The process of aging is not a pleasant one, but it is inevitable. Your physical and cognitive abilities will deteriorate as you get older, which presents a new set of challenges and difficulties for the elderly to face. The negative relationship between the immune system and aging is well-established. While it doesn’t mean that your immune system will stop functioning as you get older, it will have to respond to new diseases and bacteria.
The deterioration of the immune system isn’t something that can be prevented, but it can be slowed down. Supplementing yourself with a wide variety of immunity-boosting meds UK pharmacies have to offer and the right amount of exercise can help slow down these changes in your body.
Most of the immune system changes in older people occur on the cellular and molecular levels. Scientists are still not quite certain as to what exactly may be the biological cause for these age-related alterations, but the progress they’ve made has considerably increased our understanding of those processes. It has also opened up avenues for new research to be carried out in hopes of rejuvenating the aging immune system.
The impact of aging on your body is complex and sometimes confusing. Keep reading to gain a better understanding of how it works, as well as how to best protect your immune cells from deterioration.
The Biological Breakdown
One of the primary reasons behind worsened immune function in older adults is the reduced production of T and B cells. They’re both white blood cells that, along with NKs, or natural killer cells, make up a group of cells known as lymphocytes.
The “T” in T cells is short for thymus, while the “B” refers to the fact that they are derived from the bone marrow. These two kinds of cells are responsible for the most important functions of all animals’ immune systems. First of all, they identify new pathogens and antigens that may have entered your body. This process is called antigen presentation. As soon as they identify the invaders, the B cells go on to produce antibodies that neutralize the bacteria and viruses that are negatively impacting your health.
Once the invasion is dealt with, the lymphocytes in your body are also responsible for creating “memory cells” of the pathogens they’ve defeated, so that your organism can coordinate a quicker and more efficient immune response to these threats.
The slow-down in the production of the B and T cells in your body is what weakens your immune system as you enter the autumn years of your life. It doesn’t stop altogether, which is why we can’t call older people immune-deficient, but it may turn common illnesses, such as influenza, into potentially deadly threats. The immune system weakening due to aging is also considered to be the reason behind the elderly being disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
How to Boost Your Immune System as You Get Older
Slower production of your immune cells and age-related health deteriorations may be scary, but you’re not completely helpless against the unrelenting passage of time. There are plenty of things that can help your immunity system increase its effectiveness in fighting off novel threats. These simple tips are almost guaranteed to provide your body with better tools to ward off immunosenescence.
- Don’t brush off the annual flu vaccine. Regular vaccinations can decrease your chances of catching the flu by up to 60%, which is no small number, especially if you consider the fact that influenza is much more threatening to older patients.
- Improve your diet. A healthy diet can do wonders for all of your bodily functions, including helping your immune system stay in top shape to combat viruses and hostile bacteria.
- Sleep from seven to nine hours per night. Sleeping is important for people of all ages, but it’s especially important for the elderly. One of the most common side effects of aging is sleeping problems – don’t overlook them! Visit the doctor to establish the best course of action in order to keep yourself from sleep deprivation.
- It may be difficult to perform intense physical feats at an advanced age, but even small amounts of activity every day can contribute towards improved immune response.
Aging affects everyone, whether we like it or not. It is important to remember that the state of your body when you’re older is also heavily dependent on how you take care of it when you’re younger. Of course, adhering to tips that help your body perform as you’re aging is commendable, but it may prove to be insufficient in the long run. Everything you do during your twenties, thirties, and forties has a great impact on how much you’ll be able to enjoy your autumn years – keeping healthy and in good shape is important, regardless of whether you’re young or old.