How to keep your immune system in fighting shape

How to keep your immune system in fighting shape
(Source: WBRC FOX6 News)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Flu season is here and on top of the pandemic, people want to find ways to make sure their immune systems are in tip top shape.

Your immune system defends you from the nasty bugs going around, and there are ways to boost it but if you’re not careful, you can hurt it too.

“What you want to avoid doing is making your immune system worse, and there are things we know inflict harm,” said Dr. Rand McClain, a Sports Medicine Physician

Smoking has been shown to weaken the immune system and make people sicker longer than those who don’t smoke.

Another thing, you might have expected to hear:

“Too much sugar in your diet, excessive alcohol intake, and all forms of stress,” Dr. McClain listed.

Stress doesn’t just mean the kind that makes you want to pull your hair out.

“People think about stress as only bad things, but too much exercise for example can cause stress,” he added.

Not getting enough sleep or getting your essential vitamins are two stressors, and so is dehydration.

“Hydration is another one that gets overlooked, even just a 2 percent decrease in hydration can affect performance significantly,” said Dr. McClain.

He also advises not to go on any extreme diets or cleanses right now, because that can throw your immune system out of whack too.

And one regular appointment you shouldn’t skip -- the dentist. Dental health can affect your immune system

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