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When it is dangerous to strengthen the immune system: the doctor warned about the consequences of a common mistake

Date: April 1, 2023 Time: 23:50:00

Immunologist Ilyina warned about the risks of self-increasing immunity.

Photo: Julia PYKHALOVA

What do people talk about in health forums if they are not assisted by orderlies? After the topic of “cleansing the body” (which itself is worthy of a separate conversation), the most popular is “strengthening the immune system.” And whatever strengthens the immune system – from things that are quite understandable and harmless (sun) to strange capsules of an incomprehensible manufacturer, secretly selling each other on the Web and transferring from one healer to another healer.

– The immune system is a complex multi-level structure that must protect the body from any foreign genetic material from the outside, maintain health in balance, – explains Professor KP.RU, Deputy Director of Clinical Work, Chief Physician of the Scientific Center State “Institute of Immunology” of the Federal Medical biological agency Natalya Ilyina. – So, the main task of immunity is to protect us from infectious agents. But also of the tumor processes that occur inside it.

As a rule, this system (which includes not only proteins and special cells, but also organs – the thymus gland (thymus), bone marrow, spleen, lymph nodes, tonsils) regulates itself and does not need additional stimulation. .

“But for some reason, everyone here loves to improve, increase and maintain immunity,” says Natalya Ilyina. – I have often heard the question “how to strengthen the immune system?”, but for some reason no one asks how to strengthen the nervous system, the cardiovascular system. Meanwhile, everything is interconnected.


If the human body is not burdened with chronic diseases, oncology (chemotherapy is often accompanied by the appearance of secondary, that is, acquired immunodeficiency), then your immunity is normal, and you do not need immunostimulants. To break the harmonious immune system, you need to try very hard.

What really breaks our defender’s job:

– poor and unbalanced nutrition for a long time (reduced immunity is a constant companion of anorexia);

– diabetes;

– some diseases of the gastrointestinal tract;

– prolonged exposure to toxic substances (chemical or radioactive);

– Chronic stress.

“If we talk about stress, then its short-term effect, that is, in a moment of danger, is even useful,” explains Natalya Ilyina. – The release of adrenaline and cortisol (stress hormones) stimulates the cardiovascular system, both muscular and immune, to act more effectively in the moment of danger.

But the more stress, the more toxic the effects of stress hormones, which eventually become not helpers, but enemies of the whole organism. As with any other exposure: a 5 second exposure to a cold shower invigorates and tempers, and half an hour leads to a severe cold.


– If we talk about children and adults with frequent diseases, then this concept is very conditional, – explains the professor. – We immunologists look at many different factors to understand why a person often gets sick: from living conditions (greenhouse conditions are as bad as eternal drafts) to blood tests and patterns of disease. For example, for children, during the period of adaptation to kindergarten, it is normal to get sick 4-5 times a year. If the child did not go to kindergarten, he will get his virus “norm” at school, that is, the immune system will still get used to new conditions, adapt, and the child will get sick.

Another important factor: about half of preschool children who come to an appointment with an immunologist turn out to be allergic. Eternal rhinitis (runny nose), sore throat, cough, sometimes shortness of breath – all these are symptoms of not only SARS, but also allergies. Naturally, these conditions are treated in various ways.

But still, it is possible to understand that something is wrong with immunity without a medical examination:

1. Prolonged and severe course of any disease (with fever, severe cough, severe runny nose, headache and muscle pain, long recovery).

2. Frequent complications, the addition of bacterial infections: otitis media, sinusitis, sinusitis, etc.

3. The occurrence of repeated pneumonia (twice a year, already severe), poor response to antibiotics.

4. Changes in blood counts.

5. Without other symptoms, a subfebrile (ie low) temperature lasts a long time.

If you notice at least one or two of these symptoms, you should see a doctor in any case. By the way, pediatricians, allergists-immunologists have a questionnaire consisting of 12 questions that will help to determine if there are problems with immunity even without immunological tests.


Our immune system is not a single organ or a collection of specific proteins. Everyone knows that there is innate immunity (from mother to child) and acquired immunity, as a result of diseases, vaccines, etc.

But the immune system itself consists of many components:

– physical, i.e. skin and mucous membranes (mucosal immunity, i.e. mucous membranes, our first barrier when encountering viruses,

– humoral (protective proteins, there are many types),

– cell phone.

When you drink immunomodulators, which one are you acting on?

– I want to tell you that immunologists do not like to prescribe immunomodulators once again, only in case of serious diseases, when their effect is definitely proven, including in the laboratory, – says Professor Ilyina. – There are intravenous interferons, targeted drugs that act on certain cells, a lot of development of biological genes. These are all very serious things. But if you come to the pharmacy and ask for something “to increase immunity”, this can be complicated: if the drug you were given has a truly active immunomodulatory effect, it can lead to the development of autoimmune diseases (when the immune system begins to fail). . fight against healthy tissues and cells of the body, destroying them – approx. Ed.).


Nothing better than a healthy lifestyle has yet been invented. The whole body, all its systems and organs will thank you if you follow the basic rules:

– Get enough sleep – at least 7-8 hours in silence and darkness.

– Complete nutrition with proteins, vegetables and fruits (and less sweets!).

– Normal physical activity – at least 15 minutes of exercise and walks at night.

Now you will say: “How did you get your healthy lifestyle?”. And the doctors will answer: “How tired we are of questions about the magic pill. Well it’s not! You just have to take care of yourself and understand the needs of your body.”

So we learn to listen to the body, observe a healthy lifestyle and look forward to a real spring! Then the walks will be more pleasant, and the immune system will be stronger.


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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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