During flu season, people try to keep from getting sick by keeping their immune system healthy. It’s even more imperative with the current pandemic. While everyone’s focus is on boosting their immune system, you can also hurt it if you aren’t careful.

“What you want to avoid doing is making your immune system worse, and there are things we know inflict harm,” said Dr. Rand McClain, a Sports Medicine Physician.

One thing that is probably not surprising is smoking. People who smoke stay sicker longer than those who don’t because it weakens the immune system.

Other factors that aren’t shocking: “Too much sugar in your diet, excessive alcohol intake, and all forms of stress,” Dr. McClain listed.

The stress he’s talking about isn’t just the kind that makes you see red.

“People think about stress as only bad things, but too much exercise for example can cause stress,” he added.

Other elements that can cause harm to your system are not getting adequate sleep, missing out on essential vitamins, and dehydration.

“Hydration is another one that gets overlooked, even just a 2 percent decrease in hydration can affect performance significantly,” said Dr. McClain.

According to Dr. McClain, now is not the time to try out a new diet or cleanse. These new routines can throw your system out of whack. One last thing he suggests is going to the dentist, as dental health can affect your immune system.

Article Originally Posted by WBRC. Copyright 2020 WBRC. All rights reserved.

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