When it comes to your immune system, no news is good news. Under normal circumstances, the vast network of cells, proteins, and organs that make up your immune system runs quietly in the background.
That is, until something goes wrong.
When your natural immunity grows weak, your body finds ways to warn you. However, if you don’t know how to interpret these signs and symptoms, you could wind up missing them altogether.
So, what are signs of a weak immune system? Keep reading to find out. In this guide, we’ll explain some of the most noticeable indicators of immune system issues—and what to do about them.
#1 Frequent Illnesses and Infections
The most obvious sign of a weakened immune system is an uptick in the number of times you fall ill. If all is well with your natural immunity, you can go days, weeks, or even years without getting seriously sick. But when you have a compromised immune system or when it stops running at full capacity, it can be overwhelmed by internal and external factors, causing you to feel unwell.
For context, the average US adult has two or three colds per year.1 Should you find yourself getting sick more frequently in a given year or for longer than ten days at a time, there’s a chance your immune system is underperforming.
Other signs of an immune deficiency include:
- Frequent ear infections
- Repeated sinus infections
- Prolonged skin infections due to delays in the wound healing process
Why It Happens
Your immune system is your body’s natural defense against the world around you. Its primary job is to protect you from:2
- Pathogens – Viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites can enter the body and cause disease, but your immune system works to neutralize these unrecognized intruders.
- Unwanted internal changes – Sometimes, threats begin inside the body rather than outside of it. For example, when cancer cells begin to form, your immune system can eliminate them.
- Other foreign substances – The immune system can also neutralize toxins, poisons, and other dangerous substances that are ingested or inhaled.
When your immune system is weakened or overworked, it can’t fight these threats as intended. As a result, you may suffer from colds and infections more often.
Tips to Treat and Prevent Frequent Sickness
If your immune system is weak, you’re more susceptible to illness. As such, it’s wise to minimize contact with germs and sick people, ensure your immunizations are up to date, and frequently wash your hands.
But since it’s impossible to avoid all viruses and bacteria, you’ll also want to work on strengthening your immune system. One method is to increase your vitamin C intake by eating more vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables or taking a Synergy Vitamin C supplement. Vitamin C contributes to both innate and adaptive immune function.3
#2 Low Energy Levels
Fatigue is a telltale sign of immune system deficiency. When your immunity isn’t firing on all cylinders, your body can’t keep up with the rest of its daily responsibilities. That constant desire for sleep or reduced activity is your body trying to tell you that it needs more energy to protect you.
Why It Happens
Without diving too deep into the technical aspects of your immune response, we can explain the link between low energy and a weakened immune system as follows:4
- The immune system fights off pathogens
- Fighting off pathogens requires energy
- A weakened immune system will require more energy to continue fighting
- When too much energy is expended on the immune response, less energy is available for other bodily functions
In other words, your body conserves energy so it can be allocated to your immune system. Think about the energy-intensive fever response or the process of creating new immune cells to combat opportunistic infections—these activities demand calories.
While this strategy is essential for survival, it can leave you feeling tired and weak.
Tips to Treat and Prevent a Lack of Energy
A lack of sleep may cause you to feel exhausted, so you might want to assess your sleep schedule. Teenagers need 8–10 hours of sleep each night, while adults need 7–9.5
With that said, many people with weakened immune systems report feeling tired even with the proper amount of sleep. If that sounds like you, it’s time to take action and strengthen your immunity.
While some immunity-boosting methods are challenging to complete when tired (such as exercise), there are ways to improve your immune response without expending much energy. One of the simplest ways is a change in diet.
Some of the best foods to boost your immune system include citrus fruits, mushrooms, turmeric, and Brazil nuts—all of which have high levels of essential vitamins and nutrients. Start eating meals that incorporate these foods to help improve your immune response.
#3 Increased Stress
How does stress affect the immune system? Stress and immunity share a complex two-way relationship. Constantly feeling sick can be stressful. That stress, in turn, will cause you to have a weakened immune system. The cycle repeats, and you can end up in an unfortunate spiral of sickness and stress.
If you’ve ever caught a cold after an important presentation or an emotionally-draining situation, you’ve experienced the interaction between stress and the immune system.
Why It Happens
Stress is an evolutionary tactic meant to keep you alive. When that “fight-or-flight” response kicks in, your body goes through physiological changes that increase your chances of survival. Some of those changes affect the immune system, including:4
- A decrease in protein production
- A drop in white blood cell production
- Suppression of normal cell function
Regular or long-term stress is directly linked to a weakened immune system. In fact, something that stressed you out days or even years ago can suppress your body’s immune system.4
Taking an immune defense supplement can be beneficial. For example, we formulated the Adrenal Super Tonic to provide you with immune support that can help prevent or fight off infections or illnesses caused by stress.
All of these afflictions are connected to your immune response, so keeping them in check can help keep you healthy.
#4 Stomach Pain and Indigestion
Have you noticed frequent stomach aches or gurgling from your belly? While you could just be experiencing indigestion, having an upset stomach may mean that your immune system is struggling.
People with a weak immune system are more prone to stomach issues such as:
Why It Happens
Our gastrointestinal tract is home to millions of bacteria with whom we share a mutually beneficial relationship. This “community” of bacteria is essential to many of our bodily functions, including digestion, nutrient production, and—you guessed it—regulation of the immune system.7
In fact, experts now believe that much of the immune system is located in the digestive tract.7 The bacteria residing in the gut help regulate immune homeostasis—the delicate balancing act that dictates which pathogens need to be eliminated and which can stay.
When this balance shifts, your body responds with warning signs. And since these changes occur primarily in your stomach, the warnings are also localized in the stomach. The result? Indigestion and stomach pain.
In more severe cases, gastrointestinal troubles can be a sign of autoimmune disease. An overactive immune system will mistakenly target the helpful bacteria in your gut, causing an imbalance. When the composition of the gut changes, the way your immune system responds changes too.
Note: If you’re concerned about a potential autoimmune disorder, be sure to speak with a doctor about any next steps.
Tips to Treat and Prevent Digestive Problems
In most cases, ensuring that you intake the proper dosage of vitamins to boost your immune system, like C and D, can address your weakened immune system and your stomach troubles.
Another way to boost your immune system is to cut back on tobacco and alcohol. Smoking and drinking impact the immune system by disrupting the makeup of your gut microbiota, and alcohol consumption has been linked to pneumonia, pulmonary diseases and sepsis.8
Say Hello to Cymbiotika and a Stronger Immune System
Ultimately, the immune system is a complex network of interconnected elements. As such, many of the tips that we’ve included in this guide can help you address most of the signs of a weak immune system.
With that said, following all of these suggestions at once can be challenging. Making slow and steady progress may be easier, but if you’re dealing with weak immune system symptoms, you likely want to address your concerns sooner rather than later.
At Cymbiotika, we harness complex biological processes to make health and wellness simple. Because a strong immune system is vital to a healthy lifestyle, we’ve created a range of immunity defense supplements that can easily be incorporated into your daily diet to help jumpstart your immune system.
So, say goodbye to weak immune system symptoms, and say hello to Cymbiotika.
- Center for Disease Control. Common Colds: Protect Yourself and Others. https://www.cdc.gov/features/rhinoviruses/index.html
- NCBI. How does the immune system work? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279364/
- NCBI. Vitamin C and Immune Function. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5707683/
- NCBI. Stress, Energy, and Immunity: An Ecological View. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2475648/
- Center for Disease Control. How Much Sleep Do I Need? https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/how_much_sleep.html
- Mayo Clinic. Exercise and stress: Get moving to manage stress. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/exercise-and-stress/art-20044469
- NCBI. The role of gut microbiota in immune homeostasis and autoimmunity. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3337124/
- NCBI. Alcohol and the Immune System. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4590612/