Posted on by Village Green Nutrition Team
According to the Centers for Disease Control, “Each year in the United States, millions of people get the common cold. Adults have an average of 2-3 colds per year, and children have even more.”
So why do so many people keep getting sick? There are countless reasons behind being sick, but there is good news. Many of our conditions stem from underlying lifestyle factors that are within our control. We can improve our health by identifying some of these factors and making positive changes.
We want to help you get started. Keep reading for five possible reasons you keep getting sick.
1. Inadequate Sleep
How much sleep do you get each night? Do you find yourself up on your phone or watching TV when you know you should be trying to fall asleep? Maybe it's a bad habit you've gotten into?
Sleep deprivation is considered anything less than 7 or 8 hours of sleep. And while you might feel like you can function properly on less, loss of sleep takes a toll on your mental health. It can lead to:
- Memory loss
- Lack of focus
- And more
Being sleep-deprived can lower your immune system, making you more vulnerable to viruses. Furthermore, sleep deprivation increases the amount of cortisol your body creates, which can result in unintentional weight gain.
If you contract viruses like the flu, the common cold, or COVID, your body will have a harder time fighting them off if you're short on sleep. Making positive changes to your sleep habits can help keep you from getting sick.
Our bodies were designed to have a fight-or-flight mode triggered by stress. Centuries ago, this natural response was essential for keeping us alive in the event, for example, that we came across a predator in the wild.
Unfortunately, we can still get stuck in a constant but unnecessary state of fight-or-flight due to the many demands and stressors of modern life, such as:
- Medical issues
- Financial issues
- Politics, current events
- Social media
- House projects
- And more
While stress may not seem like a big deal because it has become such a normal part of our lives, it can manifest physically. If you're getting sick a lot, it could be a direct reflection of the amount of stress in your life, and more importantly, how you handle it.
We recommend focusing on your individualized health by identifying your stressors and finding ways to reduce or manage them, including shifting your mindset and building healthier patterns of thought. when possible. You can also find activities for reducing stress, like working out, being in nature, meditating, etc.
3. An Unhealthy Diet
Food has a powerful influence on your health and wellness. Eating processed foods and those that are high in unhealthy fats, simple carbohydrates, and sugars can contribute to inflammation and poorer immune function. Our bodies depend on good foods for vital nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals and micronutrients. These nutrients keep us healthy by optimizing our immune systems, providing us with energy, and fueling our primary bodily functions.
Yet, even people who eat healthily sometimes end up missing out on important vitamins and minerals. For example, while a vegetarian diet can greatly improve your health, there are certain nutrients you should be supplementing. These vitamins and minerals can be harder to come by in plant-based diets.
The same can be said about keto diets and many more. Even people who don't subscribe to certain types of diets often lack the full array of nutrients they should be consuming. A healthy digestive system is also key to absorbing and utilizing nutrients from your diet.
4. Lack of Physical Activity and Exercise
One of the major reasons people keep getting sick is because many of us lead inactive lives. Most people have sedentary jobs, at which we spend up to 8 to 10 hours a day. After that, we eat, and plop ourselves down on the couch.
A sedentary lifestyle has been shown to contribute to immune system dysfunction, inflammation and other chronic health concerns. This physical inactivity (paired with bad diets) has had a major impact on our society. An astonishing 74% of Americans are either overweight or obese, which can lead to heart problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, and countless other health conditions. Getting regular exercise can help to boost immune function and enhance your ability to fight off infections.
5. Microbiome Imbalance
Did you know that 70% of your immune system is in your gut? Your digestive tract plays a major role in your overall health by how well it absorbs nutrients and filters out toxins. And, the health of your microbiome is an essential component of your immune function.
An imbalanced microbiome can lead to all kinds of issues and may be the reason why you keep getting sick. Imbalanced microbiome levels can also be linked to:
- Regular upset stomach
- Autoimmune conditions
- Weight fluctuations
- Food intolerances
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- And more
If you keep getting sick, despite leading a relatively healthy lifestyle, it might have something to do with your gut health. We recommend having a GI analysis lab test done to help you uncover areas of your digestive health that could use support.
Need More Help?
Making healthy lifestyle changes is one of the most important ways to support your immune system. It can be very frustrating not knowing why you keep getting sick. We hope our guide has helped you uncover some possible reasons you struggle to stay healthy.
If you need more assistance, we're here for you! Village Green Apothecary is an integrative pharmacy focused on personalized health. With over 55 years of experience, we have a great team of qualified pharmacists, nutritionists, clinical herbalists, and naturopathic doctors available.
We believe in addressing the root problems that are contributing to your health issues, rather than simply applying bandaids to your symptoms. If you are looking for support and guidance, contact Village Green Apothecary to talk to a specialist about a personalized health plan for you.
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