It is right that a child and an older person seem to be similar according to the behavior changes. Aging plays a crucial role in one’s life. When you start growing old, you notice many changes in your body like your appearance, muscles loosen up, hormonal changes, etc. The same is the case with the immune system. With time, the immune system also starts to lose its strength. But there is nothing that should trouble you. Like people who start using anti-aging creams and whitening creams to maintain their charm, you can work on your immune system. But it is not as easy as you might think. It would be best if you were careful with what you do and eat as you start to grow old. This article will help you understand the immune system’s basics and how you can protect it while aging.
What is the immune system?
In simple words, the immune system is a complex network of organs, cells, and tissues which together help your body to fight infections and other diseases by fighting off the germs. But this is not just it. The immune system further divides into other different parts:
- Mucous membrane
- White blood cells
- Tissues and organs of the lymph system
The immune system plays a critical role in the body. Hence, it should be taken care of correctly as the immune system produces antibodies that help you fight the infection and the harmful substances. Immunity is of three types:
- Innate immunity
- Active immunity
- Passive immunity
The working of the immune system
The immune system helps the body fight harmful substances or infections, which are popularly known as antigens. The antigens are present in the form of germs like viruses & bacteria or the state of chemicals or toxins. The antigens could also be in the form of cells damaged from diseases like cancer and sunburn. When the immune system identifies these antigens, it tends to attack, known as an immune response. The making of the antibodies is part of this process. Antibodies are the proteins that attack, weaken, and destroy the antigens found in your body. Your body also produces other cells that help in fighting the antigens. The immune system holds the capability of remembering the antigen. So, next time when the antigen tries to enter your body again, your immune system quickly identifies and catches it and releases the right antibody to fight it so that you don’t fall sick. Hence, the protection provided against certain diseases is known as immunity. The immune system’s working appears to be complicated, but it happens daily to protect the body from harmful substances. Hence, it would be best to take care of your immune system as you grow old or fall sick very often. A healthy body is significant for a healthy living.
What happens to your immune system as you grow old?
Most of us have seen our grandparents getting old and how the changes take place. They tend to become weak, change in posture, the problem in vision, and whatnot. As you grow older, many things tend to slow down, and the same happens with your immune system. The immune system also does not work in the same way as before and slows down, affecting your overall health. That’s the reason why older people require a lot of care and love. The immune system might undergo the following changes:
- The immune system takes a longer time than usual to respond. In simpler words, it becomes slow, which increases the risk of getting sick, and the vaccines might not protect the body adequately and do not work for a very long time resulting in the infections lasting longer.
- As the immune system gets weak, it might create an autoimmune disorder, which means that the immune system might attack and destroy the healthy body tissues by default.
- The weakening of the immune system might also lead to a stage where it stops detecting and correcting the antigens, which increases the risk of cancer.
- The healing process might slow down.
Ways to fight immune aging
Living a long life is considered a myth or a tricky thing, but now no more. You can live longer than you expect if you adopt the right eating habits and the right lifestyle. You might be thinking about how our eating habits affect our health; well, it is one of the most critical factors which hampers your health. Let’s understand the ways of fighting the immune aging:
- Eat right: Healthy eating habits are the first and the most crucial point. Adopting the proper diet and adequate exercise is the key. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables regularly to stay fit and healthy.
- If you’re overweight, focus on losing some weight: As you grow old, being overweight can end you up in big trouble, and it might also weaken your immune system.
- Avoid too much sun: The fact cannot be denied that vitamin D that you get from sunlight helps your immune system to stay healthy while, on the other hand, it also increases the risk of cancer cells.
- Quit smoking (if you do): People who smoke might end up in trouble; it’s time when you quit if you want to live a healthy life after your retirement. Smoking increases the autoimmune responses and destroys the antibodies present in your body.
We agree that age is just a number, but one needs to take extreme care as they grow old. It is highly risky to try something without the consent of a doctor. If you notice some abnormal changes in old, immediately rush to a doctor for help. Never provide medication to them without the doctor’s permission, as you might end up paying a massive amount for the same. Make a timetable for yourself and make sure you follow it correctly without any excuses. Creating a schedule might help you get into the flow without difficulty living a happy and peaceful life.