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Weak immune system, what could I safely take?
Weak immune system, what could I safely take?
I'm a 55 year-old male who suffers from Chronic Anxiety Disorder (which can lead to mild Petit Mal attacks when highly stressed) and other CNS issues resulting from having Meningitis as a baby. I also have a peptic ulcer which flares up every once in a while plus bowel problems (intermittent diarhea and/or constipation).
As most of you know, anxiety leads to depression when stressed thus compromising the immune system and making us prone to flus, colds, infections, etc.
For the past 6 weeks, I've been trying to shake a flu (no fever, fatigue, dry cough, terrible sore throat, sinus problems, frequent headaches, etc.) and not being keen on traditional antibiotics (which in my opinion, cause more damage than good), I've been searching the Net for alternative treatments to boost my immune system in order to fight this bug.
So, to make a long story short, here is my dilemma. Every time I find something on the Net that might help boost my immune system, I also find contradictions, drug interactions and warnings thus leaving me more confused than anything else.
So far, I've tried a "flu and sore throat remedy" found on another site which was a concoction made from cayenne pepper, apple cider vinegar, sodium bicarb and water. This relieved the flu and sore throat symptoms but also made my ulcer and GERD flare up even though they also claimed that this recipe also cured ulcers (yeah, right).
I went to a Natural Products store and after talking to a "consultant", she recommended I take Probiotics and after taking them 3 times/day for 3 days, I got the infamous "kicking in and cleansing side-effects" such as acidic diarhea (twice only) and minor bloating. I was starting to feel better but I read the following on a few sites: "People who are immunocompromised or have an underlying disease or gut condition should take probiotics only under the care of a doctor, and even then, should only take well defined and characterized products produced by reputable companies."
So, I am quite confused on what I should take, any feedback would be appreciated. As far as drug interactions I have to be careful of, I take Clonazepam (Klonopin) 2mg/day for the Anxiety and Petit Mal and Nexium 40mg/day for the peptic ulcer.
In conclusion, I now only take my prescribed meds and gargle with Listerine 4 times/day for the sore throat (which is getting better) and nothing else. I've also noticed that I do get more anxiety episodes probably due to the fact that I'm severely depressed and exhausted and occasionaly have to take a little extra clonazepam.
Any help would be appreciated,
Sorry, reread my post and I guess I didn't make myself clear, what I would like to know is what could I safely take to boost my immune system? The flu symptoms are slowly disappearing but with a weak immune system, I tend to catch every bug out there.
Take a look at http://www.ldninfo.org/. It isn't strictly "alternative", but it is very interesting nonetheless. I've started taking it three days ago, so I can't give personal feedback yet.
Thanks for the link, looks quite promising and I sure as heck will investigate this further. Would you mind giving me the occasional update?
Originally Posted by BetterOffDead
Thanks again and good luck!
BTW, I'll join the Yahoo group, might "see" you there.
I suggest visiting an acupuncturist or Chinese herbalist. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is helpful in boosting the immune system, and preventing frequent colds.
Here are two articles from altMD.com discussing more detail on these subjects:
Traditional Chinese Medicine for Immune Deficiency
Traditional Chinese Medicine for Common Colds
One of the most common Chinese herbal formulas used is called Yu Ping Feng San (Wan) and is discussed in the second article on common colds.
The extra benefit of going this route is that it can also help to manage your anxiety and depression, improving your overall health.
Acupuncture for Anxiety and Depression
These info could help:
How to eat when your immune system is weak
If your immune system is weak, you want to stay away from bacteria and other organisms that could make you sick. For important steps you can take when buying and preparing food, read about Food Production and Food Safety.
Foods to avoid
Certain foods can have high levels of bacteria. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that children, older adults, and those with weakened immune systems avoid the following foods:
* raw vegetable sprouts (alfalfa, radish, broccoli, mung bean, etc.) because of a high risk of Salmonella and E. coli contamination
* raw eggs, including unpasteurized eggnog, uncooked Caesar salad dressing, and unbaked meringues because of possible Salmonella contamination
* unpasteurized fruit and vegetable juice, including cider, unless you prepare it at home with thoroughly washed produce
* raw or undercooked ground meat and poultry
* tofu packed in water
As a general rule, most registered dietitians recommend avoiding the following foods during chemotherapy because they can have levels of bacteria high enough to make a person with a weakened immune system sick:
* foods that are raw or undercooked, which can include meat, fish, shellfish, lox, sushi, sashimi, poultry, eggs, hot dogs, deli meats, tofu, sausage, and bacon
* foods containing raw eggs, such as hollandaise sauce, raw cookie dough, or homemade mayonnaise
* unpasteurized (raw) milk and dairy products made from unpasteurized milk
* soft cheeses, such as feta, Brie, Camembert, blue-veined (Roquefort, Stilton, Gorgonzola, and blue) and Mexican-style cheeses, such as those used to make queso sauce
* unwashed raw fruits and vegetables and those with mold on them
* raw honey
* sun tea
* unpasteurized beer
* uncooked brewer's yeast
An "asymmetrical but an adequate" answer may come from Russia. I only beg You to spare some time to learn about the Functonal state Corrector - a hi-tech offspring from the space shuttle "Buran" program. It will correct your organism not only on physical level, but the first sing one notice when start using the FSC - is a state of mind change. You need no. 1, 2, & 4 FSC After a couple of month, when an organism will become detoxed and balanced a very gentle weight regulation may start. Depression will go away in a day time, You will want to remember Your hobby activities.
The depression is not worth treating. It is not worth Your attention at all!
I gave no.1 FSC to my neighbor for a try. His business was not going well and he intended to visit a psychologist the next day. Never came, and find excuses not to return the FSC for 3 month!
I did a great job to translate the information, our site link could be found in public profile. Contact me via e-mail!
A new Year is coming soon! Happy New Year. I wish You a good health and all Your dreams fulfillment!
Hi Gene53, I have had in the past yrs a compromised Immune System and I know others who have. We looked for many yrs and tried many products, some better than others, until 3 yrs ago when I tried a Homeopathic medicine. I had talked to the head Dr from this company and he told me if I can figure out just exactly what I need then Homeopahic medicines work really well. I was suffering from an extreme surgical menopause, RA & OA and was in really bad shape, my Immune System was shot because of my arthritis and my run down body.
Good Morning Gene,
I should have stated further in my reply to your Immune System question. I have read the postings and these are interesting. I would like to give you some info on what we use to "balance" and "strengthen" our Immune Systems, it works and is not too expensive, no taste and is easy to take, I see you are in Canada - so am I - nice to see someone in Canada post!! So read this and see why we take it, this is the best of the best for our bodies...
Aconitinum Napellus: (Boericke’s) (Monkshood) First remedy in inflammations, fevers. Acute, sudden and violent invasion with fever calls for this remedy. For relief of fear, anxiety, anguish of mind and body. Physical and mental restlessness. Sudden and great sinking of strength. Serous membranes and muscular tissues affected markedly. Burning in internal parts, tingling, cold and numbness. To relieve mind of fear, anxiety, worry, forebodings, and fear of the future. Pains are intolerable. Music unbearable. For relief of fullness in head, pulsating, hot, bursting, burning. Intercranial pressure. Vertigo
For relief of red, inflamed eyes. Aversion to light. Lids swollen, hard and red. Ears very sensitive to noises. Earache. Pain at root of nose. Face is red, hot flushed and swollen. Pain in jaws. Throat is red, dry, constricted, numb, burning and stinging. Tonsils swollen and dry. Vomiting with fear, heat, profuse sweat and increased urination. Abdomen sensitive to touch. Colic. Pain in rectum with nightly itching. Bleeding hemorrhoids. Profuse urination with burning. Crawling and stinging in male glands. Bruised pain in testicles, swollen, hard. Painful erections. For relief of hot, sensitive, dry vagina. Sharp shooting pains in womb. Constant pressure in left chest. Shortness of breath. Stitches through chest. Hot feeling in lungs. Blood comes up when hawking. Tachycardia. Affections of the heart with pain in left shoulder. Palpitation with anxiety, fainting and tingling in fingers. Stiffness in nape of neck. Arms feel lame, bruised, heavy and numb. Rheumatic inflammation of joints. Hip joint and thighs feel lame. For relief of nightmares, anxious dreams. Skin is red, hot, swollen, dry and burning. Rash like measles.
Arsenicum Album: (Boericke’s) (Arsenious Acid) A profoundly acting remedy on every organ and tissue. For all prevailing debility, exhaustion and restlessness with nightly aggravation. For great exhaustion after the slightest exertion. Unquenchable thirst. For relief of degenerative changes. Gradual loss of weight from impaired nutrition. For relief of septic infections and low vitality. Sensitive to disorder and confusion. Headaches. Scalp itches intolerably. Scalp very sensitive, cannot brush hair. Burning in eyes. Lids red, ulcerated, scabby, scaly, granulated. Edema around eyes, external inflammation, with extreme painfulness. Skin on ears is raw and burning. Nose feels stopped up. Sneezing without relief. Acne of nose. Lupus. Face is swollen, pale, yellow, sunken, cold and covered with sweat. Expression of agony. Tearing, needle-like pains, burning. Lips black, livid. For unhealthy, easily bleeding gums. Ulceration of mouth with dryness and burning heat. Epithelioma of lips. Tongue dry, clean and red. Stitching and burning pain in tongue, ulcerated with blue color. Bloody saliva. Neuralgia of teeth, feels long and sore. Metallic taste. Throat swollen, constricted, burning and unable to swallow. Cannot bear sight or smell of food. Anxiety in pit of stomach. Burning pain. Craves acids and coffee. Heartburn. Malignant symptoms. Liver and spleen enlarged and painful. Abdominal gnawing, burning pains like coals of fire. Painful, spasmodic protrusion of rectum. Hemorrhoids burn like fire. Urine is scanty, burning, involuntary. Bright’s disease. Burning in ovary region. Air passages constricted, unable to lie down and fears suffocation. Heart palpitation, pain and faintness. Weakness, pain and burning in small of back. Drawing in of shoulders. Trembling, twitching, spasms, weakness, heaviness and uneasiness in extremities. Cramps in calves. Swelling of feet. Diabetic gangrene. Ulcers on heels. Paralysis of lower limbs with atrophy. For relief of itching, burning, swellings, eruptions, papulars, dry, rough, scaly skin. Malignant pustules. Gangrenous inflammations. For relief of disturbed, anxious, restless sleep. For relief of high fevers. For relief of complete exhaustion.
Bryonia Alba: (Boericke’s) (Wild Hops) Acts on all serous membranes. For relief of aching in every muscle. For relief of pain, stitching, tearing, worse by motion, better at rest. Physical weakness and all pervading apathy. For relief of exceeding irritability. Delirium. For relief of vertigo, nausea, faintness on rising, confusion, bursting, splitting headache. Frequent nose bleeding. Roaring, buzzing in ears. For relief of pressing, crushing, aching eye pain. Glaucoma. Sore to touch and when moving them. Relieves dry, parched, cracked, swollen lips. Dryness of mouth, tongue and throat with excessive thirst. Nausea and faintness when rising up. Stomach sensitive to pressure. Abnormal hunger, loss of taste. Liver region swollen, sore and tensive. Constipation. Red, brown, scanty, hot urine. Menses too early, too profuse. Stitching pains in ovaries on taking deep breaths. Soreness in larynx and trachea. Hoarseness. Cough with feeling s if chest would fly to pieces. Painful stiffness in nape of neck. Stitches and stiffness in small of back. Knees stiff and painful. Skin is yellow, pale, swollen and dropsical. Hair very greasy.
Baryta Carbonica: (Boericke’s) (Carbonate of Baryta) Specially indicated in infancy and old age. For diseases of old men when degenerative changes begin. Cardiac, vascular and cerebral. Hypertrophied prostate of indurated testes, very sensitive to cold, offensive foot-sweats, very weak and weary, must sit or lie down or lean on something. Very averse to meeting strangers. Loss of memory, mental weakness. Lost confidence in himself. Senile dementia. Confusion. Bashful. Grief over trifles. Brain feels loose. Hair falls out. Cataracts. Hardness of hearing. Frequent nose bleeds. Face is pal, puffed and has a sensation as of cobweb. Upper lip swollen. Tonsils inflamed. Hungry but refuses food. Gastric weakness in the aged with possible malignancy present. Abdomen is hard, tense and distended. Constipation. Diminished sexual desire and premature impotence in males. Enlarged prostate. Testicles indurated. Stitches in chest, worse inspiration. Lungs feel full of smoke. For relief of palpitation and distress in region of heart. Fatty tumors about neck. Weakness of spine. Numbness in limbs. Pain in joints, burning pains in lower limbs. Talking in sleep. Awakens frequently. Twitching during sleep.
This is only a very few components of this formula, this formula "covers" the liver, digestive system, kidneys, nervous system, skeletal system and Immune System, brings the whole body systems together in balance and strength. This is a product that has been on the market for 18 yrs and has not been changed as it is extremely effective.
There is one thing you mentioned that is of huge interest and notifiction. You mentioned your menengitis as a youngster, absolutely everyone I know that has had big problems in adult life had a huge body health issue in early life, mine was Red Measles, rendered me with huge arthritis, my friend had a huge strep throat, still at 65 when she started to clear her long standing bacterial infection she had pustules on her tonsils, now after a yr on a bacterial removing formula she has clear tonsils and is much healthier. There is a viral remover as well that is exceptional. Things to think about to make your life much healthier, the road to health is long but baby steps are awesome and each mth makes a nicer life to enjoy. Please think about what I mention here, this is so exciting to reach out to people to tell them of how we got our health back as well as many others. Do take care and hope you see this!! Have a great day Mlle
I would definitely take vitamin C supplements. Also, ulcers were shown in a study to be cured using cabbage juice. The study used 1 quart of cabbage juice every day, split into various intervals, for 10 days. I can imagine that raw cabbage juice would be somewhat undesirable.. but who knows. If I had ulcers, I'd do it.
Last edited by ddcmod; 02-03-2010 at 10:13 PM.
I would strongly recommend that you see a homeopath. Homeopathic medicine will not interfere with any medications or existing medical conditions. Same as accupuncture (which I also think was a good recommendation), it can sort of be summed up as 'energy medicine', there is no actualy substance to cause interference.
That's too bad that you had issues with probiotics, they are the best thing that you can do for your immune system. For this reason, you might want to consider seeing a naturopath, FAR cheaper than seeing an MD and they would be able to monitor and to make recommendations for the best strains of probiotcs (there are many) for you to take.
On that note, I would strongly recommend looking into giving kefir a try. Its a yogurt like drink that you can buy at whole foods and it is GREAT for the nervous system. I have crippling anxiety, just got off ativan and was noticing how calm I was feeling immediatly after drinking kefir. I researched it further and discovered it wasn't in my head - great for nerves apparently!!
All the best.