As of late, the harsh realities of the world’s health crisis and pandemic have only begun to rear itself as the tip of the iceberg. Unfortunately, a large proportion of the population are still not heeding the advice of what it’s going to take to slow the spread and protect global health. For those who are immunocompromised, the seriousness of this current reality can mean so much more. Although social distancing can poise a necessary and effective strategy, when it comes to individual impact, there are other approaches that need to take effect. If you have a history of being immune compromised, ensuring adequate preventive medicine support, simple lifestyle factor changes, and vigilance about what your body is telling you are all necessary elements in effectively stacking the odds in favour of your health.


If you’re immunocompromised, you may already know who you are. If not, the risk of your immune system being overburdened is real if you fall into one or more of the following categories: history of any chronic illness or disease (diabetes to cancer), get sick often, recover from illness slowly, smoke, don’t sleep well, eat poorly, are chronically stressed, consume too much alcohol, take certain medications, or live in certain areas of the world. The list actually continues, however this covers the general bases. Being immulocomrpomed is one thing, but healthfully surviving amidst a global pandemic is quite another. The implementation of social distancing is certainly one positive step in the right direction however if you are immunocompromised, more than just social distancing yourself is essential:


Ensuring adequate preventative medicine


Let’s be frank, without our current medical system in place, our developed world would barely survive. From emergencies to disease, medicine has propelled global health forward in leaps and bounds we could never imagine otherwise. That being said, so has preventative health. And when it comes to preventive medicine, it’s all about reducing the current medical system strain while helping the population take better control of their health. For the immunocompromised, this means working alongside individual health states to ensure lowered risks of illnesses causing worsened health and death. So in a roundabout way, what I’m saying here is it’s never been more critical to step up and better protect your own health and wellness. Thankfully, the preventative medical system (from naturopathic doctors to integrative physicians) easily have you covered. We are the system that has equally propelled the globe forward, and since the inception of mankind (yes, that long), and have ensured that those who live healthy reap the outcomes and benefits of using healthy medicine. Because when it comes down to it, it’s all about your health working for you rather than against you. 


Simple Lifestyle Factor Changes 


Ok, supporting your immune system with proper preventative medicine is one thing, but actively altering the course of your life is quite another. Both, however, are necessary steps to better stack healthy odds in your favour. That being said, I’m not talking about re-directing your life in a 180 degree direction over night. But what it does take for those who are immunocompromised are a few simple steps in the right direction. So what is this ‘healthy lifestyle’ thing all about? Let me keep it straight forward and simple. Your immune system is what keeps you alive and without it, survival could not exist. Compromised immune systems mean that your immune system works sub optimally and not in your favour. With a distraught immune system, your health defences are all but completely disabled. This makes you much more vulnerable to illness and disease that, otherwise, would be of little to no concern. By making the decision to eat healthier, sleep better, address your stress, stay active, and healthfully address your co-morbidities, illnesses and diseases, you are taking the critical steps comparable to any other mode of doing what is essential to saving and protecting your health. 


Vigilance about what your body is telling you


Although a foremost medical expert can analyze, diagnose and predict your current and future health, only you can truly acknowledge and learn to understand what it is your body is trying to say. In this era of social distancing, it’s even more critical to better understand what your body is doing and what it means in terms of your current health. From an immunocompromised point of view, any symptom that doesn’t seem normal is justified enough to look into further. Are you more tired than usual? Have a newly recognized body ache? Digestive concern? Change in your skin or nails? These are simple identifiers that, although likely not life threatening, can certainly provide a clue. If you are a person who falls into a category where being immune compromised is a real thing, it’s never too soon to learn more about how to listen to your body and what it is trying to say.


Social distancing is likely going to be a new norm, at least for the foreseeable future. If your immune system is compromised, taking accountability and proper steps toward better health is as essential now as it will likely ever be. 


Dr Jeremy Hayman, ND helps patients at Cornerstone Naturopathic Inc. feel better, live better, and achieve optimal wellness and health. Years of patient care coupled with dedication to personal life balance has helped Dr Jeremy employ the adage that “your approach to health should be simple”.