Infections are caused by tiny organisms that live everywhere. Out of the 6 types of infections, 4 are the most common – bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic.
All of these will trigger an inflammatory reaction.
Though inflammation doesn’t necessarily mean you have an infection, an infection does mean that you have inflammation.
For example, if you have strep throat, your throat will be inflamed because it’s trying to protect itself from the invading bacteria. You’ll be given antibiotics to combat the infection and after 10 days to 2 weeks, your body will have overcome the infection.
Sometimes, however, even though you no longer have an infection, your body carries on with the protective inflammation. The inflammation meant to protect you goes on for too long and can end up making you feel ill.
Indeed, it becomes a prison rather than security, as chronic inflammatory diseases can cause a whole host of extremely unpleasant symptoms.
These can include months-long low-grade fever, non-specific pain all over the body, extreme fatigue, weight gain because you’re not moving around as much, and depression.
Therefore, one way to prevent chronic inflammation is keeping infection at bay.
Here are 3 simple steps you can take.
Wash your hands
Wash your hands before meals. You may be using cutlery, but there will be times when you are in “auto-mode”; picking up a French fry from your friend’s plate would be an example.
Wash your hands after using the restroom, after a workout of any kind and after meeting an unusually large group of people, like a prize-giving ceremony where you shake all the recipients’ hands.
Try not to use antibacterial gels unless you’ve visited a hospital (in which case, use the antibacterial solution provided there) or you really have no other choice. Overuse of these may lead to the proliferation of super-bugs. So, it’s best to stick to soap and water when possible.
Take time out to relax
This is hard to do, but it is imperative because stress takes a great toll on your immune system. Playing a game on your phone while work messages keep popping up is not relaxing. Try and find something you enjoy that is wholly different from what you do at work.
If you stare at a computer screen all day, take up a musical instrument. Keep it simple and enjoyable. The ukulele, for example, is both fun and easy. Forget about sight-reading – just learn your favorite songs and sing along.
If you enjoy coloring try focusing on the feel of applying the colored pencil to paper, and marvel at the development of a color palette you’ve just created.
You’ll be able to do none of this if you’re at your workstation (even at home) with memo pads and post-its staring you in the face. Take your book and your pencils out to a park. Feel the freshness of a change in scenery, and you will be amazed at how much more inspired your coloring can be.
B complex supplements
B complex is a supplement composed of several B vitamins. It helps break down food into glucose, giving your energy levels a significant boost. This complex also contains Vitamin B1, which strengthens the immune system.
There are many other ways to keep your immune system intact and healthy. But like everything that’s good for you, it will take time and effort, but there is no substitute for feeling and being healthy.
Safeguard yourself as best you can.