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Can you boost your immune system?

Can you boost your immune system?

Look around the grocery store now-a-days, and you see plenty of supplements and products that claim to help you boost your immune system. However, boosting your immune system is actually much harder to accomplish than pop culture would have you think.

The overall function of the immune system is to prevent or limit infection; however, this also makes it very complex. Your immune system has to be strong and sophisticated enough to fight off a variety of illnesses and infections, but not too strong to overreact unnecessarily, which can cause allergies and other autoimmune disorders to develop. This system must work in a very delicate balance.

If you're looking for ways to help boost your immune system, consider maintaining a healthy lifestyle, rather than relying on a claim on a label. Below are five strategies to consider, adapted from a Harvard Medical School article, How to boost your immune system:

  1. Exercise regularly. Studies show that engaging in 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise daily can help stimulate your immune system.
  2. Eat a healthy diet. Make sure you eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats. Experts believe that your body absorbs vitamins more efficiently from dietary sources, rather than supplements. However, if you suspect your diet is not providing you with all of your needs, taking a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement may bring other health benefits. Note that there is no evidence that supplements improve your immune system or your chances of fighting off an infection or illness. And, unlike medications, supplements aren't regulated or approved by the FDA. So, taking megadoses of a single vitamin like vitamin C does not prevent viruses—more does not necessarily mean better in this case.
  3. Get plenty of sleep. Studies show that people who don't get enough quality sleep are more susceptible to get sick after exposure to viruses.
  4. Minimize stress. Frequent and long-lasting, or chronic, stress can have a negative impact on your health, leaving you with an increased chance of infection or other illnesses. Knowing this, it’s important to know how stress effects your health and how you can relieve it as well.
  5. Take steps to avoid infection or getting sick, such as washing your hands frequently, staying away from sick people, cooking meats thoroughly, and take all recommended vaccines.

Reduce your risk of exposure to COVID-19

Like other respiratory illnesses, COVID-19 is believed to be mainly spread from person to person. To prevent illness and avoid being exposed to the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends washing your hands often, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, covering your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others, covering coughs and sneezes, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces daily. To learn more about COVID-19 in Campbell County, Wyoming, visit www.cchwyo.org/covid19

CCH is open, safe and ready to see you.

With almost 80 physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners in nearly 20 specialties, CCH is committed to your wellbeing right here at home. If you have been putting off a visit to your doctor for a regular checkup, contact them; they can help weigh your personal healthcare risk and avoid further delayed diagnoses.

Visit www.cchwyo.org/findadoc to find your provider or clinic.