Is Your Immunity Waning? Look for These Clues

by Dr. Hojat Askari, Founder & Medical Director, Thumb Butte Medical Center

Your immune system is the biggest safeguard you have for your health and well-being, so it’s important to know how well it’s functioning for you.

Sometimes the signals your body gives you on this front may seem unambiguous, but there are more subtle symptoms that can also point to a struggling defense that could jeopardize your overall condition.

If you’re experiencing these issues, consult your physician about whether they’re indicating weakened immunity or another health issue:

  • Frequent infections — If you experience frequent colds, flu and other infections that seem to take forever to clear up even with treatment it could be due to an immunodeficiency, which is often linked to a chronic disease or condition.
  • Digestive problems — Since 70% to 80% of our immune cells hang out in our gut, it’s not surprising many warning signs of a compromised immune system come from these organs. Extended bouts of diarrhea or constipation, frequent bloating and gas can all be linked to a reduced presence of healthy bacteria and other microorganisms not keeping up with invaders that can harm your digestive and other bodily systems.
  • Fatigue — If you’re getting enough sleep at night but still struggling to stay awake during the day it could be tied to your body trying to conserve its energy because it’s pushing itself harder than it should to keep the upper hand in its battle against infectious and toxic agents.
  • Persistent mild fever — If you find that your temperature is consistently hovering just above the 98.7-degree sweet spot but you aren’t noticing any other symptoms it could still mean your immune system is continuously mobilizing itself against germs it can’t quite seem to vanquish.
  • Rash and itchy skin — Your skin is the first and most important barrier against infections not tied to what you breathe or eat. When it’s inflamed with a rash that won’t abate or it’s dry and itchy it may not be able to protect you as much as it should.