12 Bad Habits That Harm Your Immune System

12 Bad Habits That Harm Your Immune System


Your body’s immune system is its first defense system and provides an important role in your body. It also protects your body from any micro organisms that could cause diseases and infections.

A weak immune system may lead to serious health conditions, due to the fact that the body cannot handle the bacteria and germs that you come into contact with every day. Below are 12 Bad Habits that Ruin Your Immune System:


1. Alcohol

Alcoholism causes damage to your immune system. Studies have proven the effects of excessive alcohol consumption and how it can destroy the body’s antibody cells, which are necessary for fighting off cells infected by viruses. Those suffering from alcoholism are much more likely to suffer from serious diseases and infections such as tuberculosis.

2. Being Overweight

Research have shown that obesity can weaken a person’s immune system. Further studies are required to find the direct link between obesity and an increased risk of infection due to a weaker immune system, but it is still important to stay healthy and get more exercise if you are overweight, to reduce the risk of any health complications.

3. Being a Night-owl

Poor sleeping habits can lower your immune system function and reduce killer cells that helps in fighting germs. Studies have shown that men who got only 4 hours of sleep one night a week had ½ the flu antibodies of those who slept uninterrupted for 7½ – 8½ hours each night.

4. Being Too Serious

Laughter increases your immune cells and decreases stress hormones. Studies have shown that healthy adults who watched a 1 hour, funny movie or video had significant immune system increases.

5. Bottling Up Your Emotions

Studies have shown that a 15-minute constructive argument with a spouse, using a positive and affectionate communication, created surges in heart rate, blood pressure and immune-related white blood cells, thaht is similar to moderate exercise. But couples who use insults and sarcasm during arguments take 40% longer to heal from injuries.

6. Excessive Use of Antibiotic

Excessive use of antibiotics can make you resistant to the drugs and suppress your immune system, thru the reduction of level of cytokines. Use antibiotics only for bacterial infections and finish the whole course.

7. Lack of Exercise

Lack of exercise can weaken your immune system and increase your risk of infection and disease. Studies have shown that regular exercise can help boost the immune system by increasing the amount of white blood cells in your body, to help fight off any forms of sickness.

8. Poor Hygiene

Proper hygiene may not affect your immune system directly, but it can help prevent illnesses and infection by eliminating bacteria and germs. Lacking in proper hygiene, can make it more difficult for your immune system, because you are prone to more harmful organisms. These organisms can overwhelm your immune system, at some point, which can lead to disease or infection.

9. Smoking

Smoking not only increases your chances of lung cancer, but it also weakens your immune system. There are many toxins in cigarettes that can affect the immune cells in the body by altering the immune cell count or impairing their proper function. This is why smokers are more susceptible to severe respiratory conditions such as bronchitis, asthma and even pneumonia.

10. Stress

Everyday stress is different from a constant tension over something. Having a single bad day in the office might not be that stressful, but worrying about a relative or job for weeks can exact a toll on your immune system. You can try meditation or yoga to reduce everyday stress.

11. Sun Exposure

Always apply a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher, when you are exposed to the sun. Most especially between 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

More than 15 minutes of unprotected sun exposure, is linked to immune suppression, even in winter. Cold sores often appear after some time spent in the sun.

12. Too Much Sugar

Excessive sugar consumption can reduce the immune system’s capacity to fight germs by at least 40%. Research have shown that sugar affects the body, just 5 minutes after it is consumed and its effects can last for 5 hours.

A good source of Vitamin C is needed, if you want your immune system to work properly. If you eat too much sugar, it begins to eat away at the Vitamin C in your body and it may destroys the cell structure of your immune system.