What Does It Mean To Have A “Weakened Immune System?”

June 29, 2010

Many of the diseases and conditions mentioned on the Colloids For Life blog are more prone to occur to people with a weakened immune system, or stand a higher risk of becoming serious or even life threatening for those with weakened immune systems.

But what does it mean to have a weakened immune system?

Your immune system works throughout your body to prevent and fight illnesses by keeping out pathogens and toxins. Your digestive tract (especially your liver), your skin, and your lymphatic system are three important aspects of the immune system. Your immune system can be weakened, then, in a number of ways. Diseases like AIDS weaken the immune system, lowering your T-Cell count (part of the lymphatic system). Treatments and medications for cancer and organ transplants can also weaken the immune system. Then there are lifestyle contributions—poor diet, stress, not taking care of yourself when you’re sick, all of these can negatively impact your immune system.

When your immune system is weak, it’s harder for your body to fight off and process pathogens and other toxins, and if you’re already sick, a comparatively minor disease such as a cold can last weeks and potentially lead to serious complications.

What are the Best Immune System Boosters?

First, make a general practice of taking care of yourself in order to prevent problems. Exercise, rest, and eating right all support the proper and healthy functioning of your body. For digestion, a key entry point into the body, make sure to eat a wide array of nutrients (if you’re not sure you’re getting them all, consider a multi-vitamin). Your body needs a full array of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, “good” cholesterol, and a little fat to build the enzymes and other supporting elements of your immune system (not to mention to aid in proper digestion and cell function). You can also supplement with enzymes if your body has trouble building them. Probiotics, or the “good” bacteria found in yogurt that help keep out bad bacteria and ease digestion are another element to consider adding to your diet or supplement regime.

A key component of your digestive tract’s immune system function is the liver, which processes toxins. Take care of your liver by minimizing or eliminating consumption of alcohol, as well as processed foods or foods with a lot of additives that your body can’t break apart (artificial sweetener has recently been accused of causing people with sensitive digestion stomach troubles, for example). Another thing you can do for you liver is to cleanse it for toxins. You can choose a product to help with the cleanse, or you can simply go on a diet of non-processed health foods, just make sure that you are eating enough calories and getting plenty of nutritious foods at each meal.

There are also supplements designed to support your immune system, such as vitamin combinations specifically designed to boost your immune system.

Whatever your immune system’s current state, and however you choose to boost your immune system, make sure to see your doctor if any disease shows signs of complications.

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{ 4 comments }

Emma November 29, 2015 at 10:20 am

Maybe! Needing more than 7-9 hours of sleep can be a sign your body (and immune system) are working overtime to keep you healthy.

Extra sleep can also be related to many other factors, though. Having caffeine after lunch, not exercising enough or getting enough calories from nutritious foods, even stress. Start by taking a look at how you spend your day.

Then look at how you spend your night. Sleep apnea (confirmed by a sleep study) causes interrupted sleep. So can electronics and their beeping lights—and interrupted sleep is basically no sleep (really, 3 solid hours is better than 10 interrupted).

If it comes back to it, there are a lot of things than can cause a weakened immune system; getting older, exposure to cold and flu (this winter is going to be harsh), mild inflammation (even like acne, a stubbed toe, whatever). If this is sudden/new though, it could be something bigger—depression, or a more serious infection.

Good luck, and good sleep!

Binod poon November 26, 2015 at 9:57 pm

Hi there!
These days my body feel so tired and lack of energy. Also I sleep like 10 hrs a day. Even after that much of sleep my body feels still not active. Does it mean I am having weak immune system?

Emma August 22, 2012 at 9:29 pm

If you have a chronic infection on your arm, that can be very serious. Untreated skin infections can lead to sepsis, which is very very hard to treat. Are any of the doctors you’ve seen treating it? I’d also try a dermatologist.

Eating right, etc., are just the things that are in your control to support your immune system. There are many things that can’t be controlled, like genetic disorders, which can cause weakened immune systems.

Personally, I would consider seeing a doctor who can give you more information, although it probably won’t be covered by insurance. For example, getting genetic testing can reveal mild problems that you wouldn’t have noticed, but that correcting through lifestyle can help. One person at Colloids for Life got genetic testing and found that they’re one genetic marker away from celiac disease—by cutting wheat and other glutenous grains out of their diet, they improved their immune system and overall health, because they stopped what had been a mild, persistent allergic reaction they had never known they had, but had suffered for.

Keep trying new doctors, and even consider complimentary therapies like acupuncture. The system is messed up, but I promise there are dedicated medical professionals out there who can help. Make sure to bring your history with you, as well as write down your own questions—it can help you feel confident enough to get the answers you need.

jolanta August 21, 2012 at 5:20 pm

I have a thing on my arm and its infected like i been to many doctors and one said my imune system is low. Then another said something else like i dont what to do i tryed everything im fit eat right and all that other stuff but nothing works.Why is that?

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