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How can people with chronic respiratory problems boost their immune system to avoid the coronavirus?

By Shaniqua Williams

Posted on March 23rd, 2020

The immune system is the body's defense mechanism against infections of any kind, including the novel coronavirus which has been the most debated topic for the past months. A strong immune system is important as it can help the body fight the virus and prevent complications.

Moreover, for people who already suffer from a chronic respiratory disease, and have a weaker immune system, adopting means to boost it may prove vital. Here are several known methods of strengthening your immune system.

Diet

Diet can boost the immune system or allow nutritional deficiencies to weaken it and make a person more susceptible to disease. A healthy diet is a balanced one that ensures the right amount of all the necessary nutrients, vitamins, minerals, proteins, fibers, etc.

Ideally, people with chronic respiratory conditions should opt for healthy foods that come from organic sources and have a varied diet including fresh fruit and vegetables, protein from meat or vegetables, fibers. Some of the vegetables and fruit that are praised for their capacity to boost the immune system are garlic, cabbage, spinach, broccoli, sweet potatoes, peppers, berries, coconut, lemons, oranges, kiwi, apples. Also, drinking plenty of water to keep the body hydrated is necessary.

Highly processed foods such as biscuits, candy, or fast food should be avoided because they are very caloric but offer little nutritional value. Also, they contain dangerous additives that can actually lower immunity.

Tea may also be a good addition as there are several varieties that can help improve the immune system as they contain antioxidants. Such examples include chamomile, ginger, lavender, mint, or green tea.

Sugar, in large quantities, should be avoided as it impairs the body's ability to fight infection because it destroys white blood cells.

Vitamins and supplements

A wide variety of vitamins including Vitamin C, Vitamins B, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin D are essential for a strong immune system. A healthy and balanced diet can ensure the necessary amount of these vitamins. Nonetheless, some of them may also be taken separately as supplements in case the person suffers a deficiency such as Vitamin D deficiency which is quite common, and it is caused by insufficient exposure to the sun.

If you have been diagnosed with a chronic respiratory disease, talk to your doctor before taking any vitamins and supplements especially if you are following prescribed treatment.

Exercise

Regular exercise is recommended for a healthy lifestyle; it can protect the heart, prevent obesity, and, in general, keep disease at distance. Exercise contributes to a person's overall health and, implicitly, to their immune system. It also ensures a better circulation which promotes the activity of the immune system. Moderate exercise can mean as little as a 30 minutes-walk a day.

Intensive workouts are not required in order to enjoy the benefits of exercise, and, especially if you have a respiratory problem, these may not be recommended. Ask your health specialist what type of exercise is more appropriate for you and follow his or her recommendation.

Relaxation and yoga

Stress is linked to a poor immune system because it prevents it from fighting antigens. When people are stressed, their body produces the stress hormone called corticosteroid which is linked to a decreased number of lymphocytes which makes the body more prone to infections.

Therefore, reducing stress can help boost one's immune system and there are several methods of doing this. One of them is meditation which can calm the mind and help people feel more relaxed and detached.

Yoga functions similarly as it soothes the mind and it also helps support the person's overall health as it involves breathing exercises. These breathing techniques enhance the vital capacity. By vital capacity, we refer to the maximum air amount the lungs can expel. Improving this capacity is important especially among patients with chronic bronchitis or other respiratory conditions who suffer from breathing difficulties. The lung capacity can be improved through yoga breathing exercises.

Practicing yoga regularly also reduces the level of cortisol, another stress-hormone, and, therefore, leads to lower anxiety levels.

Sleep

Sleep has proven healing powers. During sleep, the body regenerates and becomes stronger and more prepared to face stress factors. When asleep, the body produces a type of protein known as cytokines which protect it from infection and inflammation. Getting enough sleep is important in order to strengthen the immune system. Adults need to sleep between 7 and 9 hours per night.

The coronavirus and people with chronic respiratory problems

If you or a beloved one is suffering from a chronic respiratory disease such as chronic bronchitis, it is imperative for that person to try to avoid at all costs an infection with the novel coronavirus. These people are more at risk of suffering from severe complications in case they catch the coronavirus because their respiratory system is already debilitated by their chronic disease.

For them, the consequences of an infection with this virus can be more severe or even fatal. This raises the importance of having a strong immune system and the above-mentioned methods can contribute to this goal.

Furthermore, don't forget that if your disease was caused by exposure to toxic substances and if a company can be held liable for it, you may be able to claim compensation. If this is the case, you will need a legal team that has experience in such personal injury cases. Call us and tell us more about your potential claim and we will analyze it and provide you feedback.

Quality legal assistance for the victims of asbestos exposure

If you struggle with respiratory disease and have a history of asbestos exposure, you may be eligible for compensation from asbestos trust funds and, if you are a veteran, from the VA as well. With over 25 years of experience in pursuing asbestos exposure cases, our lawyers will provide you with quality legal assistance. While the legal process is complex, your involvement will be minimal, as you will only have to send your attorney your employment or military records and your medical records, documents that will be used as evidence to support your claim. Eventually, you will receive the maximum compensation you qualify for, which will also help you afford superior healthcare and treatment.