Low immunity is when the body’s defensive system is in low working order. Called the immune system, it is made up of lymphocytes and antibodies, and works together with other parts of the body such as the spleen, thymus glands, bone marrow, and much more. It is by far the most complex and involved function in the entire human body.
Everything from a cold to the flu to cancer must first bypass the immune system before infecting the body. The immune system, once recognizing the invading bacteria or virus as a threat, works to abolish it before the damage increases. It is the body’s main defense against the bacteria and viruses that continually hammer our body. The immune system fights off these diseases, keeping us healthy and able to go about our day. When it is down, it is not as able to perform as well, increasing the risk of illness.
Signs & Symptoms
Signs of low immunity include frequent colds, headaches, chronic infections, and sore lymph glands. Though sometimes these can be signs of more serious problems, quite often recurrent illnesses are a result of having low immunity.
When a person has low immunity, it means their immune system is not running in its full capacity, allowing dangerous substances to slip by and infect the rest of the body, causing aches, swelling, redness, congestion, and other common signs of illness. At times these can lead to more serious problems. For example, certain cancers, such as leukemia, are an infection of the immune system itself.
There are many factors which can contribute to having low immunity. Some are serious conditions, and their damage is nearly irreparable and difficult to treat. These include diseases such as AIDS, Lupus, or inflammatory bowel disease.
Many of these diseases attack the immune system, leaving the body vulnerable to secondary diseases which originally would be of little threat, but in this case would pose a dangerous menace. In some cases, the immune system itself becomes a threat. Powered by the very disease that infected it, it turns and begins to attack the human body instead.
These diseases are quite deadly, and should be treated by a doctor. The solutions listed below are merely supplementary, and do not replace actual medical treatment. However, though they are not specifically for treating these diseases, they can still be beneficial even in these cases.
In general, however, low immunity is a result of not having the proper nutrients which boost the immune system, and it is easily treatable. There are different factors which may deplete the body’s limited stores and affect the immune system. Surgery or other medical treatments open the body to a flood of bacteria which hammer the immune system, overwhelming it beyond capacity and allowing secondary infections to set in. Other things such as emotional trauma or stress put unusual pressure on the immune system, forcing it to work overtime and leading to low immunity. Diet can also become involved, as the body depends heavily on the nutrient intake supplied by food and drink.
Ways to Cure Low Immunity Issues
One of the best and easiest is to have a clean diet. A healthy diet alone can boost the immune system, preventing a wide range of illnesses. Simply adding or removing certain food substances provide the body with the proper nutrients it needs to thrive while removing those chemicals that suppress it, allowing it to perform much better.
Sugar causes the white blood cells in the immune system to run sluggishly. The sugar affects a type of cell called neutrophil, which combats the bacteria by engulfing and then destroying it. Its effectiveness is decreased by as much as %40 within two hours of eating food containing sugar. Lessening the sugar in a diet could significantly improve the efficiency of the immune system. As there are different kinds of sugar, this can be applied most specifically to artificial sweetener. Natural sugars such as those found in fruits can be quite beneficial in boosting energy and vigor, if taken in moderation.
Often recognized as a necessary part of the diet for a diabetic, protein is good for anyone else as well. Eating foods that are high in protein such as lean meats like fish and poultry boosts the immune system, reducing the risk of illness. This element is absolutely essential for the creation of white blood cells, antibodies, and other particles of the body’s immune system.
Many foods are found to be high in saturated fat and cholesterol. People who suffer frequently from colds or the flu often have a diet that is high in fat, as well as what is known as triglyceride, similar to cholesterol. High levels of these substances suppress the immune system; adjusting the diet to bring down these levels does a great deal in lessening the risk of illness.
Easily the most important and most easily attained nutrient for our bodies, it is often also the most neglected. Water is vital to the growth and sustaining of human life, but most people do not get enough of it. Pure, fresh water not only supplies good nutrients but also washes out the harmful toxins that infect the body. Drinking plenty of water- as much as 10-12 8 oz glasses a day- on its own can have a noticeable effect.
Herbs & Natural Remedies
In addition, there are many herbs and other natural or home remedies that are both safe and easy to use. Most of these can be easily attained at a local drug or grocery store, or, depending on the product, sometimes it may be found only in such places as a Chinese market.
Some are more common and well-known than others, but all have a positive effect on the entire body, supplying it with a healthy dose of what it needs to stay healthy. Since these are natural products and therefore do not contain the toxins and chemicals that are found in most medications, it is difficult to overdose.
However, as with any product, it is important to take it in moderation, as too much of anything can have an adverse effect on the body.
Chinese culture is often well recognized for its wide knowledge of herbs and medicine. Officially listed amongst the fundamental herbs that are used in traditional Chinese medicine, the Astralagus plant has many uses, such as aiding in the healing of injuries.
The root is dried and then used to make an herbal tea or soup, often in conjunction with other herbal remedies. Besides stimulating white blood cells, the plant also helps in the production of a particular compound, called interferon, which is produced to fight off viruses.
Green tea is well-known for its health benefits to the human body. Originating in China, it has been commonly associated with many Asian cultures and in recent years has become popularly accepted in the Western world. Green tea is made with the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, and contains a chemical substance called polyphenol. Polyphenol checks for the radicals that have a harmful effect on the immune system.
This small shrub is grown in the area in and around India. The plant contains a substance which works as an adaptogen, which helps the body’s resistance to emotional trauma, stress, tiredness, and other such symptoms. Excessive levels of anxiety and tension overwork the immune system, making it more vulnerable to diseases. The calming effects of Ashwaghanda help counter the stress, relieving the body of added pressure and helping it to resist illness.
Echinacea is native to various parts of North America, most specifically eastern and central, where the land is open with a fair balance between moist and dry. It is commonly characterized by the bright, bold, flowers that bloom in the summer. This plant boosts lymphatic function as well as stimulates white blood cells, both of which are vital to the functionality of the immune system. It can be easily obtained either in its original form or taken as an extract in a capsule.
Mumio is a natural substance found in the high mountains of Russia and surrounding areas. It seeps from rock crevices and is formed from a combination of bees’ productions such as fossilized honey, beeswax, and bees’ nests. It is resinous in texture and appearance, and can be taken in capsule form. This substance has a very wide range of capabilities that have a positive effect on the body. It has a high content of antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and immuno-modulating properties, which strengthens the immune system.
Aside from herbal and natural remedies, there are also solutions found in the pharmaceutical department. Certain drugs can be taken to assist the immune system, but generally it is not recommended to take them regularly, since bacteria and viruses tend to develop their own immunity to these drugs, and can even use them to have the opposite effect on the body. These render the drugs entirely useless and in some cases even harmful. Depending on the drug and also the intended result, the amount and length of time for a specific dosage may vary, and it is important to follow the recommended dosage as prescribed by a physician or pharmacologist. Too much dosage or taking these medicines for long periods of time not only lessens their effectiveness but also increases risk for drug-related problems, such as overdose or addiction.
However, despite these and other risks associated with pharmacy drugs, properly attributed they can provide their own range of benefits. Though many can be obtained either by special order or at a local drugstore, it is important that one should consult a doctor before taking any drug. Some of these medicines do not specifically boost the immune system, but most of them do aid it in fighting infection.
This drug is often used on cancer patients and those afflicted with HIV or other autoimmune diseases. During illness, it reduces the severity of symptoms as well as reducing the duration of the sickness. It enhances the immune system so that it is stronger and better able to fight off disease, thereby reducing not only the severity and duration of the illness, but lessening the frequency of occurrence as well.
As with most pharmaceutical drugs, Isoprinosine may cause side effects in a patient, including such symptoms as dizziness, stomach pains, or irritated skin. These should not be viewed with alarm, though if the problem worsens a doctor should be consulted and the dosage paused until further medical advice is given, particularly in the possibility of an allergic reaction such as breathing troubles or chest pains.
Zithromax, also known as azithromycin, is a macrolide antibiotic that is effective against a wide range of bacteria. It works by interfering with the bacteria’s ability to produce protein. Since the bacteria is unable to produce the protein, it cannot grow, slowing or even halting the effects of the disease. Zithromax is used in the treatment of such diseases as bronchitis, tonsillitis, pneumonia, and many others.
Zithromax should only be taken on an empty stomach; at least two hours after a meal, or an hour beforehand. It should not be taken with antacids such as Pepcid Complete or Rolaids. Side effects of this drug include stomach problems such as abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhea; however, in general these effects are only very mild or in some cases moderate.
This antiviral drug is very effective against the flu virus, by disallowing the production of the virus as it spreads from cell to cell. In this way it aids the immune system in fighting off diseases which can be deadly, especially in the elderly or those who already suffer from a weak immune system and are therefore more vulnerable to viral attacks. If administered soon enough after being exposed to the flu, Tamiflu can be used to prevent the onset of illness, but even after a person has already contracted the disease it still aids in lessening both of the symptoms and the duration. It can be administered either as syrup or as a capsule.
There are very few, if any, medical drugs which can be taken without due caution. Tamiflu is no exception. Patients who are administered with the drug should be warned that certain side effects, though as yet unproven to be directly related to the drug, may occur. These include potentially deadly allergic reactions in the form of a skin condition called Steven-Johnson syndrome, as well as some neurophychiatric events, and in a very few cases, death.
Ciprofloxacin is an antibiotic drug, used to fight bacteria in the body. It aids the immune system to fight against the harmful diseases which inflict the body, relieving some of the stress off of the immune system. The drug interferes with the infected cell’s DNA, preventing it from copying itself and spreading the disease.
Though not true in all cases, Ciprofloxacin is known to be associated with a higher risk of Tendinitis, which is an inflammation of the tendons. This weakens the muscle tendons, sometimes leading to a very painful tendon rupture. This is especially true for those elderly in age, or those patients who have before received organ transplants of the lung, kidney, or heart.
With the immune system being the main fortification standing between the human body and the swarm of germs that inhabit every environment, low immunity can be a serious risk factor. However, with a few simple measures- most of which can easily be taken care of with a trip to the local grocery market- this risk can be drastically reduced. The immune system is the first line of defense against infection and disease; as such, it is vital to keep it in good working order. A proper diet and herbal supplements, and in some cases pharmaceutical treatment, can help boost the immune system to ensure that it is in good working order. When this happens, the rest of the body will generally follow, no longer being hammered with all sorts of diseases.