Immunity boosting food and beverages???

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Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 43
   Posted 8/26/2007 11:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Okay guys. I have a question, it may be kinda stupid but I get mixed answer from non-lupies and always manage to fail to ask my rheumy while I'm there.

Alot of foods and beverages have things in them that are supposed to boost your immune system or say "for a healthy immune system." For example crystal light has a pomegranite cherry juice that is for immunity, ect. Are these things we should eat and drink, or should we avoid them because of our immunosuppressants?

Diagnosis: Lupus Pneumonitis with Chronic Pulmonary Hemmorrhage and Anemia, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Migraines and Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Medications and Supplements: 60 mg Prednisone, 150 mg Imuran, 25 mg Prilosec, advair 2x daily, Flonase, 100 mg Dapsone, albuterol inhaler, 50 mg visteral, 500/5 Vicoden, 25 mg Phenergan, 1800 mg Calcium w/ Vitamin D, Iron pill 2x daily, Midrin, Imitrex, Nystatin

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1344
   Posted 8/27/2007 9:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Hard to say.  I have heard 2 different explanations about our screwed up immune systems. 
First, that they are strong but have been misdirected by some trigger event.
Second, that they are weak and the when a trigger event occurs the immune system attacks our body instead.
If the first theory is right then strengthening our immune system is not good.  If the second is then strengthening is great. 
Personally, I believe that our immune systems have some genetic flaw that makes them vulnerable to a trigger and then misdirect the attack to our own bodies.  If researchers knew exactly what those mechanisms were we/they could bolster our immune systems by augmenting what is deficient.  Without that knowledge it is strictly a shot in the dark and might cause harm.
It also seems counter productive if you are taking immuno suppressants to take something to boost your immune system.
I hope I live long enough to hear the answers to your questions.  In the meantime, I choose not to "boost" my immune system and counteract what immuno suppressants have done.  If my treatments were ineffective I might feel differently about the matter.
Mixed connective tissue disease (systemic lupus, scleroderma, polymyositis), Raynauds phenomena, Hypertension, Barrett's esophagus.
Meds: prednisone (6mg & tapering), 75mg imuran, lisinopril 40mg, maxide 37.5/25mg, norvasc 5 mg, folic acid, potassium, aciphex 20mg, multi vitamins.
Maintain your optimism and you can beat the odds.
"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it."  Helen Keller

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 261
   Posted 8/27/2007 11:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Averylynn. I've never brought this up with my rheumy, so this is only my opinion. I used to take high supplement amounts of vitamin C to boost my immune system. But since I've been diagnosed with lupus, I don't take anything to help make my immune system any stronger. As I understand it, it does not function properly; as Bill said it attacks good, healthy things in us. Since I am on prednisone to suppress it, I don't want to do anything that might undo what my medicine is trying to fix. Just my 2 cents worth though.
Always looking for the silver lining, Sharen

SLE '06, Sjogren's '06, Traumatic Head Injury '94
Prednisone 10mg and tapering, Caltrate 1200mg, Multi-vitamin, Prevacid 30 mg, Actonel 35mg

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2608
   Posted 8/28/2007 12:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Avery, you pose a very interesting question, one that I've wondered about since I've had lupus. What Sharen and Bill say confirms my opinion that we shouldn't take anything that strengthens our immune systems. It's only logical. From time to time I'm approached by someone selling Mona Vie or something like that and I've always stayed away from supplements like that.
Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjogren's, osteoarthritis, fibro, ibs, renauds, restless leg, hiatal hernia, double vision, migraines.
cellcept, neurontin, prednisone, plaquenil, synthroid, triamterene, tramadol, actonel, tri-est, imitrex, cymbalta, multivitamin, calcium w vit D, fish oil, aspirin

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7723
   Posted 8/28/2007 8:39 PM (GMT -6)   
My doctor is very clear and firm about it -- if anything you are taking is an immuno-supressant, then don't take anything to boost the immune system. The whole point of the immuno-suppressant is to hold back an overaggressive immune system --- which is what Lupus is, an overactive immune system!

Lynnwood, Co-Moderator: Lupus Forum
SLE(’00), Sjogren's Syndrome, SAD, Depression, Herpes Simplex 1
Piroxicam, Plaquenil, Cellcept, Prednisone, Trazodone, Fosamax, Wellbrutrin SR, Valtrex
Links: DIAGNOSING LUPUS(4of11), LUPUS INFORMATION, LUPUS RESOURCES, Donate to HealingWell, Drug Interactions

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 250
   Posted 8/29/2007 1:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Check with your doctor before taking anything ... that's my rule of thumb .... any free samples I get I take to my doctor to see what his thoughts are first. He got me well, so I trust his medical opinion. I know you're supposed to stay away from echinacea (sp?), which boosts the immune system.
Take care,
Diagnosed with lupus in May 2005
Daily Medications:
Prednisone, 5 mg
Imuran, 50mg 2x a day
Warfarin, 5 mg / day
Zoloft, 100 mg / day
Plaquanil, 200 mg 2x a day
Nexium, 20 mg / day
Tramadol, 50 mg 2x a day (as needed) and Tylenol
1500mg calcium
2000 IU of Vitamin D
400mg magnesium
Centrum Silver (and I am 30!)

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