What are the characteristics of a strong immune system?

An obvious indication of having a strong immune system is when a person rarely catches colds or other viruses. Bacteria and infections are also rare. If an illness does occur, it is usually milder and of shorter duration than for someone with a weaker immune system. There is a connection between immune response and mental state, which is why people with positive outlooks are often healthier than people prone to depression. People with strong immune systems do not suffer from excessive fatigue and are not easily stressed.

A strong immune system works around the clock every day of the year, most of the time doing its job completely unnoticed. It's not until something goes wrong, like coming down with a cold or an infected wound, that he's brought to his attention. Most components of the immune system are not visible to the naked eye.

The skin is the largest organ in the body and is part of the immune system. Part of the skin's immune function is obvious, as it acts as a physical barrier against invading pathogens. Its other functions occur at the cellular level and are not visible to the naked eye. If the skin is cut or torn, the opening allows germs, parasites, and other pathogens to enter the bloodstream.

Once a pathogen enters the bloodstream, an immune response occurs, activating the innate or non-specific immune system to fight the invading pathogens. The disease-fighting cells of the innate immune system fight infectious invaders in a non-specific or generic manner. If a more specific immune response is required, then the innate immune system activates the adaptive immune system, which is only found in jawed vertebrates. The adaptive immune system has highly specialized disease-fighting cells that can adapt to newly encountered pathogens and remember specific pathogens in the event of a future attack.

Most of the time, a strong immune system is able to fight off an infectious agent with little or no medical intervention. However, this does not mean that the need for medical assistance is a sign of a weakened immune system. Even a strong immune system will require medical intervention if it encounters a particularly virulent infectious agent. Sometimes medical intervention is only necessary to alleviate certain symptoms of a disease, such as inflammation, which is, itself, a sign of a strong immune system at work. Inflammation is one of the first responses of an active immune system to an infectious agent or irritant.

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