Should I take immune boosting supplements if I have an autoimmune disease?

I have noticed over the last two years when any member of my family or I came down with an upper respiratory infection, that my family doctor would include an immune-boosting supplement.  These supplements would include a barrage of herbs and vitamins, which is supposed to support and strengthen the immune system. 

But is it a good idea to take an immune-boosting supplement when you have an autoimmune disease? 

In a recent blog from Ina Topiler, a certified clinical nutritionist practicing a functional medicine approach to health, she commented that if you have an autoimmune disease, it is not a good idea to take immune-boosting supplements.  The reason is that your immune system is already overactive against your own organs.

While it may seem like a good idea to boost your immune system when you are fighting an infection, it is not a good idea when your immune system is already waging war on your own organs!

If you know you have an immune system, please watch out for immune boosting herbs and supplements. Some of the main ones are:

  • Echinacea,
  • Green tea
  • Astragalus,
  • Licorise,
  • Milk thistle,
  • Reishi and other immune-supporting mushrooms, and
  • Elderberry.

In summary, with an autoimmune disease, you want to avoid boosting your immune system as it is already in overdrive.  Rather consider supporting your immune system with ginger, additional vitamin C, zinc, and oregano.  Also, speak with your doctor to check your vitamin D levels, as vitamin D plays an important role in your immune system.  

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