6 Myths About the Immune System - airestech

October 14, 2022 7 min read

  • Immunity is the body's ability to protect and defend it's from intruders or harmful invaders that are likely to cause diseases.

  • There are hundreds of myths that claim to double the defending state of the body, while others promise to weaken it.

  • These misconceptions have been debunked with proof, studies, research, and medical experts' opinions.

6 Immune System Myths That Have Been Debunked 


For obvious reasons, immune system health has become a major concern for many people over the past few years. As the seasons change from winter to spring and the issue of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak spreads around the globe, many people tend to experience seasonal allergies and other symptoms. 


Our lifestyle, dietary preferences, and other factors can significantly impact our immune system. However, not all of the information you may see in the media or hear from others is reliable or accurate, as something helpful to someone else might not be effective for you. Here, we examine widespread misconceptions regarding immunological health and examine the scientific evidence.

MYTHS: What weakens and strengthens the Immune system? 

There is a lot of false information on the internet concerning how and what weakens your immune system. Here are some of the debunked myths about what weakens your immune system:

MYTH 1: Having seasonal allergies means a weak immune system


"Are allergies a sign of a weak immune system?" This question appeared regularly in popular online forums and groups as millions of people suffering from seasonal allergic reactions seemed to be curious about the state of the immune system.


Contrary to the popular misconception, seasonal allergies do not indicate a compromised immune system; rather, it shows a strong immune system. Seasonal allergies are the result of an overactive immune system mistaking harmless bacteria for tiny airborne particles. 


TRUTH: Seasonal allergies are a sign of a strong allergy 

Consider allergies to be a sign of an immune system that is overly attentive as opposed to one that is lax. It might be challenging to tell allergies from other upper respiratory conditions. 


Although allergies are not contagious or harmful in certain cases, the body reacts similarly by resulting in the same symptoms. These symptoms include stomach ache, headache, runny nose, watery or itchy eyes, or even a sore throat which also points to the signs of a cold.


Try to pinpoint the allergen's source to reduce allergy symptoms. For pollen-related allergies, avoid flowering plants if they contain pollen, and if the weather is windy, dust allergies can get worse, so wear a mask to protect your lips and nose. As their name suggests, these allergies are primarily seasonal and will resolve with time. 


A physician's prescription for the right medication can effectively control allergy symptoms, or consult a doctor to see if they can suggest a plan or treatment for controlling your seasonal allergies.


MYTH 2: Constant hand washing KILLS ALL the microorganisms in your hand


Hand washing is a crucial measure for controlling infectious diseases. However, hand washing does not kill all microorganisms. The fact that washing your hands doesn't destroy viruses may surprise you as viruses aren't alive and can't reproduce on their own, but washing your hands does remove viruses and bacteria in another way.


TRUTH: 

Hand washing washes off the microorganisms on our skin. It is no longer news that our hands are infested with bacteria. For years, adults have lectured kids about the risks of having dirty hands asnumerous staph bacteria reside on the skin and nose. Although there are a few viruses on our hands, bacteria thrive on our hands considerably more than viruses do. 


The majority offlu is spread through the air in virus-filled droplets that are released during coughs and sneezes. But because our hands may pick up those droplets from a variety of surfaces, they frequently serve as a crucial link in the transmission process.Hand washing is a common recommendation for preventing these pathogens from getting into the body.


Water and soap remove germs from your hands mechanically rather than by killing them. By drawing dirt and other debris off the skin and into the water, soap improves the overall effectiveness of germ elimination over running water alone. 


Soap and water are more effective than alcohol-based hand sanitizers if your hands are dirty or covered in food since the proteins and fats in food tend to lessen alcohol's ability to destroy germs.  


MYTH 3: Exercise weakens the immune system


Millions of people sternly believe that exercise weakens their immune systems. This false narrative is fueled by untrue advertisements by diet and supplement companies looking to buy into the gullibility of the intending viewers. 


These companies swear that every time one work out hard, the immune system is suppressed and exposes the body to virus and other disease attacks. They cling to the "window of vulnerability" which states that following arduous exercise might render people susceptible to infection. 


TRUTH:

Many false medical companies looking to dupe and misinform the public that advertisement weakens the immune system do so, quoting the "open window theory." 


This theory was derived following reports of sickness during competitions that feature marathon and ultramarathon runners in the 1980s and 1990s. Medical experts then believed that after vigorous exercise, immunological cells perish after flooding the bloodstream, and the body becomes more susceptible to diseases.


However, a counter-study was performed todebunk the claims of the theory. According to a study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, elite athletes and marathon runners reported having fewer annual sick days, suggesting that physical activity may have boosted their immune systems. This shows that regular exercise and physical activity are good for immunological health, or at the very least are not harmful.


Although engaging in an Olympic-style training regimen may confound your immune system, consistent, low-impact exercise is excellent for your body. When you exercise, your white blood cell count rises, encouraging the development of these crucial immune cells and boosting your body's cell turnover rate.


MYTH 4: Increasing my daily vitamin and mineral intake will strengthen my immune system and keep me healthy


It is widely known that taking vitamins and minerals in pill form may help make up for dietary shortages or provide health and energy boosts that are insufficient in food. However, recent studies have shown proof that many well-known supplements have no meaningful health advantages, regardless of whether numerous people still include vitamin and mineral supplementation in their regular health routine. While others take the required dosage, many believe that taking more than normal will strengthen the body's defenses against illness and keep them healthy.


TRUTH:

Megadoses of vitamins and nutrientscannot strengthen the immune system. The best method to make sure the immune system is healthy is to follow a balanced diet, get enough rest, move around, and obtain any recommended immunizations. 


Supplements are safe when used in moderation, but that doesn't necessarily imply more is better. Rather there is the likelihood that supplements will be harmful if you combine them or take more of them than is advised. Although you can not get toxic quantities of nutrients from food, you can get them through supplements.


MYTH 5: Gargling with warm water and salt or vinegar will kill viruses and protect my immune system 


The notion that gargling with warm water and salt or vinegar would eliminate viruses, particularly the coronavirus, is unfounded. Gargling won't kill anything, even though it will temporarily relieve a painful throat and soothe the throat. 


This misconception rose from a false analysis of how the coronavirus moves in the body. This false claim states that before the coronavirus enters the lungs, it stays in the throat for four days, during which time the person starts coughing and experiencing throat pain, and drinking the mixture can get rid of the virus.


TRUTH:

On its "myth busters" page, the World Health Organization says that there is no proof that salt water gets rid of the coronavirus, but it accepts that while there is some weak evidence that saline (salt water) may hasten the recovery from a cold. No proof using many other home remedies, such asgargling with vinegar or salt water, can help you fight the SARS-CoV-2 infection. 


When a virus enters the body, it binds to and enters cells in the airway where it takes control of the cells' internal mechanisms and releases other viral particles that spread to other cells. The virus can not be targeted without also harming healthy, uninfected cells since it hides out in the body's cells. As a result, the immune system of the body is what helps the body fight viral diseases. 


The COVID-19 virus has been circulating in the body for 1 to 14 days before a person exhibits symptoms, which is known as the virus's incubation phase. Additionally, any treatment that only works on a small portion of the body, like the throat, would have little influence on the virus's residence in other areas of the body.


MYTH 6: Sleep does not affect the immune system


People who have trouble sleeping would want to think it has no impact on the immune system, but research reveals otherwise. Sleep impacts practically every type of tissue and system in the body and not getting enough sleep can also have long-lasting detrimental impacts, such as raising your risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.


TRUTH: 

Your immune system produces proteins calledcytokines while you sleep, some of which aid in sleep promotion. When you have an infection or inflammation, or when you're stressed, some cytokines, thus, lack of sleep may result in less of these protective cytokines being produced. 


Additionally, when you don't get enough sleep, your body produces fewer cells and antibodies that can fight infections. For the majority of adults, seven to eight hours of restful sleep every night is the ideal quantity while teens require nine to ten hours of sleep per night. 

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