The importance of the immune system in the body is not known properly to many of us, and we have a tendency to take it for granted. The immune system fights infections that enter our body and is our line of defense against various ailments and diseases. A compromised immune system is unable to combat illnesses with the same efficiency, and as a result, a person suffering from this condition is susceptible to a wide variety of illnesses and falls sick very often.
Immunodeficiency can be acquired from many different sources. People suffering from impaired immune function have to suffer a lot of difficulties in their lives. Being constantly sick and unwell can only be a bad thing, and the body starts to slowly lose its strength and vitality as well. This is not a rare condition, and many people are found to be affected by it.
There are many instantly recognizable symptoms that highlight this illness. It is a wide misconception that, only someone who is HIV positive suffers from this condition, but this is not true. Anyone can suffer from this condition. A compromised immune system can be genetic or acquired. It can be a temporary stage and can be cured easily, or it can exist as a permanent disorder. Fortunately, there are foods that help boost our immune system.
If a person falls sick with an alarming regularity, it is very likely that his immune system has been compromised. Getting affected by viruses and flu are a sure way of detecting the presence of this condition in an individual. Here are the most commonly found symptoms of a weakened immune system.
- Continuous pains and aches in the muscles and joints.
- Feeling of excessive tiredness that does not go away in spite of getting sufficient amounts of rest.
- Frequent and unending bouts of illness.
- Unable to make a successful recovery from any illness.
- Constant headaches and dizziness, coupled with watery eyes and running nose.
- Falling ill in a fixed pattern, and displaying the same characteristics each and every time.
The symptoms are relatively easy to decipher and spot, as the frequency and regularity of the illness is what highlights the presence of this particular condition.
There are a variety of causes that lead to the occurrence of this condition. Sometimes these causes are acquired and start surfacing at a very young age. If a child falls sick very often, it could be because he/she has contracted this condition. Immediate remedial steps must then be taken. The following are the commonly found causes.
- People diagnosed with autoimmune diseases like arthritis, multiple sclerosis, type-1 diabetes, usually have to take immunosuppressant drugs. So, those diagnosed with autoimmune diseases often have compromised the immune system.
- Side effects of certain types of drugs, especially immunosuppressive drugs, other medications, steroids, or antibiotics, can lead to reduced immunocompetence.
- Leading a highly stressful and exhausting lifestyle is one of the main reasons of compromised immune system.
- Inadequate rest and sleep for the body, leaving no time for recuperation.
- Deficiencies of important vitamins and minerals in the body.
- Excessive cigarette smoking and excessive abuse of alcohol and other drugs can lead to immunodeficiency.
- Certain types of therapies for cancer, like chemotherapy and other radiation techniques, can affect the function of the immune system.
- If a person is suffering from immunodeficiency since birth due to a deformity in some cells of the body, the condition is known as primary immune deficiency.
- Aging naturally results in low immunity.
HIV/AIDS or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome is the most common example of compromised immune system disorder. There is no known cure for AIDS, and the body gets affected by niggling illnesses and diseases so often, that a person gets almost entirely debilitated. The mortality rate of AIDS is considerably higher amongst all possible diseases and disorders.
The treatment will greatly depend on the cause of the condition.
- If a person is HIV positive there are not many treatments that will be helpful. But if the condition is caused by other factors, corrective steps can be taken.
- If the primary cause is an improper and imbalanced diet, then this is easy to fix. Visiting a nutritionist will help, as he will analyze the diet, and point out which essential items are missing. Generally, it is the inherent lack of vitamin C and vitamin A in the diet that causes this condition. Dietary supplements can help improve the health of the person.
- Hormone therapy works great for hormonal imbalance and related problems.
- If lack of rest, stressful lifestyle, and alcohol or cigarette abuse are the causes of this condition, then the person needs to improve his/her habits. Positive results are guaranteed if the individual adopts remedial steps.
- If a person suffers from the side effects of some medication, alternative medicines should be opted for. Visiting a doctor will help solve this problem.
- Studies show that babies who are breastfed for 3-6 months rarely face this problem as they grow up. They have a strong immune system. Hygiene and vaccination also play an important role in the immune response of an individual.
- Those who are physically active have a strong immune system. Regular exercise ensures proper functioning of endocrine and immune systems.
- Drinking plenty of water and other healthy fluids, avoiding food and other allergens, consuming foods rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, consuming less sugar and more herbs, losing weight, incorporating spices in the regular diet, etc. can help strengthen the immune system.
- Meditation, pranayama, yoga, laughter therapy, etc. help boost the immune system.
Thus, a person suffering from a compromised immune system due to external factors can solve the problem. But people who are born with this condition or are HIV positive, do not have this luxury. Taking general good care of our health should be our concern and responsibility.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.