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Your immune system is like a bodyguard that helps keep out unwanted pathogens. The immune system is the body’s natural defense against infections, viruses, bacteria, parasites and more.1 Boosting immunity helps keep your immune system strong in the fight against these unwelcome visitors. Even the healthiest people get sick from time to time. We’ve compiled a list of natural ways to help boost your immunity if you’re living with impaired kidney function.
- Prebiotics & probiotics. Taking a prebiotic & a probiotic daily may increase your immune system through your gut microbiome. About 70% of your immune system is located in your gut microbiome.2 When you take a prebiotic and a probiotic together, it helps replenish the “good” bacteria in your gut. The Prebiotics act as an energy source for the probiotics. When there is a healthy balance of “good” bacteria in your gut, it can influence whether your immune system is activated or not. In turn, when you have more bad bacteria than good bacteria in the gut, it can lead to disease.3 Certain strains of probiotic bacteria have been proven to have large effects on the gut immune system.4
- Vitamin C. Vitamin C has many health benefits, one of them being keeping the immune system healthy. Although Vitamin C can naturally be found in oranges, they are often high in potassium. DaVita recommends taking Vitamin C in a supplement form for anyone who is on the renal diet.5 According to DaVita, the recommended amount of Vitamin C for kidney patients is 60-100mg/day in supplement form.6
- Sleep. Getting the daily recommended amount of sleep may help boost your immune system. When you sleep, your body produces cytokines, which are a type of protein that targets infection and inflammation. These proteins ultimately create an immune response.7 According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults who are between 26-64 years old should get around 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Adults who are 65+ should get 7-8 hours of sleep per night.8
- Reducing Stress. Stress can be triggered by any day to day situation. Sometimes it often motivates us, but other times it can be overwhelming. Chronic Stress, however, can have a negative impact on the immune system. Chronic stress decreases the body’s white blood cells that help fight off viruses, infections and more. Stress can also cause inflammation, which over time, wears down the immune system.9 To help cope with stress, we recommend practicing mediation, yoga, going for a walk or being in the company of a loved one.
Making some slight adjustments in your day to day life may help give your immune system a natural boost.
Remember to always consult with your Healthcare Provider to discuss how to best manage your stress.
Sponsored By: Kibow Biotech®
1: Newman, T. (2018, January 11). The immune system: Cells, tissues, function, and disease. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320101
2: Vighi, G., Marcucci, F., Sensi, L., Di Cara, G., & Frati, F. (2008, September). Allergy and the gastrointestinal system. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2515351/
3: staff, S. X. (2018, March 29). Why gut bacteria are essential for a healthy immune system. Retrieved from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-03-gut-bacteria-essential-healthy-immune.html
4: Vieira, A. T., Teixeira, M. M., & Martins, F. S. (2013, December 12). The role of probiotics and prebiotics in inducing gut immunity. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3859913/
5: Potassium and chronic kidney disease. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.davita.com/diet-nutrition/articles/basics/potassium-and-chronic-kidney-disease
6: The ABCs of vitamins for kidney patients. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.davita.com/diet-nutrition/articles/basics/the-abcs-of-vitamins-for-kidney-patients
7: Boost Your Health with Better Sleep. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/how-sleep-affects-your-immunity
8: National Sleep Foundation Recommends New Sleep Times. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.sleepfoundation.org/press-release/national-sleep-foundation-recommends-new-sleep-times
9: Team, J. (2019, January 2). What Happens When Your Immune System Gets Stressed Out? Retrieved from https://health.clevelandclinic.org/what-happens-when-your-immune-system-gets-stressed-out/