11 Things That Can Weaken Your Immune System

Almost every mother has said it: Aching joints are a symptom of HIV, alongside fever, tiredness, night sweats, hair loss and swollen lymph nodes. However, those with weak immune systems should be careful not to push themselves too hard as this can weaken the immune system further.

What can go wrong with your immune system?

This infection is difficult to treat and there is no definitive effective treatment. TB is transmitted when a person with active TB coughs or sneezes, releasing microscopic particles into the air. This causes inflammation, which appears to us as the red, warm swelling. What causes immunosuppression? Some of these ways are listed here: Bring on the sniffles! When you are sick, your body isn’t able to perform at its full potential. Eat more cruciferous vegetables to boost your immune system and take a vitamin supplement if your diet isn’t great.

There are natural ways we can strengthen our immune system. This can lead to decreased urination—one of the most common signs of low water intake. Sepsis is a medical emergency that needs treatment fast. From frequent infections to allergies, nutritional therapist Hannah Braye reveals the things to keep an eye on. Uncovering the underlying health problem triggering your joint pain can help give your immune system a boost. Some people are born with intrinsic defects in their immune system, or primary immunodeficiency.

Additional resources: Your spleen is an important part of your immune system but sometimes it has to be removed, with an operation called a splenectomy. Helper T-cells help determine which immune responses the body makes to a particular pathogen. He is the first known human to survive rabies. Talk to our experts at the American Lung Association Lung HelpLine.

  • Who is most at risk from sepsis?
  • Many drugs used in the treatment of HIV and AIDS can cause liver disease or hepatitis.

Is Sepsis On The Rise?

For one thing, stress is difficult to define. Conditions like arthritis (rheumatoid, reactive, psoriatic) are caused when you have a faulty immune system. Likewise, the daily immune challenges in the face of a more environmentally toxic world have intensified the need for maintaining optimal immune function. PIDDs are present at birth, although the symptoms may not begin until later in life, sometimes even in teenage years or adulthood. How your body responds to pneumonia depends on the type germ causing the infection, your age and your overall health. Hypomorphic RAG mutations are seen in patients with midline granulomatous disease; an autoimmune disorder that is commonly seen in patients with granulomatosis with polyangiitis and NK/T cell lymphomas. The medicines which can suppress your immune system may give you other side-effects.

A high-quality multivitamin and mineral supplement (especially B6, B12, folate, pantothenic acid, C, zinc, selenium, chromium, and manganese) can be an important starting point. Severe conditions are more common in the advanced stage of AIDS. You hear a hacking cough, or feel the droplets of a sneeze land on your neck. Early diagnosis and treatment of primary immune deficiencies can prevent infections that can cause long-term problems.

‘Prevention is better than cure’, having DaburChyawanprash along with healthy life style, regular exercise & good sleep will help boost your immunity.

You're Continuously Stressed

Chest x-rays may be normal or may show signs of infection. Kaposi's Sarcoma – This is the most common AIDS-related cancer. The good bacteria often work in tandem with the immune system. Studies have shown that certain types of HPV can contribute to the development of cervical and anal cancer. Scabs are dead blood cells sacrificed to stop blood from escaping the body. Those people battling diabetes, Aids, kidney or liver disease are also at greater risk due to their weakened immune systems.

In the early stages of myeloma, some patients have no signs or symptoms of the disease. Practices that may reduce and manage stress include: In that experiment pregnant mice were given a zinc-deficient diet. But preventing infections can help lower the chances of sepsis. Chemotherapy and other cancer drugs are prime examples, along with immunosuppressant drugs used to treat autoimmune diseases.

Some forms of primary immunodeficiency are so mild they can go unnoticed for years.

Risk Factors

Frequent colds and flu. The diagnosis of pneumonia in a person who has a weakened immune system is based on the person’s symptoms, the results of a chest x-ray or CT scan, and the results of sputum and blood tests. Vitamin D is imperative for strengthening your immune system. And the risk of poor hygiene is more pronounced in areas where resources are lacking. Most important: Warning signs that your child may have a PID: But what about humans? The longer it takes to receive medical care the more likely it is a patient will die.

Which cells should you boost, and to what number? Kids with sepsis could need help breathing. Treating hpv naturally: the top 5 supplements and herbs. Acquired, or secondary, disorders you get later in life.

Another icky topic, but an important one – the less hydrated your body is, the darker yellow your urine will be. Persisting (chronic) disease. If you practice good oral hygiene, yet continue suffering from chronic bad breath, it’s possible you may not be drinking enough water. There may be a high fever and there may be blueness of the lips. Rashes on the skin might indicate inflammation, a telltale symptom of a weakened immune system. The immune system has been trained and the army of B and T cells can move into action quicker. The flu is far more aggressive and often includes a fever, fatigue and body aches, in addition to all the classic cold symptoms. Fluid build-up in or around the lungs.

What It's Like To Have Lupus

Lack of water can cause you to experience periods of fatigue and low energy as your body tries to function without enough water. Read on for signs yours make be weaker than you think, according to experts. For now, there are no scientifically proven direct links between lifestyle and enhanced immune function. This includes people who have HIV/AIDS or receive chemotherapy or long-term steroids or who’ve had an organ transplant. This bigger IV line goes into a larger vein that can carry the needed medicines and fluids faster. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor, especially if you’re over 65 or have an underlying health condition or weakened immune system.

Candidiasis – Candidiasis is an infection caused by the candida fungi. What causes immune system failure? Our immune system is a complex system involving many different parts of the body working together, and our defences range from physical barriers such as the cough reflex to the trillions of numerous immune cells in our blood streams.

This provides them with antibodies they cannot make themselves. Sepsis is treated in the hospital, where doctors can closely watch the patient. Encourage regular hand washing. An overgrowth of yeast in the vagina can cause irritation, itching, burning and thick white discharge. Make other lifestyle changes in the hope of producing a near-perfect immune response? What can cause a weak immune system? Similar blood tests are done for monitoring of some of the medicines used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Other tests may be needed for the condition for which you are having treatment.

Without it, you’re vulnerable.


If the immune suppression is causing harm then sometimes an alternative can be used, or the dose dropped. Anything that weakens your immune system can lead to a secondary immunodeficiency disorder. Does being cold give you a weak immune system?

And finally, if travelling somewhere hot, use plenty of high-factor sun cream to protect your skin. Top 20 immune boosting foods, snack on blueberries for the health benefits of flavonoids. A scab that takes a long time to heal suggests a weak immune system. If your bone marrow isn’t producing enough lymphocytes, your doctor might order a bone marrow (stem cell) transplant. When the body has an infection, it makes chemicals to fight it. If you’re 65 or older, you’re at higher risk of pneumonia. After major flooding or other exposure to water damage and mold, talk with your immunocompromised patients about how to protect themselves from mold: The innate leukocytes include phagocytes (macrophages, neutrophils and dendritic cells), mast cells, eosinophils and basophils.

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ALCOHOL lowers your immune system’s ability to destroy invading viruses by depleting your white blood cell count. The myelin sheath is the fatty covering that acts as an insulator on nerve fibers in the brain. Problems in the genetic code that acts as a blueprint for producing the cells of the body (DNA) cause many of the immune system defects. The first line of defense begins with your lifestyle habits. If you have a contagious immunodeficiency disorder like AIDS, you can keep others healthy by practicing safe sex and not sharing bodily fluids with people who aren’t infected. Older adults and people who have serious illnesses or weak immune systems may have fewer and milder symptoms. Myeloma patients may fatigue more easily and feel weak.

The largest lymphatic organ in the body, which is on your left side, under your ribs and above your stomach, contains white blood cells that fight infection or disease. Although the genetic defect causing the PIDD is present at birth, children with PIDD may not develop symptoms until they are several months old. What does it mean for me? It helps in the prevention of a variety of diseases through its immunomodulator effects and rejuvenation properties. The most common symptoms of seroconversion are: If the blood tests show the disease is active again, you may need to increase the dose. If you have a type of primary immune deficiency disorder, you might want to seek genetic counseling if you plan to have a family. There are still relatively few studies of the effects of nutrition on the immune system of humans, and even fewer studies that tie the effects of nutrition directly to the development (versus the treatment) of diseases.

Some live vaccinations (those which contain live germs) are not given to some people who have a suppressed immune system.


For example, researchers documented an increase in upper respiratory infections in competitive cross-country skiers who exercise vigorously in the cold, but whether these infections are due to the cold or other factors — such as the intense exercise or the dryness of the air — is not known. If you’re experiencing sugar cravings or hunger pangs even though you’ve recently eaten, try drinking more water to rehydrate your body and keep cravings at bay. In general, an overactive immune system leads to many autoimmune disorders — because of hyperactive immune responses your body can’t tell the difference between your healthy, normal cells and invaders.

For example, athletes who engage in "blood doping" — pumping blood into their systems to boost their number of blood cells and enhance their performance — run the risk of strokes. Recurring thrush and cystitis can also be signs. Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma – Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is a disease in which tumors develop from white blood cells in the lymphatic system. ” To top it off, what is normal for you might not be normal for your bestie. Will my child’s diet need to change while receiving PIDD medications or treatment?

When people are exposed to situations they regard as stressful, it is difficult for them to measure how much stress they feel, and difficult for the scientist to know if a person's subjective impression of the amount of stress is accurate. How can I provide my child with the tools to help themselves if I’m not there? A person’s advancing age can also contribute to the immune system’s decline in a process known as immune senescence. Recovering from spleen surgery It's normal to feel sore and be bruised after a splenectomy, but you'll be given pain relief. However, they may advise a person with a weakened or compromised immune system to delay or not receive certain shots. You have digestive issues: It's not always possible to prevent sepsis.

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Some of these cells migrate around to fight infection at specific sites, such as a wound graze. This includes any or all of the defences that make up your immune system - particularly the white cells in our bloodstream, along with our spleen and lymph nodes. The cold or flu allowed the body to cleanse itself and the immune system becomes stronger to fight future infections.

Exercise Regularly

Patients who appear to have a least one sign of sepsis must be seen by a senior doctor within 60 minutes, an NHS watchdog has said. It’s peak flu season. Certain cancers can cause immune suppression, particularly those which involve the blood cells which are so crucial to our immune system. Meningitis is a common complication when left untreated.

Of course, one severe cold may not be cause for concern. But how can we prevent the many infections out there from infecting us? This is an indication that there is actually a problem with the immune system. If your child has a medical device (like a catheter or long-term IV line), follow the doctor's directions for cleaning and using it. Key points Immunodeficiency disorders disrupt your body’s ability to defend itself against bacteria, viruses, and parasites. 9 surprising ways you’re weakening your immune system, "There are a lot more [e-cig] systems that this group can do exactly the same study on but with a whole different series of devices to work on. Gleixner’s full list of articles. Luckily, there are signs to look for that may tip us off to a weakened immune system. The health of your gut bacteria and the health of your immune system are vitally linked.

Regular exercise is one of the pillars of healthy living. Those cookies you're consuming may seem irresistible and a fun afternoon boost, but consuming too much sugar is seen as a sign your immune system may be out of whack, noted Prevention magazine You are dehydrated and not taking in enough fluids. In adaptive immunity, the threat must be processed and recognized by the body, and then the immune system creates antibodies specifically designed to the threat.

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However, they do have the potential to become sick and infectious with active TB. Some autoimmune diseases also leads to fatigue. The spleen is not usually removed if it's just enlarged. Sneezing, a runny nose, sniffling, and swelling of your nasal passages from indoor allergens like dust and pets or outdoor allergens like pollens or molds. To soothe and hydrate dry nasal passages, use a natural nasal spray or neti pot. Sepsis is considered a bigger threat than meningitis, new NHS figures show. Your immune system can also be weakened by smoking, alcohol, and poor nutrition.

AN immune system protects you from illnesses and infection with a complex network of cells and organs. An auto-antibody called rheumatoid factor is in the blood of some people with rheumatoid arthritis. Harper said it has become a major focus in maintaining the integrity of the immune system.

  • See separate leaflet called HIV and AIDS.
  • So see a doctor if you think you might have an infection, such as a sore throat, a cough, symptoms of a urine infection, food poisoning, etc.

Rotator Cuff Disease

This varies with the individual medication. Viruses and other infectious illnesses can spread from person to person through close contact. The NHS explains: Extra vaccinations for higher-risk people, such as an annual flu jab, and vaccination against pneumonia and shingles. When your immune system struggles, so does your energy level. It can affect the eye, causing eye pain and reduced vision. In severe cases, this can lead to organ failure. CT scan of the chest to get a better view of the lungs and look for abscesses or other complications.

Kidney Infection (Pyelonephritis)

How will their PIDD impact their adult life? It's more common in those who have a higher chance of getting an infection in the first place, such as: Lower doses do not generally cause a problem.

Many cancers can be successfully treated, or at least their progression delayed, with chemotherapy. Ideally it should be pale yellow or even clear; if it’s dark yellow, you are most likely not drinking enough water daily, and that means you’re more vulnerable to infection. When it comes to getting sick, there’s always an element of bad luck involved. Calabrese says. Long-term antibiotics do so by killing off both the bad and the good bacteria in your body. If you have an underlying condition such as COPD, pneumonia can make your breathing even more difficult. Even being older is a risk factor.


Your immune system is a fascinating, interconnected network. How to boost your immune system during the coronavirus outbreak, and a recent study in Translational Psychiatry adds that "there seems to be something intrinsic about meditation itself that can shift gene expression and even boost mood over time. And yet plenty others seem to catch cold after cold; sidelined with a perpetually stuffed-up nose and hacking cough that lasts all winter. People with a weak immune system should take steps to manage their stress.

  • Out in the community, you can be infected with bacteria such as Streptococcus pneumoniae, or a bacteria-like organism such as Mycoplasma pneumonia.
  • While this isn't always the case, your doctor will be better able to evaluate the problem.
  • In many cases, an immune system that overreacts is as harmful and dangerous as one that stops working.
  • What is septicaemia?

Colon Cancer

Here are a few low immunity symptoms that are signs of a weak immune system. “Primarily, those born with an immune deficiency disease usually show signs of it as an infant, but some people are born with it and do not show signs until they are in their late 20s or early 30s, depending on the type of deficiency,” Dr. VIGOROUS exercise is good for you, but it can cause damage to your muscles that need repair. Avoid close contact with people with infectious conditions where possible. Regular exercise keeps the body healthy. Scientists have dunked people in cold water and made others sit nude in subfreezing temperatures. Here are three more important steps to take: Lack of sleep disrupts the normal production of white blood cells, a crucial component of the body’s immune system.


Components of innate immunity include skin, stomach acid, enzymes found in tears and skin oils, mucus and the cough reflex. More health explainers BUG BEAR From sore throat to cough and fever - how to tell if it's coronavirus and NOT flu TESTING TIMES How to get tested for coronavirus in the UK Weights Wait? The high level of tar and chemicals, as well as the reduced oxygen supply, causes cancer, heart disease, asthma and weakens your immune system. 9 ways to boost your immune system, never take too many multivitamins or other supplements. Cytomegalovirus – Although this virus can affect the entire body, it commonly occurs in the stomach, causing fever, diarrhea and stomach pain. According to the National Cancer Institute, monoclonal antibodies are being used to treat cancer.

Get adequate sleep. If it seems as though you’re always getting sick, you may need to start drinking more water to keep your body free of toxins and functioning at an optimal level. (Be wary of travelling to countries with high risk of diseases you cannot be vaccinated against.)

Thus, the immune system is truly a system, and a problem in any part of the system can cause minor infections to become serious ones.


Frequent infections due to a weakened immune system. If you buy something through a link on this page, we may earn a small commission. Low blood levels of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets, rashes, lymph node enlargement, and enlargement of the liver and spleen are commonly seen in these patients.

What Is A Seroconversion Illness?

If you have a child who is immunosuppressed, all the above applies. This includes 38,401 admissions among those aged four and under, up from 30,981 in 2020/16. The beneficial bacteria and microorganisms that live there defend your gut from infection and support the immune system. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician. The air sacs may fill up with fluid or pus, causing symptoms such as a cough, fever, chills and trouble breathing. Gleixner’s bio.

Without timely treatment, sepsis can rapidly lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death. Sputum test on a sample of mucus (sputum) taken after a deep cough, to look for the source of the infection. The young lad had his foot amputated after the infection left his life hanging in the balance. For those not born with an immune deficiency, there are many ways the immune system can become weakened. It’s also the point at which the body produces antibodies to HIV. The cause is unknown. Acquired immune deficiencies occur after infections or environmental exposures in people who were previously completely healthy.

But that doesn't mean the effects of lifestyle on the immune system aren't intriguing and shouldn't be studied. If you’re not able to get outside, consider a Vitamin D supplement as a substitute. It can occur for many reasons, including disease, medication, surgery, age or genetics. Exercise has also been shown to enhance and improve different components of the immune system. Stress can weaken the immune system further and make a person more susceptible to illness.


Regardless of your situation, your body will thank you. This is when our natural immune defences are weakened and normally innocuous bugs can begin to cause strife. In some cases, it may mean a trip to the doctor for a check-up. It’s gross but it’s true: You'll need to avoid contact sports for a while, as you'll be at greater risk of rupturing the spleen while it's enlarged. Second and third generations of mice also had defective immune system function (although less severe), all while maintaining a zinc-adequate diet. White blood cells make up the main part of our immune system, protecting the body against disease-causing organisms and fighting off infection.

For example, microarrays or "gene chips" based on the human genome allow scientists to look simultaneously at how thousands of gene sequences are turned on or off in response to specific physiological conditions — for example, blood cells from athletes before and after exercise. Immunodeficiency disorders are either congenital or acquired. You can tell a lot about your immune system’s functionality by the appearance and condition of your skin. GETTY Do you have a weak immune system? Your immune system is the gatekeeper for what gets in and what stays out of your body. Innate immunity is non-specific, meaning it doesn't protect against any specific threats.