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Obesity-and-the-Immune-Systems-Ability-to-Fight-Illness

Obesity and the Immune System’s Ability to Fight Illness

Our immune systems are incredible in that they can recognize, fight, and heal us from infection. Obesity can cause a chronic state of inflammation that can compromise your immune system. Not only that, but chronic inflammation can lead to many other health problems as well. Here’s how you can lose weight and boost your immune system at the same time. 

Weight and Immunity

How you fuel and exercise your body is a big part of how your immune system functions. The Obesity Action Coalition explains that diets high in fiber, antioxidants, and protein help keep your immune system functioning optimally. In addition, specific micronutrients like iron, selenium, zin, copper, and vitamins C, A, E, B-6, and folic acid all play a role in the body’s immune response as well. 

Diets high in sugar and fat, they go onto explain, increases your risk for infection. This is because it can increase blood sugar and cause oxidative damage, which means there’s an overproduction of reactive oxygen species compared to the body’s ability to detoxify cells. Due to this, damage from oxygen can increase your chance of developing an infection. Additionally, those who don’t eat enough protein are at risk for protein-energy malnutrition. This has been shown to play a part in weakened immune systems. Poor diets are the main reason for these deficiencies.

People who have well-rounded diets and exercise often are more likely to maintain a healthier weight, thus doing all they can to keep their immune system working like it should. 

On the other hand, our immune systems also play a role in how we maintain weight. Research has shown that the immune system could be responsible for up to 40% of our body’s ability to regulate weight. Knowing this, and knowing how a bad diet could weaken our immunity, why would you choose to not maintain a healthy weight? 

Common Causes of Weight Gain

In addition to not eating right or exercising often, there are more causes of weight gain. Healthline lists the 10 leading causes of weight gain and obesity to be:

  1. Genetics – children with overweight parents are more likely to be overweight themselves 
  2. Processed food – this type offend is engineered to be cheap and be shelf-stable and tends to be addictive
  3. Food addiction – foods high in sugar and far stimulate the pleasure centers of your brain, causing them to be similar to abused drugs like alcohol and narcotics 
  4. Aggressive marketing – junk food is aggressively marketed with misleading claims that can encourage children to eat and buy these foods
  5. Insulin – this hormone regulates energy storage and tells fat cells to hold on to the fact they already carry. High insulin levels play a role in obesity 
  6. Medications – prescription medications can often have weight gain as a side effect 
  7. Leptin resistance – this is another hormone that plays a big role in obesity due to it being produced by fat cells and blood levels, which increase in those with a higher fat mass

How to Maintain a Healthy Weight 

If you’re ready to get healthy but aren’t sure where to start, we’re here to help you at Interventional Pain Associates. To get started, we recommend preventing further weight gain and adapting to a healthier lifestyle. This could include: 

  • Beginning an exercise regimen, at least 30 minutes a day
  • Eating healthy meals and practicing portion control
  • Limiting excess sugar and alcohol
  • Drinking at least half your body weight in ounces of water each day

If your weight gain is due to underlying health issues, you might not find much success in losing weight by incorporating these steps. Dr. Saleemi is trained to evaluate and determine if it’s an underlying issue causing your weight gain. If so, your treatment plan will focus solely on treating the underlying condition so you can get a better handle on your weight. Additionally, we’ll encourage you to continue getting healthy through other lifestyle changes. You don’t have to suffer from uncontrollable weight gain, we can help! Call us today to make an appointment at: (512)-795-7575.