Health & Safety

August 3, 2012

Make immune system healthy, strong

by Airman 1st Class Grace Lee
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The body’s immune system has many jobs including fighting against bacteria, parasites and fungi. It is also essential in keeping the body healthy from infection.

The immune system is made up of a network of cells, tissues and organs that together prevent and defend against attacks to the body, according to Rachel Perkins-Garner, 56th Medical Group registered nurse.

“The attackers are called ‘foreign invaders;’ the most common being microbes, tiny organisms such as bacteria, parasites and fungi,” she said. “Our body is the ideal environment for many microbes, but it also has a defense system — the immune system.”

The primary function of the immune system is to keep out anything potentially harmful, and if invaded, the immune system will seek out the microbes and viruses to destroy them, Perkins-Garner said.

“The immune system is extremely complex,” she said. “It can recognize and recall millions of different invaders and can produce secretions (antibodies/cells) to match up and destroy the majority of these microbes and viruses.”

Perkins-Garner relates how the immune system works to how bees work.

“Billions of cells, which are organized into sets and subsets, swarm like bees around a hive and pass information back and forth in response to a threat such as an infection,” she said. “When the immune system detects a foreign cell or organism they initiate an attack.”

Having a strong immune system keeps the body healthy, but a weak immune system can compromise the body’s ability to fight back.

“A poor or weak immune system leaves the body susceptible to infection,” she said. “Think of a cancer patient who is receiving chemotherapy; even a simple trip to the store can expose them to hundreds of foreign organisms. This exposure is enough to enter the body, which may overwhelm the immune system and lead to an infection. If the immune system is functioning normally, it will easily destroy the virus or microbe.”

While a weak immune system can be detrimental to health, according to the Harvard Medical School website, www.health.harvard.edu, there are things one can do to help keep the immune system strong and healthy.

 

Harvard Health Publications recommends people who want to maintain a healthy immune system:

  • Avoid smoking
  • Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and low in saturated fat.
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Control blood pressure
  • Avoid alcohol or drink in moderation
  • Get adequate sleep
  • Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly
  • Get regular medical screening tests according to age and risk category



All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Courtesy photo

EOD called out for expertise

Courtesy photo The 56th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal team recovers military ordnance July 4 from the rubble of a burnt down building at an auto repair facility in Phoenix. The Luke EOD team recovered nume...
 
 

Strong followers challenge authority

It’s not surprising that when I tell subordinates to challenge authority, I often get a look of confusion. Admittedly, this is a step used to provoke thought. Obviously, we don’t need subordinates undermining their leader’s authority. My intent is not to create insubordination — it is to underscore the importance of strong followership. Great leaders...
 
 

Travel access, opportunities not to be ignored

Possibly one of the greatest and overlooked gifts we have in the military is our ability to travel. More often than not, we are stationed at bases around the world where we have the access and opportunity to travel and see the local sites. However, it happens way too often that we ignore those opportunities....
 

 
Staff Sgt. Darlene Seltmann

Thunderbolt joins elite Thunderbirds

Staff Sgt. Darlene Seltmann 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs photojournalist, took this photo March 15 during Luke Air Force Base’s Open House and Air Show. She had no idea at the time that just a few months later she would b...
 
 

News Briefs July 25, 2014

Wanted: Airmen selfie videos The Air Force wants to hear from Airmen with unique stories about what led them to the Air Force, who are proud of their job and how it impacts the Air Force mission, or work in an exceptional unit. The 2014 American Airman Video Contest is open to all Airmen who...
 
 

Thunderbolt of the Week

Airman 1st Class Anna Valdez 56th Contracting Squadron Contracting specialist Hometown: Moscow Years in service: One Family: Husband, Phil; mother, Natalia; and father, Oleg Education: Russian State University of Trade and Economics bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics Inspirations: My parents demonstrated excellence and success in a loving environment, taught me to never give up...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin