Taking care of immunity in winter: a guide from experts

The immune system is a powerful and intelligent defense against viruses, bacteria, allergens. It has a lot of tools in its arsenal, including special-purpose cells and the compounds they secrete. Normally, it quickly finds and neutralizes pathogens that enter the body. In order for the system to function fully, it is necessary to pay attention to it.

We evaluate our immune status

If there is a suspicion of weakening of the immune system, you should contact a specialist. The doctor may prescribe specialized studies. This is a clinical blood test with a leukocyte formula and an immunogram.

“An immunogram is a study showing the number and activity of cells of the immune system. According to this analysis, it is impossible to identify deviations in the work of a particular organ or system, but you can get a fairly complete picture of the state of the immune system as a whole. Clearly visible changes in response to the penetration of foreign elements, antigens. You do not need to prescribe this study yourself to “study immunity” or before vaccination. It would be a waste of time and money. It is necessary to carry out an immunogram only by appointment of a specialist. If something bothers you, contact your doctor. He will tell you if you need this analysis in principle.”

— Ekaterina Gergesova, doctor of the highest qualification category, PhD, medical consultant of the Lab4U online laboratory

Lymphocytes are the main cells of the immune system. They are behind the production of antibodies that fight pathogens. There are many types of such cells. The main ones are B-, T- and NK-lymphocytes. It is their number in the blood and functional state that the doctor first looks at. It is impossible to decipher the immunogram yourself, because the level of lymphocytes can increase or decrease with various pathological processes. These are infections, autoimmune and oncological diseases, immunodeficiency and reaction after surgery. As a result of the study, the specialist will determine the degree of damage to the immune system, its cause, select or adjust therapy, and also give a prognosis.

Who is recommended to take an immunogram:

Persons with infectious syndrome (patients with frequent acute respiratory viral infections, chronic infections of ENT organs such as sinusitis, otitis, pneumonia); patients with bacterial skin infections (granulomas, furunculosis, abscesses, phlegmon), urogenital infections, herpes, fungal and parasitic lesions.

“Chronic diarrhea and dysbiosis may also be the reason for the appointment of the study.”

— Ekaterina Gergesova

Allergy sufferers (with the manifestation of atopic dermatitis, neurodermatitis, infectious eczema, pollinosis, severe atopic bronchial asthma).

Patients with autoimmune diseases (persons with rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, connective tissue diseases, autoimmune thyroiditis or ulcerative colitis).

People with tumors affecting the immune system (lymphomas, Hodgkin’s disease, lymphocytic leukemia, Kaposh sarcoma).