When the immune system works perfectly, antibodies travel throughout our body to kill off germs and other foreign substances. Usually this system knows the difference between good and bad, killing off only the bad particles. But when something goes wrong with our immune system and it becomes overactive, it can keep on killing substances even after the germs have already been killed. This misguided attack on our body can kill off healthy blood cells and organs, so it must be stopped. If you want to avoid drugs or surgery, several natural methods also may be effective.
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Go to your doctor. Tell him your symptoms and have the appropriate blood tests. You may be referred to a specialist.
Relax to reduce your stress levels. Listen to calming music or try other relaxation techniques, such as meditation or self-guided imagery, which puts you in calming situations much like a vacation. Imagine yourself on a hammock, fishing on serene waters or sunning yourself on the beach.
Eat healthy foods. Include fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and low-fat milk products. Take vitamin supplements as directed by your doctor. Refrain from adding salt, sugar, high cholesterol foods, saturated fat and trans fat to your diet.
Sleep eight hours a day to refresh your mind and body. This is especially important for people with immune system problems. Getting enough rest helps fight off stress and illness.
Start a gentle exercise program of yoga or tai chi. Strenuous exercise with an overactive immune system can easily tire you out and worsen your symptoms.
Use immune boosters or natural antipathogens. Seek your doctor's approval before trying immune boosters such as echinacea, medicinal mushrooms, suma, aloe vera and beta glucans. Natural antipathogens include garlic, oil of wild mountain oregano, and extract of grapefruit seed or olive leaf.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- Women’sHealth.gov; Autoimmune Diseases Fact Sheet; April 2010
- MedlinePlus; Immunodeficiency Disorders; May 2010
- Baseline of Health Newsletter; The Cost of a Strong Immune System; January 2008
- MayoClinic.org; Annual Complete Blood Count an Important Step in Assessing Health; Rajiv Pruthi; January 2011
- St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital; Putting the Brakes on the Immune System; Dario Vignali; 2007