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  • Weak immune

    I've typically had a pretty weak immune system all my life. During the winter I'll get sick on average at least once a month, and have at least one major illness that will last a week or two. This winter is when I started eating primal and it has been the worst that I can remember. Since the beginning of the winter I've gotten sick at least once every two weeks, and have had a very bad, lingering cough ever since the first one that has been non-stop for close to two months. I'm not saying I believe eating primal is causing things to get worse, because this has been a particularly bad winter, but I'm surprised it hasn't improved things at all for me. I get plenty of sleep, exercise almost every day, eat a strict primal diet, take all the recommended supplements and have a relatively stress free life. On top of that I am very aggressive about avoiding people who are sick.

    What else can I be doing to improve my immune system and prevent getting sick so often?

  • #2
    Find out if you are sufficient in Vitamin D by getting tested. You may take all the recommended supplements and still be deficient--and may need to up your dosage. It can also take 3-6 months (sometimes more) to get your levels up if you recently started taking D.
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    • #3
      I was deficient in my last blood test and have upped my dose to 1000 IU/day for the last 3 months. Should I go higher? Anything else I should look into?

      Originally posted by Dragonfly View Post
      Find out if you are sufficient in Vitamin D by getting tested. You may take all the recommended supplements and still be deficient--and may need to up your dosage. It can also take 3-6 months (sometimes more) to get your levels up if you recently started taking D.

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      • #4
        I hope you meant 10,000 IUs?!
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        • #5
          How deficient were you? The amount you need to supplement depends on several factors including age, weight, and amount of deficiency. I have pretty much stopped getting colds since getting my levels up to normal - I used to catch ever cold that went around. I needed a LOT of D before I was able to normalize my levels.
          Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

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          • #6
            Astragalus, beta glucans, curcumin, ashwagandha, theanine, and a good undenatured whey protein are all potential immune boosting supplements.

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            • #7
              Vitamin D3 component 24-hydroxy D Total: 23
              Optimum levels are 25-80

              The comment on my lab work was to take a 1,000 units of vitamin D daily, so I take a D-1000 IU pill every day.
              Is that not correct?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by elektro View Post
                Vitamin D3 component 24-hydroxy D Total: 23
                Optimum levels are 25-80

                The comment on my lab work was to take a 1,000 units of vitamin D daily, so I take a D-1000 IU pill every day.
                Is that not correct?
                Seems a bit low based on the levels I read people advising for people that don't have test data. I'm doing 10,000 IU.

                Based on your first post, you seem to be on top of things. Any possible environmental problems from being inside, like mold?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by elektro View Post
                  Vitamin D3 component 24-hydroxy D Total: 23
                  Optimum levels are 25-80

                  The comment on my lab work was to take a 1,000 units of vitamin D daily, so I take a D-1000 IU pill every day.
                  Is that not correct?
                  Ouch! 23 is pretty low. Read the Vitamin D Council link I posted.

                  The Vitamin D Council recommendation is 1,000 IUs per 25 lbs of body weight (obtained by sun exposure, tanning and/or supplements.)

                  That 1,000 IUs is doing very little to increase your level. You want to aim for 55-65 ng/ml. I'd suggest 10,000 IUs for 3 months to get your level up and test again.

                  Take an oil-based D3 gel cap. Carlson's Solar D Gems are great. Good prices on iherb.com.

                  For example: I tested at 91 ng/ml after 1 year taking 8,000 IUs. I am 125 lbs and now I take 6,000 IUs daily (not enough sun this time of year at this latitude to get enough from being outside.) I take a bit more as I aim to keep my level around 80 ng/ml, since I have a history of inflammation-related illness. I'll be testing again in June.

                  Don't worry about taking other supplements (except perhaps magnesium), until you get your D levels up. I haven't been sick at all since I started supplementing D. Neither has my husband. Whereas, most of my friends (who don't supplement) have been sick a lot this winter.
                  Last edited by Dragonfly; 03-31-2011, 09:57 PM.
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                  • #10
                    Make sure you are taking D3. My levels tested out similar to yours and prescribed weekly megadoses of 50,000iu of D2 did not budge it over 3 months. I switched to 5000 iu daily of Sundown D3 gel caps and in about a month my levels were perfect.

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                    • #11
                      And as soon as the temperatures/weather allow it, start getting outside and show some skin. Even if it's still cool, you can run or walk briskly in a t-shirt with a hat and gloves and expose your arms without feeling cold. (Your temperature sensors are in the backs of your hands and on your forehead. Keep those warm and you don't need much clothing for physical activity.)

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                      • #12
                        +1 on the vitamin D, but something else comes to mind. Over at the Perfect Health Diet they recommend taking some carbs in the form of starch to help with Vitamin C recycling and supplementing C as well. Low zinc will also mess with your immunity.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jfreaksho View Post
                          And as soon as the temperatures/weather allow it, start getting outside and show some skin. Even if it's still cool, you can run or walk briskly in a t-shirt with a hat and gloves and expose your arms without feeling cold. (Your temperature sensors are in the backs of your hands and on your forehead. Keep those warm and you don't need much clothing for physical activity.)
                          An individuals ability to make vitamin D from sunshine is impacted by many things - including age, geography, skin type, etc. So this may not be effective for many people.
                          Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

                          http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

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                          • #14
                            To update my progress, I have increased my D through supplements and I also now live in a warm climate where I get out in the sun very frequently and to the beach at least 1-2 times a week, so I feel I am getting adequate D. I also was tested for leaky gut when I originally posted this and I had the worst possible score on the test. Over this time I had cleaned up my diet even more, started eating bone broth, and taken supplements for it. I got tested recently to show that I was back to normal. I have no stress in my life, get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly, eat a strict primal diet (0 cheating), don't smoke, don't drink, ect, ect. yet I'm still getting sick all the time, I'm sick right now. I got sick more this year, in my "best health" year than any other, and most of the times were durring the summer. Also when I do get sick it hits me hard, lasting for 1-2 weeks and often causing an infection. I have also been on an anti-candida program for the last year and tests have shown that to have cleared up as well, so I feel I've done everything I can at the point.

                            Meanwhile people who I hang out with who are exposed to the same sick people never get sick, and even people who are around me all the time when I'm sick never catch what I have. And they drink frequently, get very poor sleep, are under a lot of stress, smoke, eat a horrible diet, don't exercise, ect, ect. Why has the primal diet not improved my imune system? I've been on it for almost 2 years now, very frustrating! I'm always touting this lifestyle to my friends who take really bad care of themselves, and do love and believe in it, but it's hard to sell them on it when the guy who's supposed to be the model of good health is constantly bed ridden with a cold or infection while they treat their bodies like crap and are always full of waay more energy than me and never get sick. I love the weight loss and improvements to my digestion I've gotten through this, but haven't gotten any of the other benefits so far.

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                            • #15
                              Check for an underlying immune (probably adaptive immune system) condition
                              A steak a day keeps the doctor away

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