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If you are staying up late and not getting enough sleep, institute a formal bed time. Do not use your bedroom as an extension of your office or den. Your bed should be for sleeping and having sex in, not watching TV all night.

If you are suffering from stress, try to give yourself more ?me time?-get a massage, do something fun and relaxing, and so on. Above all, connect with others. You might think it means getting exposed to more germs, but it can also improve your mood.

In terms of exercise, move more, and even better, connect with others through getting a workout partner.

If you are smoking, take whatever steps you need to quit. Each and every cigarette exposes you to more than 400 chemicals. If you don?t smoke but your loved one or friends do, avoid second-hand smoke. Get them to take it outside if they are not ready to quit yet.

Taking too many antibiotics is not helpful because they destroy both harmful and helpful bacteria in your body, particularly in your digestive tract. This means that sometimes the harmful ones in your body can start to take over.

One ghastly example is C. difficile, which can take over your intestines and lead to watery, infectious diarrhea. At present, the best ?cure? is a fecal transplant-yes, that?s right, having the poo of a healthy person inserted into your body to try to get the helpful bacteria back into your digestive system. Experts say the increase in this nasty bug is due to taking too many antibiotics.

The CDC has started a new awareness campaign to try to combat antibiotic overuse, so only take them when needed, and take exactly as prescribed. ZDoggMD.com, a doctor who produces rap music videos about health issues in his spare time, has an amusing but informative video to reinforce the message of NOT asking your doctor to prescribe antibiotics all the time when they would be of no use, such as in the case of flu.

Alcohol has a range of negative effects on the body. As we will discuss below, it triggers inflammation. Alcohol is empty calories, having little to no nutritional value. People who drink heavily tend to become malnourished because alcohol can reduce their appetite for food. See “Beyond Hangovers” by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) to learn more about the devastating effects of alcohol on your body and immune system. It makes for sobering reading.

Now that you understand your immune system, what weakens it, and what can strengthen it, it is time to look at the role of inflammation in the body and how it is linked to the immune system.


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