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Why do some people have a low or no immune systems?

Immune systems are complex and vary from person to person. If you have a strong immune system then your body will be able to fight off most illnesses whereas if you have a weak immune system, it won’t.

What can impact your immune systems?

As you age, your immune system can become less effective. There are several other factors that can also cause this. These include:

  • Being stressed
  • Not sleeping well
  • Pushing your body too hard (or not enough)
  • Having an immunodeficiency disorder (such as leukaemia or AIDS)
  • Not eating healthily and failing to give your body the nutrients it needs
  • Smoking
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Having radiation therapy
  • Being exposed to harmful chemicals
  • Having multiple sclerosis, cancer, Crohn's disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or another condition that puts pressure on your immune system.

How you can help your immune system

If you feel you have a weakened immune system and can identify what might be causing it, you may be able to give your immune system a boost by making a few small changes.

For instance, if you’re exercising too much and not having enough sleep, now might be the time to slow down and try to rest more.

Having a good diet is essential and you should look at how you can introduce some foods that have been proven to give immune systems a helping hand. If you prefer, you could take daily supplements to make sure your body receives the recommended daily allowance of vitamins and minerals.

Zinc and vitamin C supplements are particularly good for immunity.

If you have a condition or disease that is causing you to have a low immune system you should speak to your GP. They may be able to prescribe something to help.

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Immunity