Why Do I Get Sick?

by Steven Carney on May 5, 2012

Although we are all susceptible to infections sometimes, most people get sick because of their lifestyle. That might sound crazy but it’s true! It all depends on your immune system, one of the most incredible systems in the body! When healthy, our immune system is capable of recognizing our cells vs. outside cells and is programmed to take them out!

Here are a few important elements of a healthy immune system: 

  • Your nutrition, including vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
  • Your stress levels and how you cope with stress
  • Your intake of pro-inflammatory foods like sugar and trans-fats
  • Your weight, especially excess weight/obesity

1. Vitamins and minerals play important roles in your immune system, from vitamin A and beta carotene, to B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin D (a key regulator of immune function/inflammation), vitamin E, and minerals like zinc and selenium. Antioxidants also play a role in keeping all cells healthy. BTW, this list points out a fallacy of testing vitamins in isolation like drugs. Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants play many roles in optimum health; they work together like a musical group.

2. Stress also has a big impact on your immune system. Ever notice that, after a stressful event, you get sick a few days later? That’s because the release of stress hormones like adrenalin and cortisol depress immune function. Those hormones are there to help you escape from life-threatening events, like being attacked by an animal, but this doesn’t work very well in more modern society. It’s known that stress also plays a significant role in allergies and asthma.

3. Pro-inflammatory foods raise systemic inflammation, like leaving your TV on day and night, generating heat. Your immune system keeps going, affecting healthy tissues and joints. Common pro-inflammatory foods are: sugar and HFC, processed foods, red meat and cured meats, fried foods, vegetable oils, alcohol, etc. Many people eat these foods daily and will tend to have ongoing systemic inflammation. (See my Links/Articles page for my article on inflammation, #7.)

4. Extra weight also contributes to ongoing inflammation and a dysfunctional immune system. That’s because extra fat, especially in the abdominal area, is metabolically active, putting out inflammatory chemicals, hormones, and waste. The fat doesn’t just sit there, it’s changing your body for the worse! It’s also why people who lose a few pounds can begin to recover their health in multiple ways, including being less sick.

The bottom line is that many people lack sufficient vitamins and minerals, have chronic stress, eat pro-inflammatory foods daily, and carry extra weight. That combination = more sickness, missed work days, and feeling terrible!

So why get sick? You can do more to maximize your immune system through better lifestyle habits. You’ll be less sick and feel better every day! And a qualified health coach will support your health improvement in a few weeks. FYI, I haven’t had a cold, flu, allergies, or sickness in 4 years!

© 2012 by Steve Carney/End Sickness Now

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