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Asthma UK community forum
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Immune System

Hello all,

I wonder if I can pick your brains please?

I have had asthma since a small child (now 46) and it is really quite well controlled on Symbicort, Ventolin and occasionally Pred. I keep on picking up every cold and bug going and I wondered if any of you have any suggestions for improving my immune system? I eat a really healthy diet with loads of fruit and veg and drink alcohol rarely....so I think I take good care of myself but I still get the bugs!. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions please? Many thanks in advance. RSK

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How are your vitamin d levels? That can make a big difference to your immune system. Also I found that taking montelukast made a big difference to the number of colds I got. There is some evidence to suggest it could help in that department, and certainly think it's made a difference to how sick I get when I get a cold

The other thing that is at the leading edge of research is how the Micro biome of the gut affects the immune system. You can check out some of the research on line, scientists are beginning to think it may have an effect.

Anyway I think having good levels of vitamin d and montelukast have made a difference to me.

Best

R

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Hi

Sorry to hear that your keep getting colds (been there - it's no fun!)

Similar to risabel59 vitamin D, but also B12 (and the obvious one of Vit C) can help although these may already be covered in your diet! Some studies however suggest that these will help minimally so if you're already eating healthily make sure all the vitamins and 'micronutrients' (zinc/iron etc) are covered don't worry too much about taking additional supplements.

It may be worth thinking about your stress levels (personally if I get stress I catch every cold/virus/infect going round and they linger longer). Equally if you're not sleeping properly it can lead to a lower immune system.

Also if possible try to get some exercise (I know some on here will struggle to so...). Walking/swimming etc should help to build it up (long term).

As stated for me lowering stress levels (and increasing sleep) led to less viruses, although I do also take vit D (as levels were low due to prolonged pred useage).

Hope that helps πŸ˜•πŸ˜…

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I have asthma/emphysema/sarcoidosis and 6 yrs ago 52 bilateral pulmonary emboli...i decided then that i was annoyed with catching 'other peoples' colds and started wearing a mask in crowds or mixing with friends that i suspected of being sick. Have not had a cold or infection since. Sometimes it offends but i wld rather they r offended than i am sick/dead. I also eat very well and no alchohol 😣😣....good luck.

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I used to take Becodite (beclometasone) all year round and I would catch lots of colds which would feel flu like every time.

I reduced it to just a few weeks in the winter and sometimes on holiday and I rarely catch a cold now and when I do it doesn't make me so ill.

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Thank you all for your kind replies, food for thought. First stop tackle the vit D and B12..... Simple Simon, I think I also need to start being tougher about mixing with bugs!. Keep well all, Rx

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RSKi, there is a blood test which can check for B12 and Vit D levels. Can I suggest you get those done before spending money on supplements. Vit D deficiency is now very common, to my very great surprise I was diagnosed with it recently even though I was symptomless. My vit B12 levels were checked at the same time and were found to be very good - so nothing was required there.

EmmaF91 mentioned exercise - that is the one I would recommend as well. Throughout my life I have found that the more physically fit I am the healthier I have been.

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Hi RSKi

I just asked our nurses here at Asthma UK your question and Barbara asked whether your colds last longer than a week, if so, they probably aren't colds and likely to be hay fever.

She also mentioned asking for the flu jab and as iterated on the thread already, eating healthily and exercising.

Hope that helps,

Dita

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Might be worth doing a little research around gut health, from what I have gathered there is a growing school of thought that gut health is key to overall health.

As I say though, do your research before just buying some Actimel or similar as I believe there is very little evidence that such supplements make a significant difference.

I think that research is now pointing toward fermented foods being far more effective in promoting healthy gut bacteria.

Kefir, a fermented drink, is becoming popular for this reason. You would need to check (should be able to find online quite easily) but I'm pretty sure that it has been proven to be effective in clinical trials.

I've been using it a little instead of milk/yogurt in smoothie drinks. Haven't noticed any profound effects yet, but I like the taste and its nutritional profile is good when compared to milk/yogurt anyway.

Had to get it online at first but have noticed that my local Sainsbury and Waitrode now stock it.

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Dear RSKi

There is a relationship between your immune system and your level of exertion. Some exertion is good for your immune system. Too much is bad. Enough sleep, taking needed meds, handling stress well, a good diet and the right amount of exertion will help your immune system. I do not know your fitness level. Perhaps jogging a mile 3 times a week would strengthen your immune system, while running 10 miles a day five days a week would weaken your immune system.

Yours for better breathing, John Terry McConnell, author of "Running with asthma: An Asthmatic Runners Memoir"

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Exercise, regular and varied, making sure you get at least three 30 minute sessions of good cardio (use a heart rate monitor) a week. I think it helps stress, promotes good sleep and complements eating regularly and healthy.

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