If you lurch from cold to flu to a new bout of the sniffles, it’s easy to put it down to the season but they might also be indications of low immunity. Any of us can get a cold (despite the saying that some people are too slow to catch one), but if you get more than your fair share, and more than those around you who regularly share the same air, it’s time to take note of the indications of low immunity and do something about it.
I can’t say this loudly enough. The most obvious of all indications of low immunity is that you are constantly sick: if there’s “something going around” you get it; you’re the only person in the office with a cold even though the weather’s only just started getting colder; and you get more ailments than an average 6-year old. The average adult in a temperate climate gets 2-4 colds over late fall and winter. If you’re exceeding that, your germ fighting powers are at a low ebb.
Long term stress is not just emotional. Your immune health can also be compromised. Stress manifests for various reasons but when it comes to immunity, it can mean not getting enough rest or leisure time. Moving from one task or project to the next without a break can leave you feeling strung out. This means you’re more prone to attack and those pesky viruses take hold more often and hold on for longer.
We all take a little time to adjust to the changing seasons, and some of us genuinely suffer from SAD (Seasonal Adjustment Disorder) but if you’re not into the rhythm of the colder and longer days within a few weeks, you need to think about giving your immunity a boost. Being lethargic and wanting to sleep all the time is not good.
Dehydration is another symptom of low immunity and there’s quite an easy way to check. Take a peek at your pee. The strength of color is a good indicator of your health. If your urine is dark yellow, it’s time to drink more water, lady. This also ties in with listening to the advice we all get when we have the flu or a cold – drink more fluids! (Learn more about what your urine can tell you here.)
There are many reasons why sugar is bad for us but it doesn’t stop us craving it. Sugar affects your immune system because it weakens the germ killing response of the white blood cells. Consuming more than 100 grams of sugar a day hinders your body’s ability to fight off germs and bacteria. But in a vicious circle, your body doesn’t stop craving it.
Yes, we associate a runny, sniffly nose with colds and flu and this is because mucus production is a way of fighting off the germs. But if between bouts of colds and flu, your nose is very dry, you’re more susceptible to those cold and flu-causing germs.
Did you know that one of the issues caused by obesity is metabolic abnormalities that increase the risk of contracting the H1N1 Influenza virus? These metabolic abnormalities knock your immunity system all over the place. And you don’t have to be obese. A few extra pounds put stress on your body, affecting your immune response and leaving you at risk of all sorts of germs.
Even if you know you have a number of these signs of low immunity, I think you can see that most of them are easily remedied. You can reset your immune system with the cornerstones of health – a good, balanced diet, regular exercise and at least 7 hours sleep per night. If you do all these things and still have the indications of low immunity, it’s time to see the doctor. Do you take time to adjust to the change of season?