HIV is a disease that lowers the immune system and allows other diseases that should normally have been handled by the body's defences to come in and overwhelm the system.Leading to a severe immunocompromised state called Aids and subsequently death.
It is therefore apparent that if one can keep the immunity levels up,the effects of the virus will be less.
Some of the things we can do to maintain a high immune ( disease defence) system are;
1. Take your ARV everyday as prescribed.This is very important as it helps to suppress the viral level( viral load) by killing off those in the blood stream, thereby allowing the body's immune system to recover( increased cd4 count).In the event where arv is stopped over a long period, the virus level will start increasing again,and may be worse than before.
2. Reduce the amount of organisms your body has to fight against by living a healthy lifestyle.Take only very clean water and food, cook food well before eating, limit eating outside, wash your hands a lot, keep your environment very clean.
3. Limit the length of any illness you may have, by visiting your doctor whenever you feel unwell, so that he can find out exactly what is wrong with you and treat you early. Any illness the body has uses up some part of our immunity ( defence soldiers we have in our body). So the earlier, the better should be our mantra here.
4. Sleep adequately. We should aim to sleep at least 6 hours every night. But the healthy range is about 7 to 10 hours. And 14 hours for children. Sleeping helps the body to repair itself. It also reduces the overall workload of the body in other areas while focusing more energy on repairs and fighting infections. This is why many people that are sick, seem to sleep a lot. Its natural.
5. Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. These have a lot of anti oxidants and natural antibiotics, which help to fight infection.
6. Eat more of healthy oils, like olive oil and fish oil ( cord liver oil or omega 3 fats). They also
7. Eat plenty fermented foods like yoghurt and other probiotic. They help to balance our gut flora ( natural bacteria in out intestines, that help to prime the immune
8. Limit your refined sugar intake; This helps to reduce weight gain and its attendant problems like diabetes and hypertension, which weaken the immune system over time.
9. Moderate exercises like walking, cycling, swimming, jogging help to keep the body healthy by increasing blood flow to every area, thereby aiding early finding and killing of bad organisms that may have entered our body. It also has many other health benefits.
10. Drink a lot of water: water improves our immunity indirectly by helping to flush out waste products, thereby allowing the body to conserve its energy it would have spend on managing our waste to the important fight against microbes.
11. Reduce or stop harmful habits like smoking and drinking of alcohol. Smoking especially is known to decrease the immunity directly, while alcohol has also been implicated in damaging of nerves and organs of our body.
12. Avoid herbal concoctions as much as possible. This is because most of them are not really well studied and may have several harmful effects. Also even some vitamins needed in the body become harmful to the body if they are taken in excess. Finally, most of these nutrients can be gotten from natural fruits and vegetables without much money spent and natural products have been studied over the years and noted to hardly ever cause overdose even if eaten in excess, unlike the laboratory produced ones added in some herbal products.
Some important micro nutrients needed for good immunity are: selenium, magnesium, vit b complex, vit c, vit d, zinc.
If you must take a supplement, the advice is to limit it to multivitamins that contain most of these nutrients. Just once a day is enough.
13. Finally, maintain a positive mental state always. Have a good support group of family and friends. If needed, engage the service of a psychologist if necessary. Some diseases are actually caused by depression and bad imaginations ( what we call psychosomatic disorder).
This last one is part of the reason we have this group. Please dont be shy to ask for help from the plhiv or doctors here.
Stay healthy, stay positive, stay strong, one love!🙏🏿💓
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