Your Immune System May Need Help

May 18th, 2020 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Understanding Your Immune System

In layman/woman’s terms, your immune system is a group of biological structures and processes in your body that protect you from disease. It’s not just one thing; it’s a group of many that is referred to as a system. AARP Bulletin recently published an article about the aging immune system, and we highly recommend you read it.

As we age, the immune system naturally doesn’t work as well; there is research evidence that our senior bodies just don’t produce as many immune cells as they did when we were younger.

We also tend to develop more inflammation. Inflammation can occur anywhere in the body, and symptoms differ a lot among seniors. And further, you may be seriously inflammed and not know it. The AARP article says this: “…unregulated stress (inflammatory) can motivate you to stress-eat highly processed sugary/fatty/salty foods (inflammatory) and they can also pack a calorie punch for weight gain (inflammatory), promote a poor bacterial balance in your gut microbiome (inflammatory), and over time push you into metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes (inflammatory). ” Wow! You might want to re-read that quote. The culprit here (inflammation) can be silent. Very silent.

Solutions

Again, the AARP Bulletin article offers options for addressing inflammation. They recommend and discuss several interventions:

  • movement: a daily exercise regimen for seniors, not too strenuous, is essential for immune health;
  • weight management and nutrition: healthy, well-balanced meals keep seniors from being overweight; if you don’t know how to prepare and eat good nutritious meals, ask your doctor for a referral to a licensed nutritionist; there is also a lot of how-to information on the Internet about calorie counting and meal prep for seniors;
  • self-knowledge: Information is Power was probably first said by Sir Francis Bacon; that certainly applies here; the more you know about your body and your health conditions, the better equipped you are to address any potential problem areas; don’t shy away from getting the information; go after it!
  • calm: out-of-control stress isn’t necessarily palpable, but it surely does mess up the immune system and inflammation is the result; be sure you engage in calming activities each and every day… like yoga, meditation, mindfulness, exercise;
  • vaccines: be sure you get all the vaccines your physician recommends;
  • medications: some medications interfere with immune system functioning; be sure you talk with your doctor about any long-term meds you are on, and how they might be affecting your immune response.

Please read the entire AARP Bulletin (May 2020) article, Friends. It could help save your life.



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