My immune system is so delicate. A sneeze turns into a cold turns into bronchitis turns into pneumonia. I am not kidding. I have been trying to boost my defense for at least twenty years. 99 percent of the usual natural remedies don’t work for me. Initially, when I found out that I had CLL it seemed like a logical consequence of those millions of viruses and bacteria which have inhabited my body. Of course, I still try to improve my resistance against infections.
My comprised immune system makes it necessary to get vaccinations against pneumonia and influenza regularly. I skipped them for years, as it was so much easier to buy some vitamin supplements in a shop than to go to a physician and get a shot. I should have been more careful: I ended up with a horrible pneumonia (viral as well as bacterial, on both right and left lung) that kept me in bed for months. Before I was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, doctors would hesitate to prescribe antibiotics. This has changed with my diagnosis. I get them (and need them desperately) as soon as I feel illness approaching.
I found that one of the few things that seems to work with me is zinc. It might be my imagination, but whenever I take zinc supplements, I am under the impression that my body is much stronger and resistant.
Iron has become part of my daily diet. I am having huge amounts of it. Unfortunately, my iron levels are still below the recommended value. I take it as I should; combined with Vitamin C and without dairy products, but my body is not able to absorb iron very well anymore. If I stopped taking iron supplements, I would spend all day in bed, honestly.
Vitamin C was one of the first vitamins I tried during my decade-long search for immune boosting supplements. It has not worked for me. If I took a low dose of vitamin C nothing happened and if I took a high dose I got enterorrhea. Yet I know that there are enormous differences between vitamin pills. Maybe I took the wrong ones.
The same goes for vitamin B (or better: the whole vitamin B complex). B12, B6 especially and B1,2,3, 5,8,9 as well. I had them all and could not perceive their positive impact on my immune system. Again: I should have checked the quality of my supplements before experimenting.
By increasing my vitamin D intake, I noted some benefits. In retrospect, I would say that the dose might have been too low. Especially those living in countries where sunlight is scarce should take vitamin D on a regular basis.
I also tried turmeric (yellow hands…I didn’t try it often enough to make a statement about its impact but yellow hands are a weird side effect), black seed oil, tea trea oil (great for skin infections), echinacea (no effect, but my mother swears on it), ginger tea (I love the taste and it helps me to get warm in winter, but it does not seem to cure my infections any faster), green tea (a great substitute for energy drinks) and many other things.
When I lived in Nepal for a while, I discovered Septilin, a herbal ayurvedic supplement which promises to boost the immune system. It has worked wonders for me. It doesn’t anymore, because CLL has added a new quality to my health issues. When I was suffering from chronic bronchitis, Septilin was the best medicine for me. I tried to eat a teaspoon full of HiOwna, another Himalayan Healthcare product, each day for a while. However, I did not like the taste and it did not make me feel any better.
Personal hygiene (washing my hands often, wearing gloves and even mouth masks) is important, getting enough sleep is vital and a balanced diet is worth much more than any vitamin supplement: eating fresh food, fruits and vegetables (according to the season) combined with regular exercise (especially outdoors) are more crucial than any of the pills I prefer to pop (blame it on my laziness).
I am facing a wholly new situation at the moment: Some supplements might not only strengthen my resistance to infections, but increase the cancer cells as well. (as they are linked to my immune system). I don’t dare to experiment anymore – I talk to my oncologists before I change my diet now.
Twenty years of experimenting with a wide range of remedies have taught me a lot about my body. I hope the outcome of my experiments helps you to find “your” cure for immunity. If you are suffering from a serious disease, consult your physician before radical changes. And whatever you do – check your supplements and take premium ones only.