Wondering How To Measure Immunity?

  • 4 mins read
  • Health Conditions
  • Immunity
  • Dr. Pramod Mane

We have a question for you. Would you ever go to the doctor when you’re feeling just fine? No, right? This is because we perceive our health to be normal and assume our immunity is taking good care of us. But how can we understand if there’s a deeper problem with our immunity? What if some pressing matters need to be addressed urgently?  How can you tell if you have a weak immune system? We have a couple of tips and tricks for you to assess your immune health.

It’s all about perception

As we have discussed earlier, the doctor doesn’t come to visit us, we need to go to the doctor to understand and seek medical advice. To understand if you have weak or strong immunity, look out for certain signs and symptoms.

*This is not a general assessment of Immunity.

We have a small task for you. Just do a quick calculation and find out how frequently you experience any of the following symptoms: Sore throat, flu, cold sores, ear infection, and sudden high fever. Grade each of them from 0 to 4 – 0 for never and 4 for frequently. Sum up all these numbers. The higher the number you get, the weaker is your immune system and vice versa.
If you experience any of these symptoms frequently, seek medical attention. Your doctor can help you diagnose the causes of your low immunity and advise you on how to build it back up.

Why did I score so poorly?

Took the test and found out that you didn’t fare so well? Wondering why? We have a list of the possible reasons.

Multiple studies have been conducted to understand why the perceived immune functioning of people is so poor. According to few surveys, the reasons were as follows:

  • Internet-related problems: The hours spent online, the content viewed, and addiction to the internet are some of the problems affiliated with internet usage. The whole world is available at our fingertips, and so are the issues associated with it. Indulging in them all the time, be it reading the news or on social media, can take a toll on our mental health. This can hamper our immunity.
  • Sleep problems: The quality of sleep, sleep disorders, sleep duration, and our body clock are the factors that can influence our immune system.
  • Mental health issues: Loneliness, anxiety, and depression are a few mental health issues that can strike a blow on our immunity.
  • Hampered relations: Problems in relationships, family feuds, spite with coworkers, etc are contributors to stress, which could add to mental health problems and lower immune function.

Blood, spit, and other fluids

Now, we have read about how you can assess your immunity with a few simple questions and a math problem. This can give you a fair estimate or a general idea about your immunity. A couple of tests can be performed to get a precise estimate of your immune system (don’t worry, you don’t need math for this!) A sample of your blood, spit, stool, or urine is collected and tested for various chemicals and cells that participate in an immune response. These tests are fairly accurate and usually asked for and interpreted by a doctor.

Well, what are you waiting for? Assess your immunity and take the necessary steps! Good luck!

References:

  1. J F Wilod Versprille L, et al. Development and validation of the Immune Status Questionnaire (ISQ). Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019;16(23):4743.
  2. Van Schrojenstein Lantman M, et al. Mental resilience, perceived immune functioning, and health. J Multidiscip Healthc. 2017;10:107-112.
  3. Donners AAMT, et al. Perceived immune status and sleep: A survey among Dutch students. Sleep Disord. 2015;2015:721607.
  4. Reed P, et al. Problematic internet usage and immune function. PLoS One. 2015;10(8):e0134538.
  5. Kelley KJ, et al. Problematic internet use and physical health. J Behav Addict. 2013;2(2):108-12.

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