Boosting your immune system
While the severity of the coronavirus pandemic may be easing, thanks to mass vaccinations, there’s still a large volume of cases in the UK. And, frustratingly, there are illnesses running parallel to Covid which bear many of the same symptoms but do not appear to be Covid-19 when tested.
With many of us spending the past two years avoiding crowded areas, wearing masks, and keeping our distance from each other, could it be that, as we reintroduce ourselves to exposure, our immune systems are reacting more than they would normally? Do we simply need to build up our tolerances again?
What is the immune system?
The immune system is a complex network of cells and proteins that defends the body against infection. It keeps a record of every germ it has ever defeated so it can recognise and destroy the microbe quickly if it enters the body again.
The immune system is made up of many parts, including:
- bone marrow
- lymphatic system
- white blood cells
What can happen if the immune system is compromised?
When the immune system isn’t functioning as it should, it can often become either over or under active, resulting in several health issues.
An overactive immune system can lead to:
- allergic diseases - where the immune system overreacts to an allergen. Allergic diseases are very common, including reactions to foods, medications or stinging insects, anaphylaxis, hay fever, sinus disease, asthma, hives, dermatitis, and eczema.
- autoimmune diseases - where the immune system adversely reacts against normal components of the body. Autoimmune diseases range from common to rare and include multiple sclerosis, autoimmune thyroid disease, type 1 diabetes, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Underactivity of the immune system, also called immunodeficiency, can:
- be inherited
- happen after medical treatment – such as medications like corticosteroids or chemotherapy
- be caused by another disease - such as HIV/AIDS or certain types of cancer.
An underactive immune system makes you vulnerable to infections and can be life threatening in severe cases.
Is it possible to improve the immune system?
You might think that the goal is to have a strong immune system, but that’s not necessarily the case. As we’ve mentioned, the immune system can become either over or under active, so the ideal state is one of balance.
Can this be achieved? While there are many factors that can be out of our control, there is a lot you can do to optimise your health, and in turn, give your immune system the best opportunity to function well.
Eat well. Eating a balanced and nutritious diet is an important building block of good health. Getting the right vitamins and minerals through your food, as well as staying hydrated and keeping your weight in check all have an important impact on your immune system
Sleep well. Sleep is when the body does it’s work to heal and restore, so it’s vitally important to get enough rest so that the components of your immune systems can also can the rest they need.
Give up smoking. There are no positive health effects associated with smoking, but plenty of negative reasons why you should kick the habit. Smoking can damage many of the systems involved in a health immune system, leading to illness and infection.
Steer clear of intolerances and allergies. Foods, drinks, and other substances, both natural and manmade, that cause an allergic response or trigger an intolerance can put the immune system under unnecessary stress. If you know what causes a reaction for you, try to limit your exposure.
Get a clear picture of your health risks. Conditions such as diabetes can interfere with your immune system, causing its ability to function to be compromised. Having a good idea of your broader health and risk factors gives you an advantage, helping you make the right lifestyle changes to avoid those risks.
Private immunity testing in London
With GP waiting times increasing in many practices, private blood testing is becoming a common alternative for many people looking to take control of their health and wellbeing.
At Blood Tests London we offer a comprehensive range of blood testing options for immunity to various diseases, as well as a larger profile of diagnostic checks to help you get a complete picture of your health.
Our immunity tests include diagnostic checks for antibodies against diseases, including:
You might also be interested in checking your risk factors for these, and other diseases including diabetes, thyroid, liver, or kidney disease. Our comprehensive VIP test is a great place to start, offering a full picture of your health.
Booking your private immunity blood test in London
We make sure the experience of booking a private blood test is as easy, convenient, and painless as possible. Here’s how it works:
After you have selected the right test for you, simply order online through our secure payment system or chat to a member of our team.
How your appointment works
Once your order is placed, you can attend our central London walk-in clinic to have your blood taken by one of our expert phlebotomists. This guarantees that your blood samples are taken and handled correctly and that your results are processed efficiently by clinical professionals.
Unlike home testing healthcare kits, where you take the sample yourself, our trained professionals reduce the likelihood of errors such as collecting an insufficient amount of blood or accidental contamination, which could delay your test results.
At your appointment, the friendly team will talk to you about your test, collect your blood sample and send it off for testing at an accredited partner laboratory. All you need to do is arrive for your blood draw.