If you have digestive troubles, feel fatigued, or get sick often, this may mean you have a weak immune system, and there are several underlying reasons this could be.
Keep an eye on these 6 signs your immune system needs extra attention, and then make a focused effort to provide more support in these areas for a healthy functioning immune system.
1. You Have Digestive Troubles.
If you experience excessive gas, bloating, diarrhea, or constipation, these are obvious signs your gut needs some care, and could be creating excess inflammation which weakens your immune system. Plus, research continues to find more and more connections between your microbiome and immunity.
The health of your gut, and the friendly bacteria that live within it help to communicate with your immune system, and help it determine friends from foe. Some of those friendly bacteria also regulate white blood cells, proteins, and immune messengers (1).
Less obvious signs of an unhappy gut are constantly feeling hungry, heartburn, skin issues (acne, redness, dry itchy skin), and fatigue.
Your gut determines much of your overall health, and affects every other system in your body–from glowing skin to a stable mood, and all the way to crucial immune function.
In need of a belly fix? Learn about building better gut health in as little as 21 days.
2. You Don’t Sleep Well (Or Are Tired All The Time).
Sleep is one of the body’s strongest defenses against illness. During sleep, your body performs critical cleanup mechanisms within the immune system, detoxing unwanted substances and toxins. Missing out on necessary sleep can quickly cause dysfunction in the immune system, and cause increased susceptibility to illness.
While there are dozens of reasons behind feeling fatigued, it could be a sign that your immune system is overwhelmed dealing with an infection or other inflammation in the body, leaving you susceptible to other germs going around.
Another common cause for fatigue is iron deficiency, and as one of the leading nutritional deficiencies worldwide, low iron is also a crucial component of immune function. Iron regulates the growth and function of several types of immune cells (2).
Plus, low iron can spell trouble for hormone balance and cardiovascular function. If you frequently get very lightheaded upon standing from a seated position, or aren’t able to exercise without quickly becoming winded–it’s time to get your iron levels checked.
3. You Catch Every Cold
If you have a weak immune system, you’re likely to become sick more often the more you’re exposed to harmful germs. You may also notice it takes you a lot longer to recover than you expected.
While catching one cold may not be an issue, if you spend most of the season recovering from illness after illness, this is a good sign your immune system isn’t equipped to fight off germs it’s regularly exposed to.
You’ll want to spend time looking through the Immune System digital guide for tips.
4. You Get Frequent Yeast Infections
Recurrent yeast infections, a white coating on your tongue, dry patches of skin, and digestive discomfort are signs of a bacterial overgrowth caused by a type of yeast, most commonly Candida albicans.
Candida overgrowth often goes overlooked in your doctor’s office, as it’s symptoms also resemble other conditions. But if left to proliferate, Candida can cause systemic inflammation which affects several body systems, including immune function.
5. You Have Allergies or Food Sensitivities
While seasonal environmental allergies are a common occurrence, severe or prolonged allergy responses are an indication your immune system is kicked into overdrive and will have trouble mounting a healthy response to an illness.
You might also experience food allergies or sensitivities to common triggers such as dairy, wheat, nuts, eggs, or shellfish.
Be on the lookout for less common allergic reactions to your food such as brain fog, digestive discomfort, an autoimmune flare, or skin rashes.
6. Little Stuff Pushes You Over the Edge
If you find yourself extra stressed lately, your immune system might be less able to cope too. This is due to chronic stress affecting your HPA axis, or the connection between your brain, hormones, and stress response involving your hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal glands.
Chronic stress causes your adrenals to produce cortisol, which dampens your immune response in the face of invading pathogens (3). So if you’re less resistant to stress, it’s likely your immune system may be too.
Holistic Support for a Weak Immune System
Underlying infections and nutritional deficiencies can leave your immune system vulnerable
to attackers, while increased stress and poor sleep can make it harder to fight off intruders when you do come down with something.
Don’t fret just yet! There are dozens of simple ways to begin supporting your immune system no matter where you’re starting from. A few of my favorites:
Supplements for Immune Support
Healthy immune function depends on adequate intake of vitamin D, zinc, and vitamin C. In addition, it’s also helpful to include Ayurvedic or botanical remedies like astragalus or umcka.
Turmeric is greatly supportive for immune function, and possesses dozens of other benefits. You can use turmeric if you have a cold, or if you’re simply trying to keep your immune system healthy(4).
Have a nighttime routine to make sure you’re maximizing your sleep time, and try to eat at least 3 cups of veggies daily–this is where you’ll get many of your immune-boosting nutrients.
Functional Medicine for Your Immune System
The Defender is comprehensive immune support when you feel you could use a helping hand. It contains zinc to promote the healthy growth and function of immune cells, and astragalus to support respiratory function and healthy T cell immunity.
With cold and flu season just around the corner, it’s important to determine if your immune system is weak and optimize support. Learn more about holistic immune support and Defender here.
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