A healthy immune system is a lifesaver. Your immune system protects your body from pathogens, heals wounds, and fights disease. Sometimes, however, the immune system can become weak, underactive, overactive, or even attack the body by mistake. Immune system problems can lead to allergies, inflammation, and persistent illnesses. Take a look at these warning signs of a weakened immune system to help you figure out the state of your immune health and whether you should put extra effort into giving your immune system a boost.
1. You get sick a lot.
One of the most common signs of a weakened immune system is getting sick often. It’s normal to get two to three colds a year, and most people recover from a cold after about 7 to 10 days. If you are constantly getting sick and have symptoms that linger for weeks, this may be a sign that your immune system is not functioning at its best. You should especially pay attention to how often you need to take antibiotics. If you need antibiotics to treat infections more than a few times a year, your immune system may not be fighting germs well enough on its own. Some recurring infections to watch out for include chronic sinus infections, repeated ear infections, and multiple cases of pneumonia.
2. Your hands and feet are cold.
A weakened immune system can cause inflammation in your blood vessels. When this happens, it can be difficult for your hands, feet, nose, and ears to stay warm. When exposed to cold temperatures, these parts of the body may turn white and then blue. Once blood flow returns, they may then turn red. Known as Raynaud’s phenomenon, this can be one of the signs of a weakened immune system. However, it can also be caused by other things, such as smoking, certain prescription medications, and health conditions that affect blood vessels.
3. You feel stressed often.
According to the American Psychological Association, long-term stress can have a negative effect on the immune system and can weaken its ability to fight off illness. High stress levels can be another one of the signs of a weakened immune system. Whether you are feeling stressed because of work, relationships, home, or other stressors, it’s important to find ways to manage your stress to minimize its effect on your immune system and overall health.
4. You have lots of stomach trouble.
Do you have frequent gas, constipation, bloating, or diarrhea? These can be signs of a weakened immune system. This is because about 70 percent of the immune system is in the digestive tract. When you have a healthy immune system, your gut contains beneficial bacteria and microorganisms that both defend your gut from infection and support your immune system. If your immune system is weakened, your gut may have lower amounts of these helpful bacteria, leaving you at a greater risk of disease. Stomach trouble can signal that things are out of balance in your gut and that your immune system is struggling.
5. Your wounds heal slowly.
The time your body takes to heal a wound is a direct reflection of the health of your immune system. Slow-healing wounds is one of the signs of a weakened immune system. With a healthy immune system, it should take about 3 to 5 days for your body to heal a skin wound. If the process takes longer or a wound will not heal completely, this can be a sign that your body’s immune system is not functioning properly. The way your body protects and heals a wound is by sending nutrient-rich blood to the injured area. This process depends on healthy immune cells, which may become sluggish and unable to regenerate skin if your immune system is weakened.
6. You always feel tired.
It’s normal to feel tired sometimes, especially if you’ve done a lot of physical or mental activity. However, feeling tired often, even after you get sleep, can be one of the signs of a weakened immune system. This feeling of always being exhausted is called fatigue. You may feel so tired you can’t even walk across a room. This severe lack of energy can be caused by inflammation that is triggered by a struggling immune system, and especially one that is overactive.
Support Your Immune System
These are just a few of the possible signs of a weakened immune system that you may experience. If you are experiencing one or more of these signs, you may need to give your immune system some extra attention. There are some things you can do to support your immune health, such as eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, washing your hands, staying up to date on vaccines, and minimizing stress. You can also take vitamins that support a healthy immune system. Here at The Drug Store, we offer the Immune Wellness supplement that provides your body with essential vitamins, minerals, probiotics, antioxidants, and herbal ingredients that support immune health.
If you have any questions about Immune Wellness or would like to know more about how you can support a healthy immune system, please reach out to one of our pharmacy locations today. Our expert pharmacists will be happy to answer any questions you have!