Has Anyone Seen My Immune System??

Updated on August 17, 2010
N.G. asks from Arlington, TX
20 answers

I am so sick and tired of being sick! It's ALWAYS something. Respiratory infections, sinus infections, flu, pneumonia, stomach bugs, and the list goes on and on... When a virus/germ goes around the family, I always get hit the hardest. We got influenza earlier this year, my husband was sick for one day, I ended up in the hospital for a week with full-blown strep pneumonia, and infections all over my body. My kids barely got sick at all!

It's very frustrating because my job is so demanding that missing work is impossible most of the time, so I just have to go to work sick and stick it out. It seems like a year never goes by that I don't take at least 6 or more courses of antibiotics for one reason or another.

I've had a CT scan of my sinuses, and everything is normal- better than normal- we thought maybe that was the causes of recurrent infections, but not so. I have not had any allergy testing but my allergies rarely act up. I do have some seriously out of date carpet in my house that is long-overdue to be replaced, I fear that that may be the contributing culprit. But I have been this way my whole life, even before I lived in this house. Ever since I was a kid, I've been constantly sick.

What can I do to boost my immune system? I'm not into hoaky homeopathic remedies, or accupuncture, or anything like that (waste of time). I don't do well with vitamins, they always make me feel weird.

What have you tried? What works? I seriously need some help!

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So What Happened?

Thanks to you Moms who answered with advice, especially the ones who left out the judgments about my reservations with non-convential therapies. I believe in science & medicine- my beliefs are my own- and I don't have to explain that to anybody. I think I will get allergy tested, sounds like several of you have found answers with that.

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answers from Washington DC on

eat good, fresh, local whole foods. toss everything preserved and pre-packaged. periodically go raw.
i used to get sick all the time. since i've fixed my diet (raw milk, local unsprayed produce, local ethically raised meat) i am almost never sick, and when i am it's mild and passes quickly.
but i also do resort to hokey homeopathic remedies at times, and do take some vitamins.
;) khairete

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answers from Seattle on

You really should research some of the things you aren't sure of! Acupuncture helps me and my family with many things, definitely not a waste of time! There's a reason most major medical insurances cover it, they don't cover anything experimental or that doesn't work! When I'm sick I take extra vitamins, especially A, C, and D, get adjusted regularly by the chiropractor, extra rest, and tea/broth. If it's respiratory, elderberry syrup. My kids were exposed to whooping cough and we did all these things, they never got it! They've been adjusted by the chiropractor since birth, and my five year old has been sick on average once a year! That's nothing compared to her friends! we also avoid toxins and let her play in the dirt once in a while, they say regular exposure to everyday germs helps, and it gives me an excuse not to keep my house super clean ;)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Huntsville on

Food allergies are a possibility. Allergies don't necessarily cause the same reactions like hives, itching, rash & throat swelling. My mom just recently got tested for food allergies & they had to send her home with a list on a card to keep in her purse! She had no idea she was allergic to that much stuff! And this was all just food. She already knew about molds & pollens. She feels a lot better now that her body isn't having to constantly fight these foods that it sees as bad.

One of the foods is gluten. My sister found out on her own that she is also allergic to gluten, just by cutting it out of her diet & almost immediately felt better. She had be awful sick & the doctors couldn't even figure it out.

So, you might start there with getting allergy tested for foods and other things like mold, pollen, etc. It might not cure all, but if you find some things you are allergic to and avoid them, maybe your body would be more prepared to fight off the other illnesses!

When I have the money I've got to have myself tested! I just hope I'm not allergic to gluten -- I'll starve! ha!

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answers from Seattle on

It sounds like you just need to stay on the path you are on, since you are not open to other hoaky remedies that would most likely help you. (naturopath, homeopath, acupuncture, vitamins, etc.)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Well, it's hard to answer not knowing any real specifics about your situation - diet, bmi, etc BUT I will say that there are some things you can do none the less.

I'm not sure what qualifies as "hoaky" in your book - I guess in mine it generally means someone trying to sell me something of dubious quality...

I prefer "natural" health care myself and generally choose health care options for my family that are the easiest and least invasive while still being effective.

In general, a healthy body is always the best defense against illness. Try building a little extra exercise time into your day. Right now my kids and I are heading to the local high school's track for some walking /running in the mornings (they take outdoor toys and play while I run the track), but even a little cardio type exercise or yoga here and there as you find the time can be helpful. Yoga can help keep your muscles limber, builds strength and endurance, and the stretching can help release buildup of toxins stored in the muscle tissue that can put a strain on our immune and other body systems.

Also - diet. Diets that are high in sugar can encourage onset or flare up of certain diseases or imbalances in the body - including auto-immune disorders. Maybe try gradually scaling down the amount of juice/ pop/ meat you may be ingesting while slowly increasing the amount of fresh veggies and salad. While I'm not a vegetarian myself - I am working on shifting the balance of my diet since more and more studies are showing that a "raw food" or vegetarian diet can do wonders for our bodies' ability to stay healthy, and I'd love to be healthy enough to really enjoy living life to the fullest, even after my kids are grown. Even just the shift I have managed in my diet has helped me feel much healthier!

On a last note, I will share something that we use in our house to ward off, or speed healing when we are getting sick. It's free, and I'd be willing to wager you have some nearby. Queen Anne's Lace tea (feel free to google it for pictures). Queen Anne's Lace is a wild carrot (it's where we started when we began selectively enhancing carrot strains to arrive at our current store-type variety. The whole plant is edible (although the "carrot" turns bitter in the plant's second year) and rich in vitamins A and C. We use the leaves to make a tea that has a good deal of medicinal benefit, and tastes good too. The natural compounds contained in the leaves contain chemicals that are antiviral and antibacterial, some that act as antihistimines, and some that relieve stress. We VERY rarely end up heading to the doctor. We just brew a cup of Queen Anne's Lace tea at the first sign of illness and more often than not - problem solved - if not immediately, then shortly.

I know you may find this "hoaky" but remember - I'm not trying to sell you anything - I'm just honestly sharing with you something that works wonders for keeping my family of 8 healthy, and it's free - probably growing in your backyard to boot.

I have personally used it to treat food poisoning (the same compound in the leaf that helps you to relieve stress also relieves stomach spasms -aka nausea) and it soon quieted my nausea while the anti-bacterial properties went to work on the offending food in my tummy. We use it for allergy/sinus problems, colds, and even just this week it seemed to just whisk away a daughter's urinary tract infection that had gotten so bad (she didn't tell me) that she was literally screaming in pain when she went potty one afternoon. One cup before she went to bed, and next morning she was like brand new and said she had no pain. Even my husband swears by it. I continue to be amazed at just how much this plant has made a difference in our ability to overcome illness. It tastes so good too - I sometimes drink a cup after a stressful day, as a warm light-flavored way to relax and unwind.

My only side notes if you do decide to try it next time you feel sick: 1) Make sure you know what it looks like (google lots of images) since you will have to pick your own - actual queen annes lace prefers sunny, well drained soil and often grows along the edges of fields - not in marshes like a slightly similar plant. 2) If you're pregnant, don't consume large amounts. Queen Anne's Lace can help bring on your period, -I've used it for this too - and there is a chance that drinking the tea while prego could encourage labor or miscarriage. (in fact they used to use the seeds of Queen Anne's Lace as the olden version of the - morning after pill) so steer clear or limit yourself to a weakly brewed cup 3)Since you can't buy it anywhere, you may want to consider drying some so you have some on hand during the winter months. To use it, take 1 tsp of the dried herb or about a palm-sized amount of fresh leaves and steep in hot (but not boiling) water for 10-15 minutes.

These are the things that have worked well for us - diet, exercise, and if someone starts to get sick anyway - a good herbal tea :)

Whatever you choose to do to aliveate the problem, I hope it works well for you! It's such a drag being sick anyway - but far more so when you have kids AND work!

Best of Luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on


First Q: Do you have a child in K or 1st grade? If so... you're probably just going to have to wait it out for 2 years. Ugh. Talk about catching every durn thing in existence. I thought I would be "safe" since I was in university (aka coming into contact with soooo many sick people) and working in a hospital (ditto times two). Plus we had also been in preschool. But nooooooo. In K I was sick at least twice a month, right along with my son. And in 1st (even though we started homeschooling that year... not for health reasons), because all of kiddo's outside classes and sports were full of away schoolers we were sick at least once a month.

Second: Sleep, low stress, and good nutrition are the best ways to boost your ability to fight things off.

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answers from Dallas on

I find your request quite funny since you seem to disregard a whole world of healthcare that truly gets to the root issues of our illnesses, unlike most conventional medicine which will patch it with one more antibiotic or some other 'medicine' which all the medical system gravitates to these days. I have not had accupuncture done but I do consider my doctor a holistic doctor/chiropractor and have never been healthier. My pediatrician referred me to him as she and her own family go to him; not an MD. I understand your frustration. You go in to the doctor and they say, "oh it is another infection." I would think, 'well, what am I missing? why do I keep getting sick?' and the doctors have no answers. Go with your gut, which is how I am reading your post, that your gut is telling you to seek other ways to find the root cause of your condition. I did go with my pedi's recommendation and have been so blessed to have found this office. Not only has Matt Chalmers helped me when the medical system wanted to give me a lame diagnosis of IBS, when an OB could not detect my hormone issues that I know I was having, and my daughters respiratory issues-----he has allowed me to trust my instincts and know that when I feel a doctor is not getting to the root cause, that they probably aren't. I am pleased to announce me and both my daughters have zero prescriptions, something I could not say a year ago. We do not catch every illness any longer. I truly feel healthy. This definitely may not be for you, but I did want to at least share what I have been through. These 'weird' things may cost more up front since insurance won't cover most of them, but in the end I am saving tons, not only monetarily, but saving our bodies from excessive chemicals and antibiotics. Keep an open mind and realize that your instincts are telling you something is not right with the pattern you have taken thus far.....find someone who can get to the bottom of the issues. You will be so grateful you did!

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answers from Dallas on

Best thing I have done is take a whole food multi-vitamin and exercise.

Outside of that plenty of rest, consistent exercise, eat well - plenty of fruits and vegetables and drinking the right amount of water. Stay away from too much sugar. I know that personally my immune system dips shortly before I start my period. So I also try to make sure I am eating well and getting plenty of vitamin C during that time. I have lots of allergies and keeping those in check helps as well.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I feel for ya :( I have Lupus and catch every little thing that comes my way and my oldest daughter (now 22 yrs old) has a blood disorder that has damaged her immune system so she is the same way. I can't take vitamins due to kidney issues (my kidneys don't process the vitamins so they build up in my system to toxic levels) so that isn't an option for me.

One of the easiest things that I have found is hand washing and cleaning things. It made the biggest difference for me of anything I have tried. When I worked in an office, I kept of container of sanitizing wipes on my desk and twice a day wiped my keyboard, phone, ect. - even if no one else used it. I washed (and still do) my hands every one to two hours. I am careful to stay away from people who have cold/flu symptoms. I wash my pillowcase frequently and change my toothbrush alot. Anything that comes in frequent contact with my face and/or hands I am careful with.

Good luck!

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answers from Washington DC on

Anytime I feel an illness coming on I take Vitamins C and Zinc together twice a day and I also up my fresh garlic and curry intake by cooking with it more. Drinking more water goes on the list and getting extra sleep too. All of these things really boost and support my immune system and I'm rarely sick any more. HTH

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answers from Dallas on

Most of your immune system is located in your intestinal tract. Take some really good probiotics to boost your healthy flora in your intestines and then eliminate everything that is known to bring down your immune system like sugar, processed foods and alcohol. I was sick of feeling sick like you for months at a time, bronchitis etc. Now I eat whole foods, organic wherever I can, take vitamin D3 and a multiple vitamin along with digestive enzymes and I haven't been really sick in years. Best wishes!

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answers from Boca Raton on

Wow - I could have written your post I have had so many of the same issues.

After working with my younger son (same problems) we found that we can have food sensitivities without a traditional allergy "symptom."

You may want to try an elimination diet of the most common food problems - wheat, dairy, soy, corn. Take them out for a few weeks and then add them back one at a time - noting whether immune issues flare again.

I'm sensitive to mold - I constantly run the dehumidifier in my house to keep my house on the "dryer" side.

I also love a supplement called olive leaf extract (my favorite brand is Gaia). As with all supplements, seek advice from a qualified professional (I personally love integrative physicians).

Stress (especially when I'm working alot) and lack of sleep really seems to suppress my immune system too.

I'm not a doctor or health care professional of any kind - this has just been my own experience and opinion.

Good luck and hope you get this resolved - it's very frustrating and at times debilitating!

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answers from Lubbock on

If your sick for three or more months at a time, your doctor may be willing to prescribe gamma globulin. They do not like to prescribe it because it is a blood product, and therefor theoretically can cause AIDS. It is basically borrowing someone else's immune system. It can give your body a break so that you may actually be able to start fighting off things on your own later.

You may also consider a comprehension look at your immune system. I went to a "quack" who recommended I avoid toxins in cleaning products and manufactured goods such as new carpets and vinyl, preservatives, etc. as well as getting exercise, stress reduction and supplements such as flax seed oil. Believe it or not, I really did start getting better. Looking for allergies and avoiding them is something else that is important. It is not easy to conquer these problems. Good luck!



answers from Wichita Falls on

stress is a huge factor in your immunity. make sure that you are taking time for yourself even 30 minutes or so each day just to unwind and relax. make yourself a priority.



answers from Dallas on

What you need is whole food based nutrition that is rich in vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients to helps boost your immune system.

Did you know that we ALL need to eat 7 to 13 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every day? Due to our busy lifestyles, most of us simply can't, don't, or won't. This is the number one reason why we get sick ALL the time.

Check out your personal messages because I sent you some important information there.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.




answers from Dallas on

Hi. Well, I haven't been as sick as you...but, I have 5 children under the age of 8 and when one of them gets sick, they all get sick. I actually began using and now selling a product called Mmun. (Get it, immune?) This is an all-natural juice that contains a product called wellmune. I could go on & on about this product but it basically does nothing but boost your immune system naturally. You drink 4 oz. a day (2 oz in the AM and 2 oz in the PM). It tastes great and my children even drink it. Though, children under 12 only drink 2 oz. a day.

I'm not big on vitamins either as I can never remember to take them. But, drinking a juice is better for you than pills because it digests at 98%. Therefore, you are getting this incredible product at your cellular level within 10 heartbeats of drinking it.

You can look at this product at my website: www.mymonavie.com/denabell or just e-mail me if you have any questions at [email protected]____.com.

I assure you I am serious about this product. This is juice is basically my insurance for my family as I cannot afford to go to the doctor anymore with 5 small children. Even when someone gets a sniffle, I just give them a little more juice and things don't seem to hit them as hard as they used to.

Good luck!



answers from Atlanta on

I think you need to go see an immune specialist. It sounds like you have an immune disorder perhaps. My dad has had Rheamotoid Arth. for years and it has destroyed his immune system so he literally catches everything and gets it ten times worse than the rest of us. Actually auto-immune disorders run very high on my dad's side of the family but I only seem to get sick maybe once a year and I don't take vitamins, I smoke, but for right now I seem to be pretty healthy and haven't had any symptoms of an auto-immune disorder even though family history is very strong. I would highly recommend you go and see a specialist. I am not sure if you need a referral from your regular docotr or not but I am also quite sure that has a lot to do with what type of insurance you have as well.



answers from Dallas on

I have just gone through this recently with chronic respiratory infections over the years. Finally went to a pulmonologist who referred me to an infectious disease doctor. They discovered through blood tests that I am deficient in two of the four immunoglobulin G. This can be treated with intravenous IG therapy. Ask your doctor about it.


answers from Asheville on

I have PCOS that went undiagnosed until I hit my 30s and ended up with LOTs of other issues because of it. With some pre pregnancy testing due to my sisters preggy issues we also found I have a thick blood disorder that causes me to not absorb B vitamins.
I'm not into homeopathic junk either, but I do believe that we were designed to be self healing provided our bodies get what they need and we avoid things that create problems in our systems. (high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, colors, additives etc.) Easier said than done. I am big on vitamins and minerals and herbs. Before I found out about the B vit. stuff I was taking a huge vit. that had over 6000% of the RDA of B vits cause it was the only on that seemed to make me feel decent.
We grew up eating healthy at our house. When I left for college I made freinds with people I had never met before. Little Debby, Captain Crunch, etc. Thats when all the problems started.
The hardest part isnt knowing what to do but doing it. I have joined a weight loss group that teaches eating properly, but I go a couple steps further and buy nothing with the corn syrup and other junk, cut out caffeine, artificial sugar, started using unbleached flour and all that junk I grew up on. It sucks as I really like most stuff that is not good for us, but I feel better.

I didn't get my usual early spring sinus infection this year, I have not been as stiff feeling or worn out as easily and I actually accrued sick days this past year instead of using them all and having to take days without pay. I still crave the junk, but when I give in I end up feeling really icky for the rest of the day.
A few specific things that help immune systems are:
Vitamins C found in citrus, B (all of them)found in leafy greens and beef, D best produced by your body when you get at least 15 min of direct sunlight per day and vit. K. Zinc is an awesome healing mineral too.
Anyway, sorry about a long story to get to something you probably didn't want to hear, but it does work.(for me anyway)
I would also suggest you see an endocrinologist to see if you have somethings out of wack hormonally. (hormones control almost everything in the body- not just sexual stuff and can contribute to lots of other problems that reg Dr. dont usally detect.)
Good Luck, change the carpet just in case and take care of yourself so you can be the best you out there!



answers from Dallas on

I recommend getting allergy tested. I was sick with sinus infections constantly and had seen several docs. Was referred to a second ENT after several rounds of antibiotics and he stated that my sinuses were grossley inflammed. I was skeptical because I did not have "allergy symptoms" after testing it was determined I am allergic to every thing under the sun but cedar. This was only enviromental testing not food so not sure about that but I have been on allergy shots (2 a week) for a year and went from 1 to 2 sinus infections a month to one in a whole year. It is amazing. Just a thought because alot of your story sounded like mine :)

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