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How to Build Up Your Immune System While on Immunosuppressive Meds

by
author image Dr. Susan Jewell
Health expert and network TV/radio/Internet host, Dr. Susan Jewell has appeared on CBS, Fox News, ABC and NBC. She is a health blogger and producer, and currently produces several webisode/TV series on "how-tos on health and living green." Dr. Jewell trained in clinical research medicine in cancer and AIDS/HIV at NIH and UCLA.
How to Build Up Your Immune System While on Immunosuppressive Meds
A group of individuals practicing yoga Photo Credit moodboard/moodboard/Getty Images

Immunosuppressive drugs can cause depression of the body's natural defense system, resulting in increased risks of infections and illnesses. Common immunosuppressive medications include corticosteroids and prednisone. These drugs are usually prescribed for patients undergoing transplantation operations, certain cancer regimens or medical conditions with mild to severe inflammatory symptoms, such as dermatitis and eczema. Diet, nutrition, stress reduction and implementing healthy lifestyle changes are some ways patients can help build a strong immune system when taking immunosuppressive drugs.

Step 1

How to Build Up Your Immune System While on Immunosuppressive Meds
Supernutrient foods help to boost immunity Photo Credit Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images

Eat a healthy diet with foods high in fiber and super nutrient content. These foods do not stress the body's immune system. Fruits, vegetables and whole grain foods contain carbohydrates that possess high levels of phytonutrients and antioxidants. They are free of trans fat and contain low levels of saturated fats. Whole grain bread, cereals, brown rice, potatoes and yams are examples of healthy foods to eat to help increase the body's immune system.

Step 2

How to Build Up Your Immune System While on Immunosuppressive Meds
Yoga and meditation can calm the body and reduce stress. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Learn alternative ways to reduce the stress in the body, as any additional stressors can cause further breakdown of the body's immune system. Take yoga or meditation classes to help maintain physical strength and calm the central nervous system by finding inner peace and calm.

Step 3

How to Build Up Your Immune System While on Immunosuppressive Meds
Sleep helps build up the immune system. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images

Find time to rest and get at least eight hours of quality sleep. The body needs this time to heal and to build up energy reserves from the day's activities. Individuals on immunosuppressive medications are more prone to fatigue and increased risks of infections, which can interfere with the amount of sleep and quality of rest. Take short naps throughout the day to prevent exhaustion or any weakening of the body's immune system.

Step 4

How to Build Up Your Immune System While on Immunosuppressive Meds
Drink plenty of water and fresh fruit and vegetable juices to boost immunity. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

Drink plenty of fluids, especially water. Avoid drinks with high sugar content. Freshly squeezed fruit juices with high antioxidant properties and supernutrient content will help boost the immune system. Avoid drinking beverages that contain caffeine, as this will cause the body to be stressed and increase nervousness and anxiety.

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