The Flu: How Seniors Can Boost Their Immune Systems

Each year in the United States, the flu season usually lasts from October to May. During this season, the flu virus is most active. All age groups are vulnerable to the virus. The symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, and body aches. The flu can be mild or severe; the symptoms last three to seven days.

Who is at Risk of Contracting the Flu Virus?

Diabetes

Researchers have discovered that patients diagnosed with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing the flu.

Patients with Heart Disease

Heart patients and patients undergoing surgery are at a high risk of catching the flu virus. The flu virus can make their condition worse.

Pregnant Women

Pregnant women who contract the flu virus during their pregnancy or after delivery can give birth prematurely or lose their child completely.

Influenza in Seniors

As you age, your immune system becomes weaker and more susceptible to germs. Unlike younger adults, who usually recover from a bout with the flu in a week or two, seniors may need several weeks before they feel well again. They also have a higher risk of complications like pneumonia and ear infections if they become infected with the influenza virus.

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If you are older than 60 years, below is how to boost your immune system to avoid the flu and its symptoms.

  1. Influenza Vaccination

This shot is the best way to protect yourself from getting the flu. The vaccine can help prevent the infection or lessen its severity and duration of illness should you become infected. Influenza vaccination can also reduce the risk of flu-related complications such as pneumonia and hospitalization among seniors. According to medical research, influenza vaccination lowers the likelihood of hospitalizations by approximately 40% in elderly people.

  1. Consume a Nutrient-Rich Diet
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A nutrient-rich diet is an important way to boost your immune system. A poor diet can weaken your body’s defenses and make you susceptible to infections. You need to consume foods high in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients for a healthy body. This includes fish, seafood, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and non-fat and low-fat dairy products.

Here are some natural, nutrient-rich foods you can include in your daily diet to help strengthen your immune system:

Vitamin C: This powerful antioxidant helps build a strong immune system. It can be found in citrus fruits, berries, and red, green, and yellow peppers. You should consume at least 60 milligrams of vitamin C daily to improve your immunity.

Vitamin E: It is a strong anti-inflammatory agent known to boost the immune system and protect the body from environmental toxins. It can be found in nuts, cereal grains, wheat germ, seeds, and olive oil. The recommended daily intake of vitamin E is 15 milligrams.

Folate: Improves the immune system and lowers inflammation. Found in egg yolks, fortified breakfast cereals, leafy greens, and beans. In a study at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, people who consumed more folic acid had a higher number of children with greater levels of antibody production against late-stage polio. For adults, the recommended daily intake is 400 micrograms.

  1. Stress Management
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Stress can weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to infection. Chronic stress can affect the immune system, which helps fend off infections. Under stress, your body produces more cortisol, a stress hormone. Cortisol helps the body’s response to stressful events. But when too much cortisol is produced, it can cause problems such as elevated blood pressure (hypertension), weight gain, high cholesterol, and immune suppression.

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Developing healthy coping mechanisms to deal with stress is a great way to improve your immunity. Relaxation techniques like meditation and deep breathing can help reduce anxiety and stress.

  1. Get Quality Sleep

Adequate sleep is an essential part of good health. According to a recent study, elderly people who slept for less than seven hours per day had a 70% chance of getting the flu. Lack of sleep affects the immune system, which is crucial in preventing and fighting infections.

  1. Quit Smoking

Smoking is a strong cause of harmful toxins in the body and can weaken your immunity. Smoking also increases your risk of many germs that can cause an infection. Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, including 90 known carcinogens, which cause cancer. Studies show that those who smoke more than ten cigarettes a day could, on average, shorten their life by seven years.

The risks of smoking include lung cancer and heart disease. It also increases the risk of upper and lower respiratory infections in seniors. It makes your immune system weak and unable to fight off harmful diseases. To improve your immune system and overall health, stop smoking now.

  1. Limit your Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol can weaken your immune system and make you more vulnerable to infection. The biggest risk of alcohol abuse is the increased risk of cancer and liver disease. Even moderate alcohol consumption, such as one or two drinks a day, can cause some damage to the body.

To boost your immunity, stop drinking alcohol and limit yourself to light social drinking. Limit your intake of liquor, wine, and beer to two drinks per day for men and one for women over 65 years old.

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Does Serovital Work for Seniors? Serovital is a supplement containing human growth hormone that claims to enhance anti-aging. In the elderly, HGH is produced naturally but at low levels. HGH deficiency can help you to improve your immune system and reduce your risk of illness. According to medical experts, serovital can treat growth hormone deficiency.

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Improving your immune system can help you ward off many common viral and bacterial infections. With the right supplements and a healthy lifestyle, you can naturally strengthen your body against the flu virus.

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