What causes increased susceptibility to infections and how to treat it?

Symptom Database

Increased susceptibility to infections can be a concerning issue for many individuals. Our immune system plays a crucial role in protecting us from harmful pathogens and maintaining our overall health. However, certain factors can weaken our immune system, making us more prone to infections. In this article, we will explore the causes of increased susceptibility to infections and discuss effective ways to treat and prevent them.

Understanding the Immune System

Before delving into the causes of increased susceptibility to infections, it is important to have a basic understanding of the immune system. The immune system is a complex network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to defend the body against harmful invaders such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites.

When a pathogen enters our body, our immune system recognizes it as foreign and launches an immune response. This response involves the production of antibodies, activation of immune cells, and the release of chemicals to eliminate the pathogen. A healthy immune system is essential for maintaining overall well-being and preventing infections.

Causes of Increased Susceptibility to Infections

1. Weakened Immune System

A weakened immune system is one of the primary causes of increased susceptibility to infections. Several factors can contribute to a weakened immune system, including:

  • Chronic stress
  • Poor nutrition
  • Lack of sleep
  • Underlying medical conditions
  • Age-related decline in immune function

When our immune system is compromised, it becomes less effective in fighting off pathogens, making us more susceptible to infections.

2. Poor Hygiene Practices

Another common cause of increased susceptibility to infections is poor hygiene practices. Failing to wash hands regularly, not covering the mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing, and neglecting personal hygiene can increase the risk of contracting contagious diseases.

3. Environmental Factors

Environmental factors can also play a role in increasing susceptibility to infections. Exposure to pollutants, toxins, and certain chemicals can weaken the immune system and make it more difficult for the body to fight off infections.

Treating Increased Susceptibility to Infections

1. Boosting Immune Health

One of the most effective ways to treat increased susceptibility to infections is by boosting immune health. Here are some tips to strengthen your immune system:

  • Eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Get regular exercise to improve overall health and immune function.
  • Get enough sleep to allow your body to repair and regenerate.
  • Manage stress through relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga.
  • Stay hydrated to support immune function.

By adopting these healthy habits, you can enhance your immune system’s ability to fight off infections.

2. Practice Good Hygiene

Practicing good hygiene is crucial in preventing the spread of infections. Follow these hygiene practices:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid close contact with individuals who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces regularly.

These simple measures can significantly reduce the risk of contracting contagious diseases.

3. Seek Medical Advice

If you frequently experience infections or have concerns about your immune health, it is important to seek medical advice. A healthcare professional can evaluate your symptoms, conduct necessary tests, and provide appropriate treatment or immune system support.


Increased susceptibility to infections can be a result of a weakened immune system, poor hygiene practices, or environmental factors. By taking steps to boost immune health, practicing good hygiene, and seeking medical advice when necessary, you can effectively treat and prevent infections. Remember, a healthy immune system is vital for overall well-being and maintaining a strong defense against harmful pathogens.

Haroon Rashid, MD
Rate author
Urgent Care Center of Arlington, VA
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