In recent years, concerns over health and well-being have become paramount. As we emerge from global issues related to COVID-19, many people may be experiencing immune system challenges. If you or someone you know is experiencing increased sickness or difficulty fighting off infections, you may have immunosuppression.
What Is Immunosuppression?
Generally speaking, immunosuppression is when your immune system – your body’s defense mechanism – is not functioning at optimal levels. This means you may struggle with certain diseases, get sick more frequently, or not feel as good as you should.
Typical symptoms of immunosuppression may include:
- Persistent Fatigue
- Gastrointestinal Issues
- Recurring Infections
- Slow Healing Wounds
- Difficulty Sleeping
Remember, not all issues of immunosuppression are debilitating. In fact, you might just be run down because you’ve been under a lot of pressure and haven’t been taking care of your body and mind the way you’d like.
Truth be told, there are many reasons your immune system might be weakened. Here are 8 common causes of immunosuppression, and what you can do!
1. Stress Levels
When we stress, a chemical called cortisol increases in our bodies. While this elevation can help us in the short term to deal with stressful situations, we don’t want our cortisol levels constantly elevated. Persistent stress leads to unhealthy levels of other hormones and chemicals too, which over time can wear us down.
Consider practices like yoga, meditation, and exercise to reduce stress levels. Try to establish a regular sleep schedule, and limit alcohol and drug use. While certain substances may help you ‘unwind’ at the time, prolonged use will increase your stress and weaken your immune system!
2. Autoimmune Disorders
Autoimmune diseases and disorders are those conditions in which your body attacks itself (not good!). In some cases, your immune system views its tissues as foreign invaders and can cause significant harm.
Consider screening for autoimmune disorders. Such conditions include type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Proper medications and lifestyle changes can help you manage these conditions with fewer issues.
Speaking of medicine, some prescribed drugs trigger immune system issues. Many drugs used for skin conditions often