Obesity and the Immune System

Updated on October 26, 2019 in Statistics, Research, News
6 on October 18, 2019

Research seems to indicate that obese people are at higher risk of infections due to the effect our weight has on our immune systems. So I am curious to know if anyone has noticed a difference since losing some weight? Do you get sick less often now than you did when you were heavier? 

 
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1 on October 18, 2019

How interesting!  I wonder if they get sick less often because they’ve started eating healthier foods which tend to be loaded with vitamins that boost immunity.  Or if it’s because the extra weight burdens the organs which affects immunity.  I’ve not been sick often enough to notice a difference in myself.  However, obesity detrimentally affects so many things that I can see how it would weaken a person’s immunity.  

on October 21, 2019

I was wondering the same thing. Once you have the surgery, you have to watch what you eat a lot more carefully. So maybe eating healthier boosts the immune system. The only infections I tend to get are sinus infections, and I still get those. I’d be interested to know if further research is done on this. 

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0 on October 19, 2019

Now that I think about it, I haven’t been sick since I started getting the weight off.  I usually catch two or three bugs a year, but so far so good.  That could change though.

I’ve read a little about this and apparently one of the reasons that obesity affects immunity is that it’s easier for wounds to remain open and for pathogens to enter that site in obese people.  There’s generally more surface area that’s affected due to having larger bodies.  Plus, the layers of fat impede the body’s ability to heal itself as it’s harder to keep the wound clean and dry due to the skin folds.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

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1 on October 20, 2019

That’s kind of depressing.  I get colds all the time and they hang on for a long time, despite my diligent hand washing.  Hopefully this will change once I have gastric sleeve surgery and lose some of the weight. 

on October 23, 2019

Supposedly, part of that is because the lungs have trouble expanding with all the fat surrounding them.  Plus, many obese folks have undiagnosed sleep apnea, which compounds the problem and allows fluid to build up. It makes it harder to get rid of colds.  Did you get a flu shot?  The flu can easily turn into pneumonia for the same reasons.  

 

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0 on October 26, 2019

This is interesting. I’ll be interested to see if I get fewer infections and colds when I start losing weight. It wouldn’t surprise me if my immune system improves – excess weight affects so many bodily systems. 

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