Every day germs bombard your body. And every day, your immune system protects you from them. An intricate, body-wide network of cells, chemicals and organs, your immune system is what keeps you well so you can work, play, and live your life!
Unfortunately, anything that stresses you may wreak havoc on your immune health, including everyday stressors like: psychological stress, physical exertion, or lack of exercise, pollution, lack of sleep, poor nutrition, travel, the normal aging process, and change in climate.
Effects of an Out-of-Balance Immune System
Most of us know that the immune system is designed to protect the body from invading pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites to keep us healthy and disease free. Colds and flu are most often recognized as the result of a weakened, out-of-balance immune system, but other health conditions that you may not immediately associate with immune health including:
- Weight gain
- Sleep problems
Additionally, an over-active immune system can lead to inflammation. Chronic inflammation has been linked to some very serious health conditions, such as:
- Autoimmune diseases
- Cardiovascular disease
As with anything in life, balance is best! Too great an immune response can lead to allergies and inflammation. On the other hand, an immune system that is suppressed increases the chances that the body will succumb to infections, resulting in sickness.