Immune System Basics
The body’s ultimate defense system discriminates between native cells and foreign particles (bacteria, viruses) that can cause disease—mounting a
quick, broad response to attack and clear what it perceives as harmful, then aiding in subsequent tissue repair.
- Innate, or natural, immunity: The defense system we are born with.
- Adaptive, or acquired, immunity: The defense system our bodies develop by being exposed to a disease or after being vaccinated.
“In this post-pandemic world, a top-notch immune system matters more than ever—not just physically, in terms of safeguarding against illness, but emotionally, for strength, resilience and hope.”
– Paris Kharbat, DO
Stress, Immunity & You
Chronic stress, which involves consistently heightened levels of the hormone cortisol, negatively impacts body functions, including digestion and sleep (both of which have a definite effect on the microbiome!). This would explain why long-term stress—like the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic—can be detrimental to our immune health.
Laugh out loud. (Really!)
“Isn’t a real, good belly laugh 2–3 times a day what we all need right now?” says Dr. Kharbat. “Medical evidence backs this up, so go for it…doctor’s orders!” Laughter incites physical changes in the body that stimulate vital organs and circulation and release chemicals that fight stress, pain and illness. One study3 found an increase in natural killer cell activity, a vital part of our innate immune system responsible for killing virally infected cells, after participants watched a comedy.
2 Cohen S, Doyle WJ, Alper CM, Janicki-Deverts D, Turner RB. Sleep Habits and Susceptibility to
the Common Cold. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(1):62–67. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2008.505
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If you’re experiencing symptoms, want to explore testing options or just have a COVID-19-related question, 98point6’s virtual clinic is available 24/7 from wherever you are.
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2 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/340050986_The_Impact_of_Cross-Cultural_Differences_in_ Handwashing_Patterns_on_the_COVID-19_Outbreak_Magnitude
This resource was put together using expert guidance from 98point6’s board-certified physicians and the latest information from the CDC.