RN Advice: Inflammation and the Immune System

Posted on February 3, 2013 by


peggi bw 2 editedI had the pleasure of taking care of my granddaughter for 3 days while my daughter delivered baby#2.  Within 2 hours, Remy’s nose started running quickly progressing from clear to thick yellow crusty mucus, my husband came home from the office (where he said they were ‘dropping like flies’) running a fever, coughing and general body aches AND my son started complaining of a sore throat, congestion, fever and was hacking all over.  While wiping copious amounts of drainage from my granddaughter’s nose and receiving some wonderful snot filled kisses and cuddles, caring for my hacking son and sleeping with my sick husband, I came out of the situation with a mere day or 2 of morning nasal congestion and feeling a ‘bit off’.  Did you ever wonder why some people get sick and some don’t or why some are hospitalized and others experience minimal symptoms?

While we are all exposed to the same germs at work, in public and at our homes; how we respond to those bugs is determined by the health of our immune systems.  Our immune system is a balanced network of cells and organs that work together to defend the body against disease.  When these cells and organs are inflamed, they cannot function optimally and defend the body against the invading bacteria and bugs.

Inflammation is caused by the following factors that weaken our immune system:

  • Stress
  • Poor diet (consisting of sugar, refined flour, alcohol, or other processed foods
  • Dehydration
  • Prescription and non-prescription medications
  • Lack of exercise
  • Lack of sleep
  • Disease and obesity

The amount of inflammation in our body determines the degree or seriousness of our illness.  That is why some people experience minimal symptoms (mild inflammation) and others are hospitalized, get secondary infections or even die (highly inflamed weak immune system).

I know without a doubt the minimal symptoms I experienced while totally ensconced in my germ infested house were a direct correlation to my continual attention to health and high level of self-care. Keep your immune system in tip top working condition by eliminating inflammatory foods, drinking plenty of water, and regularly practicing self-care to decrease stress, getting plenty of sleep and exercise.

Peggi Ingram, RN BSN, CPT

Certified Genesis Coach


Posted in: RN Advice