Immune Health

Posted by Austin Takam on

Signs of Immune problems

 When your immune system is on point, it’s a lifesaver. But as good as it may be, it’s not perfect. Sometimes, this group of special cells, tissues, and organs doesn’t act the way it should.

If it kicks into action too often, you may get a condition like allergiesasthma, or eczema. Or if your immune system starts to attack your body instead of safeguarding it, you could have an autoimmune disorder like rheumatoid arthritis or type 1 diabetes.

At least 80 illnesses are caused by immune system problems. They can all cause inflammation. But do you know the other warning signs?

Keep in mind that these possible clues can happen for many other reasons. To figure out what’s going on with your health, you’ll want to see your doctor.

    1. Cold Hands

If your blood vessels are inflamed, it can be harder for your fingers, toes, ears, and nose to keep warm. The skin in these areas may turn white, then blue, when you’re exposed to the cold. Once blood flow returns, the skin may then turn red. Doctors call this “Raynaud’s phenomenon.” Immune system problems can cause it, but so can other things, including smoking, some prescription drugs, and conditions that affect your arteries.

    1. Bathroom Problems

Diarrhea that lasts more than 2 to 4 weeks can be a warning sign that your immune system is harming the lining of your small intestine or digestive tract.

Constipation is a concern, too. If your bowel movements are hard to pass, very firm, or look like they’re made up of small rabbit pellets, your immune system may be forcing your intestine to slow down. Other possible causes include bacteria, viruses, and other health conditions.

    1. Dry Eyes

If you have an autoimmune disorder, that means your immune system attacks your body instead of defending it. Rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are two examples.

Many people who have an autoimmune disorder find that they have dry eyes. You might feel a sandy, gritty feeling like something is in your eye. Or you may notice pain, redness, a stringy discharge, or blurred vision. Some people find they can’t cry even when they’re upset. 

    1. Fatigue

Feeling extremely tired, like you do when you have the flu, could mean something’s going on with your body’s defenses. Sleep is unlikely to help. Your joints or muscles can ache, too. Again, there could be many other reasons why you feel this way.

    1. Mild Fever

If you’re running a higher temperature than normal, it could be that your immune system is starting to overwork. That can happen due to an oncoming infection or because you're starting to have a flare of an autoimmune condition.

    1. Headaches

In some cases, headaches can be related to the immune system. For example, it could be vasculitis, which is inflammation of a blood vessel caused by an infection or autoimmune disease.

    1. Rash

Your skin is your body’s first barrier against germs. How it looks and feels can reflect how well your immune system is doing its job.

Itchy, dry, red skin is a common symptom of inflammation. So is a rash that is painful or doesn’t clear up. People with lupus often get a butterfly-shaped rash across their nose and cheeks.

    1. Joints Ache

When the lining inside your joints becomes inflamed, the area around them is tender to the touch. It might also be stiff or swollen, and it can happen with more than one joint. You may notice that it’s worse in the morning.

    1. Patchy Hair Loss

Sometimes the immune system attacks hair follicles. If you lose hair on your scalp, face, or other parts of your body, you could have a condition called alopecia areata. Strands or clumps of hair coming out can also be a symptom of lupus.

    1. Repeated Infections

If you need to take antibiotics more than twice a year (four times for children), it is a sign that your body may not be able to attack germs well on its own. This means that you are prone to infections with your immune system compromised.

Other red flags: Chronic sinus infections, being sick with more than four ear infections in a year (for anyone over the age of 4), or having pneumonia more than once.

    1. Sensitive to Sun

People with an autoimmune disorder sometimes have an allergic reaction to ultraviolet (UV) rays called photo-dermatitis. You may get blisters, a rash, or scaly patches after being in the sun. Or you may get chills, a headache, or nausea.

    1. Tingling or Numbness in Your Hands and Feet

It can be completely innocent. But in some cases it can mean that your body is attacking nerves that send signals to your muscles. People who have Guillain-Barre syndrome, for instance, may have numbness that starts in their legs then moves up to their arms and chest. 

Chronic inflammatory demyelinating poly-neuropathy (CIDP) has symptoms similar to the demyelinating form of GBS (called acute inflammatory demyelinating poly-neuropathy, or AIDP), but while GBS lasts two weeks to 30 days. CIDP lasts much longer.

    1. Trouble Swallowing

If you have a tough time getting food down, your esophagus (the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach) could be swollen or too weak to work well. Some people feel like food is stuck in their throat or chest. Others gag or choke when they swallow. One of the possible causes can be a problem with your immune system.

    1. Unexplained Weight Change

You find yourself gaining extra pounds even though your eating habits and workouts haven’t changed. Or the number on your scale may drop for no clear reason. It's possible this is because of damage to your thyroid gland from an autoimmune disease.

    1. White Patches

Sometimes your immune system decides to fight the skin’s pigment-making cells, called melanocytes. If so, you’ll start to see white patches of skin on your body.

    1. Yellowing of Your Skin or Eyes

Called jaundice, it may mean that your immune system is attacking and destroying healthy liver cells. That can lead to a condition called autoimmune hepatitis.

How to boost your Immune System without medication

Your lifestyle can affect how well your immune system can protect you from germs, viruses, and chronic illness.

Replacing bad health habits with good ones can help keep your immune system healthy. Check this list to see where you could use some improvement.

        1. You're short on sleep.

You may have noticed you’re more likely to catch a cold or other infection when you’re not getting enough sleep. Studies help bear out that well-rested people who received the flu vaccine developed stronger protection against the illness.

Not getting enough sleep can lead to higher levels of a stress hormone. It may also lead to more inflammation in your body.

Although researchers aren’t exactly sure how sleep boosts the immune system, it’s clear that getting enough - usually 7 to 9 hours for an adult - is key for good health.

        1. You don't exercise.

Try to get regular, moderate exercise, like a daily 30-minute walk. It can help your immune system fight infection.

If you don't exercise regularly, you're more likely to get colds, for example, than someone who does. Exercise can also boost your body's feel-good chemicals and help you sleep better. Both of those are good for your immune system.

        1. Your diet is off.

Eating or drinking too much sugar curbs immune system cells that attack bacteria. This effect lasts for at least a few hours after downing a couple of sugary drinks.

Eat more fruits and vegetables, which are rich in nutrients like vitamins C and E, plus beta-carotene and zinc. Go for a wide variety of brightly colored fruits and vegetables, including berries, citrus fruits, kiwi, apples, red grapes, kale, onions, spinach, sweet potatoes, and carrots.

Other foods, particularly good for your immune system, include fresh garlic, which may help fight viruses and bacteria, and old-fashioned chicken soup. If you do come down with a cold or the flu, a bowl of chicken soup can help you get well faster, one study shows.

Some mushroom varieties -- such as shiitake -- may also help your immune system.

        1. You're always stressed.

Everyone has some stress; it's part of life. If stress drags on for a long time, it makes you more vulnerable to illness, from colds to serious diseases.

Chronic stress exposes your body to a steady stream of stress hormones that suppress the immune system. You may not be able to get rid of your stress, but you can get better at managing it.

    • Learn to meditate.
    • Slow down.
    • Connect with other people.
    • Work out to blow off steam.

    Counseling is a big help, too.

    Easing stress lowers levels of a stress hormone. It also helps you sleep better, which improves immune function.

    People who meditate regularly may have healthier immune system responses, some studies show. In one experiment, people who meditated over an 8-week period made more antibodies to a flu vaccine than people who didn’t meditate. And they still showed an increased immune system response 4 months later.

          1. You're too isolated.

    Having strong relationships and a good social network is good for you.

    People who feel connected to friends - whether it’s a few close friends or a large group - have stronger immunity than those who feel alone, studies show.

    In one study, lonely freshmen had a weaker immune response to a flu vaccine than those who felt connected to others.

    Although there are many other things that affect your health, making meaningful connections with people is always a good idea.

          1. You've lost your sense of humor.

    Laughing is good for you. It curbs the levels of stress hormones in your body and boosts a type of white blood cell that fights infection.

    Just anticipating a funny event can have a positive effect on your immune system. In one study, men were told 3 days in advance that they were going to watch a funny video. Their levels of stress hormones dropped.

    Natural source of antioxidants, which elevate your immune system to fight free radicals in the air:
      • Colostrumis a breast fluid produced by humans, cows, and other mammals before breast milk is released. Colostrum promotes growth and health in infants and newborn animals, but research shows that taking bovine colostrum supplements may promote immunity, help fight infections, and improve gut health throughout life.
      • Tomatoes are chock-full of lycopene, which is one type of a group of antioxidants called carotenoids. You’ll get plenty of it by eating raw tomatoes. But you can bump up your intake by cooking them into a sauce or eating them with a little oil.
      • Garlic: When it comes to antioxidant power, raw garlic packs a punch. Allicin, garlic’s antioxidant workhorse, needs a few minutes to start working after you crush or chop the seasoning. Let minced garlic sit before adding it to a dish
      • Dark chocolate: Chocolate lovers, rejoice. Your favorite sweet treat delivers antioxidants. The key is to nosh on chocolate with a high cocoa content. Choose dark types over milk or white chocolate. Enjoy it in moderation, though. Chocolate candy is high in both fat and sugar. For a sugar-free fix, sprinkle unsweetened cocoa powder into your oatmeal or smoothie.
      • Liver: Cow, chicken, and other animal liver is rich in vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant that helps with bone health and vision, and boosts your body’s defenses against illness. If you find the taste too strong, soak it in milk before cooking or mix small pieces into ground beef for chili or tacos. But go easy if you’re pregnant or watching your cholesterol. Too much vitamin A isn’t good for growing babies. And liver is high in cholesterol.
      • Kale: This leafy green gives you beta-carotene, vitamin E, and vitamin C, all of which are antioxidants. Toss kale in salads or blend it into smoothies to get your daily dose. You can also serve it in soups and stews or bake it into crunchy "chips." But know that heat lowers its antioxidant power slightly.
      • Coffee: That morning cup of joe does more than wake you up. The antioxidants inside can help ward off cell damage. Don’t load up on cream or sugar, which add calories. To avoid caffeine overload, limit yourself to three to four 8-ounce cups a day.
      • Walnuts: Compared to most other common nuts, walnuts have the most polyphenols, a type of antioxidant. You only have to eat about seven to get the health benefits. Raw is best. Roasting can keep the antioxidants from working well.
      • Berries: Name a berry, and it’s probably a good source of antioxidants. Blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, even goji berries, are all at the top of the list of antioxidant-rich fruits. Berries are low in calories and high in fiber. One cup of fresh or frozen berries a day should do you right.
      • Red Pepper: Bell peppers are all good sources of antioxidants, but red peppers take the prize. They’re full of carotenoids that can help prevent certain cancers. They’re sweet enough to snack on raw, which is how they deliver their antioxidants best.
      • Artichokes: The U.S. Department of Agriculture ranks artichokes No. 7 on its list of antioxidant-rich foods. Unlike some other veggies, artichokes actually give you more antioxidants after you cook them.  Try steaming them whole or roasting them in the oven.
      • Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes’ orange hue makes them a great source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that helps ward off disease. Keep your portions sensible, since carb-filled potatoes can quickly raise your blood sugar levels. Bake or microwave with the skins on to unlock their power to fight free radicals. 
      • Wine: A substance in red wine called resveratrol may help protect your heart by preventing damage to blood vessels. You can get the same benefit without alcohol by eating red grapes. But if a nightly glass of merlot is part of your routine, it’s nice to know it could be giving you an antioxidant boost. Just keep it to one glass if you're a woman or two if you're a man.
      • Mushrooms: Various species, especially shitake, oyster mushroom turkey-tail mushrooms l have a powerful antioxidant known as beta d.glucan. Dried mushrooms are good with your salad, while fresh ones make an excellent addition to your egg in the morning or on your pizza. 

      Markovit Products to be considered to boost your Immune system

      ImmunoMax™ - A unique formula containing pure bovine colostrums that delivers a high IgG (immunoglobulin) content as well as Lactoferrin and Proline-rich Peptides. Product is fortified with vitamins A, C, D and E, and Zinc, four essential vitamins and one proven mineral, which makes this product one to have for all individuals that are looking to boost their immune system,

      C 500 Chews- Orange flavor – Vitamin C is one of the most powerful antioxidants. This comes in a tasty orange flavor.

      C 500 with Zinc and Bioflavonoid – A great combination for boosting the immune system

      Material reference: WebMD

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