B cells can produce millions of these which then cycle through the body and attack the invaders until the worst of the threat is neutralized while all of this is going on familiar symptoms like high temperatures and swelling are actually processes designed to aid the immune response. A warmer body makes it harder for bacteria and viruses to reproduce and spread because their temperature sensitive and when body cells are damaged, they release chemicals that make fluid leak into the surrounding tissues causing swelling that also attracts phagocytes which consume the invaders and the damaged cells, It’s usually an immune response which will eradicate a threat within a few days, it won’t always stop you from getting ill but that’s not its purpose, its actual job is to stop a threat from escalating to dangerous levels inside your body and through constant surveillance over time the immune system provides another benefit, it helps us develop long term immunity. When B and T cells identify antigens, they can use that information to recognize invaders in the future so when a threat revisits the cells, they can swiftly deploy the right antibodies to tackle it before it affects any more cells.
That’s how you can develop immunity to certain diseases like chicken pox, it doesn’t always work so well, some people have autoimmune diseases which trick the immune system into attacking the body’s own perfect healthy cells, no one knows exactly what causes them but these disorders sabotage the immune system to varying degrees and underlie problems like arthritis, type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis for most individuals. However a healthy immune system will successfully fight off an estimated 300 colds and innumerable other potential infections over the course of a lifetime, Without it those threats would escalate into something far more dangerous so the next time you catch a cold or scratch a mosquito bite, think of the immune system, we owe it our lives.
Few ways to boost your immunity;
- Get enough sleep: sleep and immunity are closely tied, Getting adequate rest may strengthen your natural immunity. Also, you may sleep more when sick to allow your immune system to better fight the illness.
- Eat more healthy fats
- Limit added sugars
- Engage in moderate exercises
- Eat more whole plants foods: e.g nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables.
- Manage your stress levels
- Stay hydrated.