COVID-19 has hit the world hard, however, it has been an especially big threat to those who are immunocompromised. Immunocompromised individuals have a deficient immune system that is unable to efficiently combat foreign or malicious substances entering the body. Those with IBD or ulcerative colitis are considered immunocompromised due to the increased immune activity in their intestines. While their immune system is not deficient, ulcerative colitis treatment involves medications that actually lower immune system activity. Additionally, those with gastrointestinal issues are more likely to be malnourished, missing out on important vitamins and minerals that help strengthen the immune system. Below are some ways to improve your immune system and protect yourself against COVID-19 or other viruses.
The COVID vaccine is the most reliable and science-based defense against the COVID-19 virus. The mRNA vaccine sends a message to your body’s cells to combat the virus and reduce the risk of infection and transmission.
While none of the vaccines offer 100% protection, they do reduce the vulnerability of the population to being hospitalized.
For those who have already been fully vaccinated, public health officials are now recommending a third booster shot eight months after your second shot. This has been especially suggested for those who are immunocompromised, including those with IBD and ulcerative colitis. Those who are considered immunocompromised are now recommended by the FDA and eligible to receive the booster shot.
Protectors of your immune system can be found in nature or a small capsule even! The most common supplements used to boost the immune system are vitamin C, E, A, D, iron, and zinc. All of these supplements are essential in the proper functioning of the immune system. The “alphabet” vitamins fight infections and fortify the immune system.
Iron helps with the movement of red blood cells which supports immunity. Iron is mostly found in red meats, chickpeas, poultry, and leafy greens.
Finally, zinc is necessary for the creation of new immune cells. You can get zinc by consuming lean meats, baked beans, and chickpeas.
Stress is inevitable in life, so managing stress is an important skill to develop to be as healthy as possible. High levels of stress weaken the immune systems by making the body work harder than it needs to and keeping it far from homeostasis.
During these stressful times, tune into your