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What can damage the immune system?

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The immune system is our defense against those substances foreign to our body that can damage it. It is a reasonably complex network that must work at a perfect pace so that viruses, bacteria, and other invaders do not cause problems. When there are imbalances in the body, bad habits, and stress, the immune system suffers, and its action may be affected.

If you want to know what can damage the immune system, how the immune system is made up, what diseases can be caused by this damage, and how to improve this situation naturally, keep reading this article from FastlyHeal.

How is the immune system made up?

The immune system is quite complex and works as a perfect gear to keep your body healthy, protecting it from external threats such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. It even works to stop the abnormal reproduction of cells within the body.

Each of those microorganisms that your body comes into contact with every day generates a response that means that the next time that same microorganism appears, you are already forewarned, and you know how to deal with it. It’s the same thing that happens with vaccines: through drops or an injection, the body is exposed to small parts of microorganisms that cause serious diseases, but instead of making you sick, your body develops that response that you will need the day you do. You encounter that virus or bacteria, but you will no longer get seriously ill. This is known as immune memory., but this does not protect you against new microorganisms since each time you contact a new one, the body must trigger a series of reactions to fight it. This whole system of recognition and action is called ACTIVE IMMUNITY.

When these defenses pass through the milk in a child fed from his mother’s breast, this child can defend himself from his surroundings for that sustenance, and it is what is known as PASSIVE IMMUNITY.

These mechanisms are also so perfectly oriented that they recognize the body itself, the food we eat, or the substances that do not harm us and are in permanent contact, avoiding developing unnecessary responses.

Now, how is the immune system made up? How do you go about triggering all these perfectly coordinated reactions ?:

The immune system is made up of cells in the blood and lymph, called white blood cells. In this way, they circulate throughout the body, defending tooth and nail from any aggression. In addition to being in the blood, they are located in the mouth, nose, lungs, stomach, liver, intestines, skin, and in short, in all those areas exposed to external stimuli.

These white blood cells are small. There are different types and different functions:

  • Neutrophils: they are in the blood and are the ones that, for example, go to a skin lesion, fighting the pathogens that want to enter through there.
  • Macrophages: These are extensive cells that microbes eat.
  • Dendritic cells: are the ones that recognize what type of pathogen is entering the body and help decide how to deal with it.
  • B lymphocytes: these are small cells, but with an essential function: they produce antibodies, which collaborate by destroying microorganisms.
  • T lymphocytes: there are two types. While some help produces antibodies (helper T lymphocytes), others destroy virus-infected cells (cytotoxic T lymphocytes).
  • Memory T and B lymphocytes: their function is to remember the microbes with which you were already infected before. In this way, the specific response occurs much faster than when you meet them for the first time.
  • Regulatory T lymphocyte: all these complex mechanisms must be perfectly coordinated to act in the right way at the right time: not to work too much or too little, not sooner or later. And this is what these lymphocytes coordinate.
  • Mast cells are another type of immune cell that triggers a reaction to foreign substances. It is critical for allergy.

These different cells are produced between the bone marrow (the inner part of some bones) and the thymus (an organ in the chest).

On the other hand, there are areas where white blood cells are present in large numbers: the lymph nodes and the spleen. This is where that essential immune response that we are talking about occurs. The body activates all that defense arsenal: it produces antibodies or allows the exchange of information between the different types of white blood cells.

What damages the immune system?

Most diseases of the immune system do not know precisely why they occur, much is known about how it is damaged, what is the lousy response it gives, or how the body is affected by that disease. Still, it is not known for sure what is the reason that it malfunctions.

Suppose a body imbalance has been seen to cause the immune system to malfunction. Different factors directly influence, causing “defenses to drop” among them:

Bad nutrition

diet rich in fats, sugars, and flour has been associated with a worse immune response. It was discovered that dairy products generate exaggerated inflammatory responses, promoting not only diseases of the immune system (such as allergies) but other types: respiratory, arthritis, among others (in addition, the supposed benefit of calcium is not so since the countries with the highest consumption of milk and dairy products are where there is more osteoporosis ).

On the other hand, a diet poor in minerals and vitamins, essential to develop normal body functions, can hinder the correct work of the elements linked to immunity.


Parasites have been found to cause the body to develop altered immune responses, allowing superinfection with other microorganisms, or developing many symptoms that we would not normally associate with parasites.


The lack of disconnection and permanent alertness causes the body to secrete several substances that damage the immune system.


The lack of it generates that the body cannot work as it should since there are functions that develop when the organism is in that state of rest.

Immune system diseases

Different pathologies have to do with the immune system:

  • Allergies: it is an exaggerated reaction of the immune system to very small substances present in the environment, food, or materials that do not affect other people, but allergies do, triggering respiratory reactions (sneezing, transparent mucus, bronchospasm ) or skin (redness, itching), among others.
  • Autoimmune diseases are when the body does not recognize some substance or element of its own and considers it an enemy and, therefore, attacks it. This is the case of problems such as lupusrheumatoid arthritis, or multiple sclerosis, to name a few examples.
  • Cancer: This is the abnormal multiplication of cells in the body, the immune system can stop this in the early stages, but sometimes it cannot. In that case, the tumors grow and can invade other structures. Research is underway to promote this response to cure certain types of cancer (it would be immunotherapy).
  • Recurrent infections: there are a series of problems caused by failures in the immune system that generate a greater possibility of conditions. This is the case of congenital immunodeficiencies (losses from birth), acquired immunodeficiencies (such as HIV), use of medication (such as corticosteroids), lack or loss of elements of the immune system (lack of spleen due to accidents or birth, or alterations in the bone marrow due to leukemia, for example). These are, to name a few, possibilities.

Tips to boost the immune system

To increase the defenses, the best strategy is to regain balance. In this way, the immune system can be strengthened naturally. There are different issues that you can take into account. You should know that the more and better you apply these tips, your body will gradually recover its state of health. It may be that if your habits are not very healthy, at first, you think that things are not going well: secretions, feverish symptoms, diarrhea, or skin rashes may appear, but what is happening is that your body is managing to get rid of substances that it has accumulated (in the liver, fat tissue, for example) and that cause damage.

Some tips to boost the immune system:

Improve your diet

Raw fruits and vegetables (well washed with vinegar and bicarbonate) and sprouted, fermented nuts should be the basis of your diet. Leave out: flours with gluten, dairy, refined sugar, meats, processed products.

Drink water

Leave out other drinks with sugar, sweeteners or flavorings, alcohol, and coffee. Do not smoke.


There are about 5 to 10 minutes of sun in the early morning or afternoon without sunscreen. This practice helps to synthesize vitamin D, which is very important not only for bones but also for the immune system. However, it would be best if you did not expose yourself for a long time or when the sun is most vital because it could increase the risk of skin cancer.

Avoid unnecessary cosmetics

The skin is one of the internal toxic cleansing organs; you should help it with exfoliations and washes, alternating between hot and cold water to improve circulation and avoid unnatural cosmetics. The nails do not escape this. They allow oxygenation, with which the enamels impede their function.


Parasites are present in all people, and the vast majority cannot be detected with the usual tests, but it has been shown that they hinder the work of the immune system. The whole family should have treatments permanently or once or twice a year. You can use propolis, colloidal silver, or herbal teas of mugwort, eucalyptus, suit, or clove to do it naturally.

Sleep well

Sleep is essential to keep the immune system in good condition. Sleeping 8 hours a day is what the body needs. If you find it difficult to carry it out, you should try to accommodate it. A good way is through sleep hygiene.

do exercise

Performing 30 minutes a day is essential: it helps circulation, releases well-being hormones, and helps eliminate accumulated toxins.

Manage stress

Exercise is good practice to limit it, as is rethinking what stresses you. Problems are often made worse by our thoughts, fears, and prejudices. An emotional balance is essential for a healthy immune system.

In the following article, you can see more tips on naturally strengthening the immune system.

This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to What can damage the immune system?, we recommend that you enter our Immune System category.

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