6 Signs You Have a Weakened Immune System

Signs You Have a Weakened Immune System

Your immune system is your body’s defense against infection and illness.

A weakened immune system can leave you feeling tired and susceptible to sicknesses like the common cold or flu.

There are many reasons why you may have a weakened immune system.

For instance, stress, diet, certain medications, infections, or autoimmune disorders can all contribute to a weakened immune system.

In simple words, the immune system is a complex network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to defend the body against infections and other invaders.

So, when one or more component of the system is not working properly, it can leave you feeling run-down and susceptible to sickness. (1, 2, 3)

If you’re concerned that your immune system might be weak, here are six signs to look out for.

1. You’re getting frequent colds.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults generally get two to three colds each year. (4)

If you’re getting colds more often than that, it could be a sign that your immune system is weakened.

Runny nose, sore throat, coughing, and sneezing are all common symptoms of a cold.

Signs You Have a Weakened Immune System

2. You’re always tired.

Sometimes, feeling tired can be a normal part of life.

But if you’re constantly exhausted, even after getting a full night’s sleep, it could indicate that your immune system is struggling.

3. You have frequent infections.

If you find yourself getting infections more often than usual, it’s a sign that your immune system isn’t working as well as it should.

Basically, people with a weakened immune system are more susceptible to developing infections such as pneumonia, ear infections, skin infections, bronchitis, and other infections. (5)

4. Your wound heals more slowly.

If you have a cut or scrape, it’s normal for it to take a few days to heal.

But if your wounds are taking longer than usual to heal, it could be a sign of a weakened immune system.

Why you may ask?

Well, when you have a cut or scrape, your immune system kicks into gear to help fight off infection and promote healing.

But if your immune system is weakened, it can’t do its job as effectively, which can lead to slower healing.

Learn more: 7 Reasons Why Your Wound Won’t Heal

5. You always seem to have a stomach bug.

Gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain are all common symptoms of a stomach bug.  

If you find yourself getting stomach bugs more often than usual, it could be a telltale sign of weakened immunity.

Here’s why:

The stomach and intestines are lined with what’s called the gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT), which is a big part of the immune system.

Interestingly, about 70 percent of the immune system is located in the gut. (6)

Therefore, if any part of the gut is not functioning properly, it can have a significant impact on immunity.

6. You have an autoimmune disease.

When you have an autoimmune disease, your immune system mistakes healthy cells for foreign invaders and attacks them.

There are more than 80 different types of autoimmune diseases, including celiac disease, multiple sclerosis, lupus, type 1 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. (7)

If you have an autoimmune disease, it’s a clear sign that your immune system is not functioning properly.

Autoimmune diseases can be difficult to manage and there is no cure.

But with the proper treatment, you can live a relatively normal and healthy life.

The Takeaway

A weakened immune system can leave you feeling tired, sick, and run down.

If you find yourself getting sick more often than usual, it’s a good idea to see your doctor to rule out any underlying health conditions.

Your doctor can perform some simple tests to check for any problems with your immune system.

With the proper treatment, you can live a normal, healthy life.

In addition, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep can help boost your immune system and keep you feeling your best.