The immune system is also known as the body's defense system that helps to protect the body from harmful bacteria or viruses prevalent in the surroundings. A good immune system protects your body from infections which in turn helps your body to remain healthy. However, the immune system of the body cannot remain the same throughout your life as it undergoes many changes from your birth till you grow old. In this article, we will see the interrelation between age and immune system to understand the concept better.
Thus, the effect of aging on the immune system is adverse as when we grow old the body makes fewer T cells. T cells are found in our immune system which attacks other illness-causing cells, they usually remember the harmful invaders and protect the body if they attack again. However, when the body grows old they produce fewer T cells so they do not protect against such infections, and this causes various diseases and weakness in the body. Your immune system naturally weakens as you age and is the lowest when you turn 60.
How to Improve Immune System in Elderly?
Elder people are more prone to infections and diseases. There are many people who wonder how to improve immune system in elderly?
We must know that a weak immune system is a home to many infections which include viral as well as deadly diseases like cancer, tuberculosis, etc. As we grow old our immune system weakens due to the low production of T cells ( a type of white blood cells) which helps the body to fight infections (this process is natural). Still, there are various ways that can help you to improve your immune system so that your body can fight back against diseases.
These are as follows-
1. Eat Healthy- No matter how old you are, diet plays a major role in the functioning of the immune system. For instance- even a child can have a weak immune system due to lack of nutrition in the diet. This makes it important to eat a healthy balanced diet full of vegetables, fruits, dairy products which will help to maintain a stable level of vitamins, minerals, and calcium in your body. Do not consume a high amount of sugar, salt, fats. Maintaining a healthy diet can ultimately help to boost your immune system.
2. Stay Active- During old age, it is difficult to remain active as your bones and muscles get weak with time but you should not give up. Even going for a morning walk every day for 20 minutes will keep your body healthy as it increases blood circulation and has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body which will help to make your immune system stronger.
3. Adequate amount of Sleep- Scientific study has proved that getting plenty of sleep helps to keep your immune system healthy as sleep helps to heal the body. Lack of sleep can raise stress in the body which in turn weakens the immune system. Taking a proper 8 or 9-hour sleep per day is important.
4. Stay Hydrated- With age many people lose their sense of thirst but an adequate amount of hydration is important to keep your immune system strong. Drinking at least 8 to 9 litres of water is important to keep your body hydrated and toxic-free. This is one of the important tips to know how to improve immune system in elderly.
5. Reduce Stress- Regardless of age, managing stress is important to boost the immune system. A high level of stress may hinder your immune system adversely. Stress can be reduced by doing meditation and yoga exercises daily.
6. Quit Smoking- Smoking harms the immune system adversely to people of old age group as it makes it even more difficult for the body to fight against diseases like cold, flu, and other viruses. It also causes many deadly diseases related to the lungs and heart.
7. Do not Consume Alcohol- Consumption of alcohol can weaken your immune system which makes the body more prone to infections. However, you can drink one or two glasses weekly if you feel the urge to drink.
We must know that Age and immune system go hand in hand. The effects of aging on the immune system are evident at multiple levels which includes low level of production of B and T cells in bone marrow and reduced function of mature lymphocytes. However, there are various ways to boost the immune system as mentioned above. Other than these, you can also take preventive medicines such as the vaccine for flu because old people are more prone to viral infections.
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