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Top 8 Myths About Immunity

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  • Top 8 Myths About Immunity

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    The very concept of "immunity" was born in the 19th century thanks to the French microbiologist Louis Pasteur and the Russian scientist I. Mechnikov.

    At first, however, immunity was understood as the body's immunity to infectious diseases.

    But already from the middle of the 20th century, as a result of research work, it was proved that immunity protects the body not only from microbes but also from any other genetically foreign cells (parasites, foreign tissues used for transplantation, as well as its own tumor cells).



    Immunity - the body's ability to maintain its integrity and biological individuality by recognizing and removing foreign substances and cells (including pathogenic bacteria and viruses).



    Immunity is of two types: congenital and adaptive.


    Congenital (non-specific, hereditary) immunity is the innate ability of the body to neutralize foreign and potentially dangerous microorganisms.

    Acquired (specific, adaptive) immunity is the immunity acquired after real "combat actions" - that is, a direct fight with an infection, or after "big exercises" - that is, a fight with a weakened pathogen introduced into the body in the form of a vaccine.

    And if we have hereditary immunity throughout our lives, then adaptive immunity sometimes lasts for life, and sometimes - for several years, or a year or two, as, for example, after the flu.


    Since the immune system is still very complex, it is still under study, and even among doctors, there are often misconceptions about immunity. Not to mention ordinary people who do not have a medical education. Therefore, we propose to address the main misconceptions about immunity.






    You may be interested to read: The Immune System - How the Keto Diet Affects Immunity: Modern Research, My Experience, and Tips






    Common misconceptions about immunity








    1. All diseases due to weakened immunity


    Of course, the immune system is one of the most important systems in the human body. However, the statements that all diseases appear because "immunity is weakened" are not entirely correct.

    With the same success, it can be said that "all diseases are from the nerves." To some extent, this will also be true, but usually, several factors are needed for the development of the disease.

    Some diseases develop regardless of the state of the immune system, but further lead to a weakening of the immune system (an example of such a disease is diabetes mellitus).








    2. It is necessary to take medications that strengthen the immune system


    Nowadays in pharmacies, you can see many drugs that promise that they "strengthen the immune system." In reality, specialists use no more than 20 drugs of this type.

    But, perhaps most importantly, none of them is used as independent medicine. They are prescribed only, we emphasize, only in combination with basic drugs for a specific disease. As you can see, there can be no talk of any kind of prevention.

    According to experts, it is almost impossible to strengthen the immunity of a healthy person with drugs for the simple reason that such drugs have a therapeutic and prophylactic effect only in patients and only in the complex treatment of their specific disease.


    But it is quite possible to harm the immune system by taking such drugs. The chemical balance in the body is a delicate and fragile mechanism.


    It should be remembered that healthy people do not need to take these drugs. Immuno-modulators are highly effective, but they have strict indications for use.

    They have a protective, prophylactic effect only in patients and only when used in complex treatment. It is impossible to stock up on health for the future.

    Anyone should be guided by common sense.








    3. Immunity will cope with infectious diseases on its own, so there is no need to treat them


    This is true to some extent since many viruses and bacteria are dealt with by the immune system itself.

    But, unfortunately, even a very well-functioning immune system may not be able to resist large numbers of viruses or bacteria, or even a small number of very pathogenic pathogens such as cholera, typhoid fever, dysentery, measles, etc.


    And if microorganisms managed to overcome all the protective barriers that the immune system built in their way, then it already needs help in treating the disease that has begun.


    And treatment should be chosen based on the situation. Sometimes an auxiliary fortifying agent is sufficient to help the immune system quickly neutralize the pathogen (for example, taking vitamins for acute respiratory infections).

    Sometimes it is necessary to use antibacterial drugs, etiotropic (aimed at destroying the pathogen), or immunocorrective therapy.








    4. During medical examinations, first, it is necessary to diagnose immune deficiencies


    Not necessary at all.

    The main signs of impaired immunity are frequent relapses of a chronic illness or frequent colds that cannot be treated. But this is still not enough to suspect an immunodeficiency.

    Immunological tests should be carried out only when all these troubles occur despite adequate and timely treatment. And if a person is not treated or does not finish treating his cold, it is most likely not about immunity.








    5. All immune drugs boost immunity


    This statement is not true. The fact is that, in addition to drugs that increase immunity, there are also immunosuppressants related to immune drugs.

    They are used in modern medicine, for example, in organ transplantation so that the body does not reject a foreign transplant.








    6. Taking general strengthening drugs of nonspecific effect, you can solve all the problems of the immune system


    Such a statement can indeed sometimes be found in popular science literature. However, the reality is much more complicated.

    Of course, vitamins, adaptogens (ginseng, eleutherococcus), body hardening procedures, optimal physical activity, etc. strengthen health, but often this is not enough when the immune system cannot cope with some serious problem.

    With a number of diseases (pneumonia, tonsillitis, allergies, and others), a deeper intervention in the functioning of the immune system is still necessary, and here it is advisable to consult a doctor.

    Self-medication in this case can lead to ineffectiveness or side effects.








    7. Only immune drugs affect the immune system


    Those who think in this way are deluded. Any chemical substances affect immunity. Another thing is that such an influence can be both depressing and stimulating.

    It should be noted that with prolonged use, almost any drug can cause a weakening of the immune system, and therefore it is advisable to take preventive measures to maintain the normal functioning of the body's defenses.








    8. No immunity is formed to recurrent diseases


    Everyone knows that there are many diseases (for example, chickenpox, measles, or rubella), which a person gets sick only once in a lifetime, after which the body develops immunity to them (adaptive immunity).

    At the same time, many people think that immunity is not formed to diseases that can recur.


    This opinion does not correspond to reality, since our immune system "remembers" all the microorganisms with which it had to meet.


    Antibodies developed against them remain in the body for a long time, and sometimes for life.

    Therefore, if the pathogen enters the body again, then although the disease may develop, but the immune system already knows how to deal with it, as a result, the disease proceeds in a milder form.
    Last edited by Antony Convey; 02-04-2021, 10:35 AM.

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