How to stay healthy when you have a weak immune system? (2022)

This is an automatically translated article.

This article is written by doctors of Internal Oncology Department, Vinmec Times City International General Hospital.

The immune system is essential for life. Without an immune system, the body will be easily attacked by bacteria, viruses, parasites, etc. The immune system keeps us healthy when exposed to pathogens. The immune system is present throughout the body and involves many types of cells, organs, proteins, and tissues.

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1. Weak immune system

The immune system protects the body from disease and infection throughout life. However, some people with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to illness and disease and infections. People with cancer undergoing treatment such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy... also often have weak immune systems.
White blood cells, antibodies and lymph nodes, make up the body's immune system. Many disorders can weaken the immune system and leave a person immunocompromised. Immunodeficiency disorders that are present at birth or due to environmental factors, including:
HIV Certain cancers Malnutrition Viral hepatitis Certain medical treatments.

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2. Symptoms of a weak immune system

The main symptom of a weak immune system is susceptibility to diseases and infections. A person with a weakened immune system is more likely to get illnesses and infections than others, and these illnesses will be more severe or more difficult to treat.
Diseases that people with weak immune systems often get sick and infected include:
Pneumonia Meningitis Bronchitis Diseases and skin infections. These diseases recur with high frequency.
Other symptoms of a weak immune system may include:
Autoimmune disorders Organ inflammation Blood disorders or abnormalities, such as anemia Digestive problems, like loss of appetite , diarrhea and abdominal cramps Growth retardation in infants and young children.

3. Tips to stay healthy when you have a weak immune system

How to stay healthy when you have a weak immune system? (1)

People with weakened immune systems can take several steps to optimally lead healthy lives and avoid disease and infection.
First: Good Hygiene One of the easiest ways for a person with a weak immune system to stay healthy is to clean and wash their hands often. You should wash your hands at the following times:
Before, during and after preparing meals Before eating After blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing. Before and after treating a cut or other open wound
After contact with an unwell person After using or helping a child use the bathroom After changing diapers After touching animals or food or waste of animals After touching the garbage. Proper hand washing significantly reduces illness. Hand washing reduces cases of infectious diarrhea by 58% in people with weakened immune systems. Washing hands with soap and water can help protect children and reduce the number of deaths from pneumonia and diarrhea in children under 5 years of age.
Second: Avoid contact with people who are sick People with weakened immune systems should avoid close contact with anyone who has a cold or has an illness or infection. Viruses and other infectious diseases can be spread from person to person through close contact. They can also be spread in the steam when coughing or sneezing.
It is not always possible to avoid sick people. However, a person with a weakened immune system should avoid close contact, such as hugging or kissing someone who is sick. They also need to avoid sharing food and drink with those people.
Third: Disinfect Household Items Disease-causing germs can live on the surfaces of some household items, such as doorknobs and remote controls. A person can reduce the number of germs by disinfecting regularly.
Wednesday: Follow your doctor's advice about vaccines Most people should get regular vaccinations. However, a person with a weakened immune system or compromised immune system should delay or not receive the injection. The person can be vaccinated when the disease has resolved or has stopped treatment.
Examples of vaccines that doctors may recommend delaying or avoiding include:
MMR vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella Live flu vaccine MMRV vaccine, combination MMR vaccine with chickenpox vaccine Rabies vaccine People with weakened immune systems should check with their doctor which vaccines are safe for them and then follow their recommendations.

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How to stay healthy when you have a weak immune system? (2)

Fifth: Managing Stress Stress can weaken the immune system and make a person more susceptible to illness. People with weakened immune systems should take steps to manage stress. Some methods that can reduce and manage stress include: Yoga; Meditation; Massage; Spend time pursuing hobbies...
Friday: Get enough sleep Lack of sleep has the same effect on the body's immune system as stress. Lack of sleep disrupts the production of white blood cells, which are important components of the body's immune system. Adults should sleep at least 7 hours a day, while babies and children need between 8 and 17 hours of sleep depending on age.
Saturday: Healthy Diet A healthy, balanced diet can improve one's health. People with weakened immune systems need a diet rich in vegetables and fruits to provide a variety of nutrients.
For example, if a person is immunocompromised due to cancer treatment, foodborne illnesses should be avoided by:
Wash all fruits and vegetables before peeling Avoid meat, fish and eggs uncooked food Cool food in time Choose pasteurized milk, juice Eight: Exercise regularly Regular exercise helps keep the body healthy. In addition to strengthening the body, exercise causes the body to release endorphins that reduce stress levels. However, people with weakened immune systems should be careful not to exercise too hard as this can further weaken the immune system.
Therefore, people with weak immune systems should avoid exercise:
At too high intensity Too often For long periods without stopping to rest Ninth: Consider taking supplements Some vitamins and minerals that affect the immune system. For example, a person with vitamin C deficiency may have weakened immunity. Other vitamins and minerals that can affect immune function include:
Vitamin A Vitamin D Vitamin E Iron Folic Acid Zinc. It's best to get these nutrients from food sources if possible, but multivitamins bought in health stores can also be used.
The immune system is a complex system of blood cells and organs, and it protects the body from pathogens. If a person finds themselves frequently sick and infected, they may have a weak immune system.
A person with a weakened immune system can take several steps at home to keep themselves healthy and maximize their immune function.

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4. AIET . Autologous Immunotherapy

How to stay healthy when you have a weak immune system? (3)

When the body's immune system does not work well, cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation cannot effectively kill cancer cells. Therefore, it is necessary to strengthen the immune system, activate the cells to perform the task of recognizing and attacking cancer cells. From there, it is possible to increase the effectiveness of treatment for surgical, chemotherapy and radiotherapy methods... Autologous enhancement immunological therapy (AEIT) is a solution that meets the requirements. this.
The principle of AEIT therapy is to separate immune cells from the patient's peripheral blood, selectively culture them in a special medium to increase the number of immune cells, and then retransfuse these cells into the patient's own body. This therapy can use many different types of immune cells such as: Natural Killer cells (NK cells), cytotoxic T cells (CTLs) ...
Currently cell therapy Autologous immunity is done in combination with traditional therapies such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy. Recently, there have been many scientific publications in the world showing that the combination of autologous immune cell transplantation with thermotherapy also significantly increases the effectiveness of cancer treatment. Autologous immunotherapy combined with low-dose heat and chemotherapy has also been shown to be effective in the treatment of advanced cancer in patients already resistant to traditional cancer therapies.
Since October 2018, the Ministry of Health has licensed the application of Natural Immune System Therapy at Vinmec Times City Hospital - the first place in Vietnam to apply this method in treatment.

Please dial HOTLINE for more information or register for an appointment HERE. Download MyVinmec app to make appointments faster and receive 15% off for consultation fee at the first appointment (applied from 17th October to 31th December, 2022). MyVinmec app is also available and convenient for your bookings management and Telehealth service with Vinmec doctors all in one.

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Source: Medscape 2019

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FAQs

What are 10 ways to boost your immune system? ›

Here are 10 tips to help build and keep a healthy immune system:
  1. 1) Good gut health may be key. ...
  2. 2) Wash your hands frequently. ...
  3. 3) Work out on a regular basis. ...
  4. 4) Shower after working out. ...
  5. 5) Take vitamins. ...
  6. 6) Reduce your stress level. ...
  7. 7) Take up yoga and meditation. ...
  8. 8) Practice deep breathing techniques.

What are 10 things you can do that will harm slow your immune system? ›

8 Things That Can Weaken Your Immune System
  • Consuming Excessive Amounts of Sugar.
  • Not Getting Proper Rest.
  • Consuming Caffeine Late in the Day.
  • Eating a Low-Fiber Diet.
  • Stressing Yourself Out.
  • Drinking Too Much.
  • Not Getting Enough Exercise.
  • Loneliness.

What food is good for weak immune system? ›

Does an Immune-Boosting Diet Exist?
  • Probiotic foods include kefir, yogurt with live active cultures, fermented vegetables, sauerkraut, tempeh, kombucha tea, kimchi, and miso.
  • Prebiotic foods include garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes, dandelion greens, bananas, and seaweed.

What strengthens your immune system? ›

Healthy ways to strengthen your immune system

Don't smoke. Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables. Exercise regularly. Maintain a healthy weight.

Which fruit is best for immune system? ›

5 Fruits That Boost Your Immune System
  1. Oranges. Oranges are exceptionally good for you at any time of the year. ...
  2. Grapefruit. Just like oranges, grapefruits are a great source of vitamin C. ...
  3. Blueberries. ...
  4. Apples. ...
  5. Pears.
5 Oct 2019

Which food boost immune system fast? ›

10 foods to boost your immune system
  • Berries. With a wide variety to choose from, you can't go wrong adding these little nutrient packed sweet treats to your regular diet. ...
  • Fish oil. ...
  • Leafy greens. ...
  • Nuts and seeds. ...
  • Spices. ...
  • Citrus fruits. ...
  • Poultry. ...
  • Brightly colored vegetables.
5 Jul 2022

Which fruit gives instant immunity? ›

Citrus fruits

Vitamin C is thought to increase the production of white blood cells, which are key to fighting infections. Almost all citrus fruits are high in vitamin C. With such a variety to choose from, it's easy to add a squeeze of this vitamin to any meal.

What are two diseases that destroy the immune system? ›

Examples of autoimmune diseases include:
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. ...
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus). ...
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). ...
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS). ...
  • Type 1 diabetes mellitus. ...
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome. ...
  • Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy. ...
  • Psoriasis.

What happens when immune system is weak? ›

When your immune system is weakened, your body can't fight off viruses, bacteria, or fungi very well. This can lead to serious infections and can pose a major health risk. There are two types of immunodeficiency. Primary immune deficiency.

What helps fight infection in the body? ›

The immune system's job: defend against disease-causing microorganisms. Its goal is to keep us healthy. The immune system is a vast and complex interconnected network of many different organs, cells and proteins that work together to protect the body from illness.

Why is my immune system getting weaker? ›

Bad diet rich in saturated fats, sugar, and salt, smoking and drinking alcohol, too much or not enough physical exercise, bad hygiene (especially not washing your hands well), stress and lack of having fun and relaxation have a negative impact on our immune system.

What is the most powerful immune system booster? ›

Vitamin C is one of the biggest immune system boosters of all. In fact, researchers say vitamin C deficiency can make you more prone to getting sick.

What are the best vitamins for immune system? ›

Vitamins B6, C and E are all known for their immune-boosting properties. You can get all of these vitamins from a well-balanced diet, so you don't need supplements. Some foods rich in these vitamins include eggs, bell peppers, spinach and almonds.

What vitamins affect immune system? ›

A few key micronutrients have been identified as critical for the growth and function of immune cells, including:
  • Iron. Iron is a component of enzymes critical for immune cell function. ...
  • Vitamin A. ...
  • Vitamin C. ...
  • Vitamin D. ...
  • Vitamin E. ...
  • Zinc.
24 Jun 2021

Can banana boost immune system? ›

Bananas. Bananas are not only a prebiotic food – supporting gut health – they are high in vitamin B6. This vitamin is needed to keep the immune system functioning properly. Bananas are an excellent base for your next smoothie!

Is milk good for immune system? ›

Dairy products are also a good source of 'high-quality' protein which your body needs when it fights off infections. In addition, dairy products that contain probiotic bacteria offer more help to boost the immune system and support your body to fight off illnesses.

How do I strengthen my immune system naturally? ›

Six Tips to Enhance Immunity
  1. Eat Well. Food Assistance. ...
  2. Be Physically Active. Regular physical activity helps you feel better, sleep better, and reduce anxiety. ...
  3. Maintain a Healthy Weight. Excess weight can affect how your body functions. ...
  4. Get Enough Sleep. ...
  5. Quit Smoking. ...
  6. Avoid Too Much Alcohol. ...
  7. In Summary.

Which vegetable is good for immunity? ›

Leafy greens – Vegetables such as spinach, kale, chard, collard greens, arugula and lettuce provide loads of health benefits. Since they contain high levels of vitamins C and K, as well as beta carotene, folate and fiber, they're also powerful immune boosters.

Does Honey boost immunity? ›

[78] Honey induces leukocytes to release cytokines, which is what begins the tissue repair cascades. Furthermore, it actives immune response to infection. [79] The stimulation of other properties of the immune response by honey is also reported (Proliferation of B- and T-lymphocytes and the phagocytes activity).

What is signs of a weak immune system? ›

Signs and symptoms of primary immunodeficiency can include: Frequent and recurrent pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections, ear infections, meningitis or skin infections. Inflammation and infection of internal organs. Blood disorders, such as low platelet count or anemia.

How can I test my immune system? ›

Blood tests.

Blood tests can determine if you have typical levels of infection-fighting proteins (immunoglobulins) in your blood and measure the levels of blood cells and immune system cells. Having numbers of certain cells in your blood that are outside of the standard range can indicate an immune system defect.

At what age does your immune system weaken? ›

The bad news is that as we age, our immune systems gradually deteriorate too. This “immunosenescence” starts to affect people's health at about 60, says Janet Lord at the University of Birmingham, UK.

What affects the immune system the most? ›

Several factors like sleep, diet, stress and hygiene can affect the immune system's performance, and any offsets in these behaviors can cause havoc on immune function.

Why do I keep getting sick? ›

Being constantly on-the-go puts your immune system into a state of stress. Chronic stress, poor diet, and lack of sleep make you less able to fend off infection. If you're not making time for R and R, you're probably going to keep getting sick. Your immune system can't take care of you if you don't take care of it.

Can people recover from immune deficiency? ›

CVID has no cure. With ongoing treatment, many people with the disorder live active and fulfilling lives. In some cases, complications of CVID such as lung damage or cancer may affect life expectancy. These complications appear over time.

Which two vitamins help your body fight off infections? ›

8 Vitamins & Minerals You Need for a Healthy Immune System
  • Vitamin C. Vitamin C may help prevent infections or shorten their stay. ...
  • Vitamin E. Like vitamin C, vitamin E can be a powerful antioxidant that helps your body fight off infection. ...
  • Vitamin A. ...
  • Vitamin D. ...
  • Folate/folic acid. ...
  • Iron. ...
  • Selenium. ...
  • Zinc.
4 Dec 2020

How do you boost your immune system when you start feeling sick? ›

Choose immune-boosting nutrients
  1. Beta carotene. Beta carotene is found in plant foods, such as sweet potatoes, spinach, carrots, mangoes, broccoli and tomatoes.
  2. Vitamin C. Vitamin C-rich foods include citrus fruits, berries, melons, tomatoes, bell peppers and broccoli.
  3. Vitamin D. ...
  4. Zinc. ...
  5. Probiotics. ...
  6. Protein.
16 Nov 2022

What are 3 signs of infection in the body? ›

Know the Signs and Symptoms of Infection
  • Fever (this is sometimes the only sign of an infection).
  • Chills and sweats.
  • Change in cough or a new cough.
  • Sore throat or new mouth sore.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Nasal congestion.
  • Stiff neck.
  • Burning or pain with urination.

What are three 3 signs of a weakened immune system? ›

Symptoms
  • Frequent and recurrent pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections, ear infections, meningitis or skin infections.
  • Inflammation and infection of internal organs.
  • Blood disorders, such as low platelet count or anemia.
  • Digestive problems, such as cramping, loss of appetite, nausea and diarrhea.
12 Mar 2022

Why is my immune system suddenly so weak? ›

Also, infections like the flu virus, mono (mononucleosis), and measles can weaken the immune system for a brief time. Your immune system can also be weakened by smoking, alcohol, and poor nutrition.

How do I test my immune system level? ›

Blood tests.

Blood tests can determine if you have typical levels of infection-fighting proteins (immunoglobulins) in your blood and measure the levels of blood cells and immune system cells. Having numbers of certain cells in your blood that are outside of the standard range can indicate an immune system defect.

Why do I get sick so easily? ›

Chronic stress, poor diet, and lack of sleep make you less able to fend off infection. If you're not making time for R and R, you're probably going to keep getting sick. Your immune system can't take care of you if you don't take care of it.

What organs affect the immune system? ›

Organs and tissues important to the proper functioning of the immune system include the thymus and bone marrow, lymph nodes and vessels, spleen, and skin.

At what age is your immune system the weakest? ›

We know that the immune system gets weaker as we age – which is a key reason why those over the age of 70 are most at risk from the disease.

How can I improve my overactive immune system? ›

Fruits and vegetables (aim for a broad rainbow of colors to get the most antioxidant variety), fish and fish oil, olive oil, ground flaxseeds, and spices like ginger, rosemary, basil and turmeric can all have a quieting effect on an overactive immune system.

How do I balance my immune system naturally? ›

Keeping your immune system well-balanced
  1. Steering clear of smoking.
  2. Eating well-balanced meals. Eating five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily. ...
  3. Getting a good amount of sleep, seven to nine hours a night.
  4. Monitoring stressors. Practicing meditating. ...
  5. Staying active and engaging in moderate exercise such as. Walking.
21 May 2020

Is banana good for immune system? ›

Additionally, bananas contain a prebiotic compound that nourishes flora in the gut and may help boost the immune system.

How do you know if your immune system is fighting? ›

16 Symptoms of Immune System Problems
  1. Cold Hands.
  2. Bathroom Problems.
  3. Dry Eyes.
  4. Fatigue.
  5. Mild Fever.
  6. Headaches.
  7. Rash.
  8. Joints Ache.
11 Aug 2022

How can you tell if you have a low immune system? ›

Signs and symptoms of a weak immune system

The primary symptom of a weakened immune system is susceptibility to infection. A person with a weakened immune system is likely to get infections more frequently than most other people, and these illnesses might be more severe or harder to treat.

How do you know if your immune system is attacking itself? ›

Joint pain and swelling. Skin problems. Abdominal pain or digestive issues. Recurring fever.

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