Signs of a weak immune system include frequent cold, infections, digestive problems, delayed wound healing, skin infections, fatigue, organ problem, delayed growth, a blood disorder, and autoimmune diseases.
The immune system helps protect the body from harmful pathogens and other environmental risks. It prevents various infectious and debilitating diseases. However, if a person’s immune system is weak, they are more at risk of various illnesses, including certain serious illnesses.
The immune system may be weakened by smoking, drinking alcohol, poor nutrition, stress, obesity, aging, medical conditions (such as HIV, diabetes, cancer, recent serious infections), or medication (such as steroids, chemotherapy drugs).
Signs of a weak immune system
- Frequent cold and other infections: It is normal for adults to have two to three episodes of a cold or infection a year and recover in seven to 10 days. Those with a weak immune system tend to have frequent episodes and may take longer to recover.
- Digestive problems: Many scientists believe the root cause of most diseases is a weak digestive system. Signs and symptoms of a weak immune system and digestive symptoms include frequent diarrhea, constipation, bloating, etc.
- Delayed wound healing: If the immune system is weak, wounds take longer to heal following inflammation, trauma, or surgery, and increase the risk of infection.
- Easy fatigability: It is normal to feel tired after a long day. Those with a weakened immune system tend to feel tired or fatigued constantly despite taking adequate rest.
- Skin infections: The skin is the first barrier of the body. A weak immune system can damage the skin barrier, resulting in frequent skin rashes, inflammation, infection, or dry skin.
- Autoimmune diseases: In autoimmune diseases, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own cells. When the immune system is weak, there is overactivity or abnormally low activity of the immune system. If the immune system is overactive, it increases the risk of autoimmune diseases.
- Delayed growth and development: Weakened immunity may result in delayed growth and development in children.
- Blood disorder and blood cancer: Some blood disorders indicate a weak immune system, such as anemia, hemophilia (bleeding disorder), blood clots, and blood cancers (leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma).
- Organ inflammation: Organ inflammation can weaken the body’s immune system. Organ inflammation could happen due to injury, toxins, pathogens, trauma, heat, etc. Any injury to the body tissues that result in inflammation is a sign of a weakened immune system.
Medically Reviewed on 6/3/2021
University of Rochester Medical Center. Immune System Disorders. https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentID=123&ContentTypeID=134
WebMD. 16 Symptoms of Immune System Problems. https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/immune-system-disorders
Medline Plus. Aging changes in immunity. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/004008.htm