Building Your Immunity to Fight Coronavirus
Dr. Avni Jain, MD, joined the morning show to talk about ways to protect your immune system against coronavirus. Dr Jain specializes in family medicine for Adventist Medical Group in Germantown, MD. There are a number of ways that we can boost our immune system to help your body fight off any number of illnesses from the common cold to the flu and even coronavirus.
- Get enough sleep – Getting seven to nine hours of sleep significantly increases your body’s ability to fight illness and infections
- Stay active – Exercising causes your body’s antibodies and while blood cells to circulate more rapidly, which makes them more likely to detect illness
- Eat healthy – Aim for a diet high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and healthy fats while limiting processed foods like chips and other snacks.
- Manage stress – Dealing with chronic stress causes your body to release a substance called cortisol which causes our immune system to not work as well.
- Take the right supplements – Research shows that Vitamin D and Zinc may be help prevent or shorten illness, while there is not good evidence that Vitamin C helps.
Many of the tips to help prevent coronavirus are the same health hygiene advice I recommend to patients to keep their families healthy, especially to around cold and flu season.
- Stay home when you’re sick and avoid people who are sick
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Instead of your hand, sneeze or cough into your elbow
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
- Limit events and meetings that require close contact and cancel any events of 10 or more people
Our immune system is the body’s defense against infection. It is a complex system made up of different organs, cells and proteins that work together. We are all born with our innate immune system and over time, we develop an acquired immune system as we are exposed to or vaccinated against diseases.
Your immune system is designed to monitor, recognize and even remember viruses and take action to eliminate it when a virus invades healthy cells. The symptoms you feel when you are sick is actually a sign that your body is fighting off an illness.
Many people will experience only mild symptoms of coronavirus and the immune system will most to recover fully.