymph is largely made up of water and carries an important infection-fighting immune system around your body. Dehydration slows down lymph movements leading to an impaired immune system.
3. Get enough sleep
Sleep may not be an active process, but many important activities happen to our bodies during sleep. Studies have shown that people who are not getting enough sleep are more prone to sickness after exposure to viruses, like the common cold, or in the worst case possible, the coronavirus. To give your immune system its best chance to fight illness and infections, it’s best to know how much sleep you need to be getting every night.
4. Exercise regularly
Physical activity is important in helping yourself de-stress. We know that stress is one of the factors that could lower your immune system, so exercising regularly can help counter that. Especially now with the COVID 19 and its variants bringing more lockdowns in places all over the world, mobility is lessened, and people are forced to live sedentary lives. Exercise improves immune functions by boosting your overall circulation. Studies have shown that exercising for as little as 30 minutes a day helps stimulate your immune system.
5. Minimize stress
It’s important how stress affects your health, including the impact it has on your immune system. When stressed, particularly chronic stress, the body responds by initiating a stress response. This suppresses the immune system, increasing the chances of an infection.
Stress manifests differently for everyone because we have different stressors. We relieve stress differently too. Given its effects on the body, we must identify our stressors, so we know how to manage and minimize them. Deep breathing, prayer, meditation, you should know what activities help you relax and reduce stress.
Prevention is always better than cure. Boosting your immune system and getting vaccinated are the best things you can do for yourself to prevent getting sick. We must be more vigilant especially that the new variants like the Delta variant are here in the country. Continue to practice the minimum health protocols mandated by the World Health Organization and the Department of Health (DOH).
The Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center is always here to provide guidance and support to our patients. Get vaccinated now and together we can help keep the numbers down and protect ourselves and our loved ones from getting sick. If you think you might be infected and need a swab test, please call our hotline at (02) 8711-4141 local 372/373/379 or send us an SMS / Viber message at +639955442347.