May 25, 2024

Why Your Immune System Is So Weak After Covid

Another week, another pesky cold? If it feels like you’re immune system has taken a battering, you’re constantly run down and picking up bug after bug, you can blame Covid and the lockdown era that we’re all desperately trying to pretend never happened.

As well as wreaking havoc with our careers, finances and social lives, a weakened immune system is yet another hangover of the pandemic.

According to Dr. Perpetua Walser, a Specialist in Internal Medicine (and Deputy Medical Director) at the world-famous Lanserhof Sylt, a health centre where cutting-edge medicine meets traditional healing methods, the pandemic had both medical and psychosocial impacts on our immune system.

That’s right: as well as the obvious direct medical effect of the actual virus on our immune system and body, the psychosocial factors (such as the stress and anxiety we experienced during lockdown) also massively influenced our immune system.

So why did Covid 19 hit us harder than regular colds and flus? And why have our bodies still not recovered? «The Covid 19 virus is a particular challenge to our immune system because, like other infections, it is not limited to one organ but triggers a disease of the entire body with all organs including the nervous system and vascular system», explains Dr. Perpetua Walser.

The cause is a massive inflammatory reaction, which Dr Walser compares to a major fire in the body that the immune system has to extinguish. “As a long-term consequence, this can trigger a dysregulation in the immune system with weakening and autoimmunity,” she adds.

Researchers at the Ludwig Maximilian University have now discovered that the Coronavirus not only reduces the number of certain important immune cells, the so-called dendritic cells, but also their ability to function. “As a result, the immune system is weakened after a Covid 19 infection and we are less able to defend ourselves against other viruses and bacteria that we are confronted with every day. In addition, pathogens such as herpes viruses (including the Epstein-Barr virus), which we all usually carry, can be reactivated and trigger new diseases. Our immune system is then burdened and challenged again. ”

Dr. Perpetua Walser cites the worst case scenario as be viral persistence or long-term infection, which means that the virus remains in the body. This, of course, means a constant battle for the immune system. Can anyone else hard related to this RN?

Worst yet, current studies show that up to 10% of people with the disease suffer from long Covid. This is manifested by a variety of symptoms, as well as — you guessed it — the weakening of the immune system.

“Whether the immune system is weakened in the long term by the Covid 19 disease is, of course, very individual and depends very much on how strong your immune system was before the disease and is in general,” notes Dr. Perpetua Walser. “As a rule, however, our immune system manages to recover in most cases and become strong and healthy. Sufficient exercise in the fresh air, a healthy diet and good social relationships are important for this. ”

Aside from the physical impacts that Covid had on our bodies, we now know from major studies and research that stress and anxiety massively compromise and weaken the immune system.

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