Immune Dysfunction

Home / Causes of Aging / Immune Dysfunction

Immune Dysfunction and Aging

As we age, our immune system weakens. Your immune system comprises various cells, tissues, and organs, and these components work together to attack any foreign substances or invaders that might enter your body.

Immune dysfunction is a condition in which the body’s immune system fails to adequately protect your body from foreign invaders, such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Our weakened immune system puts us at increased risk of infections, and we cannot mount an adequate response. Some causes of immune dysfunction as we age include autoimmune disorders, genetic disorders, nutritional deficiencies, chronic infections, allergies, and toxins.

Aging affects the immune system and manifests at multiple levels, including reduced production of B and T cells in the bone marrow and thymus and diminished function of mature lymphocytes. As a result, elderly individuals do not respond to immune challenges as strongly as when they were younger.

Getting to the Root Cause of Immune Dysfunction

Undoubtedly, the deterioration of the Immune System is a significant factor in aging and mortality. As we age, toxins accumulate, infections persistently occur, and our gut weakens due to stress, medication, and contamination – weakening overall immunity. Soon enough, for most adults, this leads to an immune system no longer doing its job efficiently or effectively; serious issues arise.

Autoimmune disorders are one of the most common causes of immune dysfunction. An autoimmune disorder occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own tissues and organs. The exact cause is unknown. Bacteria or viruses may trigger changes that confuse the immune system. Examples of autoimmune disorders include:

  • Lupus
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS), and
  • Celiac disease

Genetic disorders like sickle cell anemia and cystic fibrosis can also lead to immune dysfunction. Nutritional deficiencies, vitamins B12, zinc, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids are all involved in maintaining a healthy immune system. Chronic allergy is another immune dysfunction where the body’s defense overreacts to an otherwise harmless substance. A major issue for the immune system a chronic infection that hides from the immune system and slowly wears it down with time. Environmental factors, such as toxins, contribute to weakened immunity.

Understanding the effectiveness and coordination of your immune system is vital to maximizing your health and lifespan. Quantifying all these elements that can weaken, deceive, or otherwise damage your body’s natural defense mechanism will help you protect it from harm. These shifts may arise anytime without testing, leaving you unprepared for a severe infection or cancer until it is too late.


Treating Immune Dysfunction

The focus of the treatment of immune dysfunction depends on the underlying cause. For example, autoimmune disorders can be managed through medications that reduce inflammation and modulate the activity of the immune system.

In genetic disorders, treatments may include medications to manage symptoms and therapies to improve the function of affected organs or tissues. Nutritional deficiencies can be addressed through diet changes or nutritional supplements. Allergies can often be managed by avoiding allergens and immunotherapy. Chronic infections by traditional and alternative methods focused on eliminating the agent, modulating the immune system, and effectively removing this agent.

One of the exciting areas of improving the immune system is the use of Therapeutic Plasma Exchange (TPE). A study done in August 2022 demonstrated that when the plasma of older individuals was repeatedly exchanged with saline and albumin within months, the immune system of the older individuals significantly improved.  The immune system of the older adults who had undergone TPE looked like the immune system of a much younger person.

Our healthcare providers use a variety of treatments to ensure your immune system remains in peak condition, from offering detoxification programs to treating previously unidentified chronic infections. Whether it is mending the gut or removing toxins through plasma exchange – our team will do whatever is necessary so that you can have an intact, strong, and healthy immune system to guard you.

Advanced Testing

When looking for Immune Dysfunction, discover the testing for immunodeficiency, which no traditional provider assesses. Understand who is who and what does what, and learn how toxins, infections, allergens, and other factors impair your vital health.

Our comprehensive method of testing for Immune Dysfunction:


The solution to Immune Dysfunction lies in removing the toxins which do not belong, treating the infections which have gone unnoticed, repairing the gut from years of abuse, and changing out your old plasma through Therapeutic Plasma Exchanges.

Our comprehensive Solutions for Immune Dysfunction:

FAQ & Sources

We value fact over opinion. Please refer to our FAQs for the most commonly asked questions. In addition, we have listed the medical references for the facts stated on the website.

To review the articles and references cited on this topic of Immune Dysfunction, click here


What happens to the immune system during aging?

The immune system becomes slower to respond. This increases your risk of getting sick. Flu shots or other vaccines may not work well or protect you for as long as expected. An autoimmune disorder may develop. Your cancer risk increases.

Why does the immune system weaken with age?

The immune system weakens with age, including toxin accumulation, nutritional health drops, chronic infections like viruses, hormone decline, and stress.

At what age is your immune system the weakest?

We know that the immune system gets weaker as we age – which is a crucial reason those over 70 are most at risk from the disease.

What are the best tests for immunodeficiency related to aging?

Check out the link on Immune Testing (LabCorp). Your CD3, CD4, CD8, Natural Killer Cells, cytokines like IL-6 and TNKa, and subclass antibodies like IgG are all important factors in assessing the health of your immune system.

What can I do to keep my immune system healthy and young?

The best defense is a strong offense. The Five Pillars of Health are good nutrition, daily exercise, protect your sleep, manage your stress, and practice detoxification. Avoiding unneeded medications and antibiotics. Testing yourself for toxins and keeping a close eye on your immune strength. MDLifespan providers are experts at showing you how to maintain a health robust immune system.


  1. Weyand, Cornelia. “Aging of the Immune System. Mechanisms and Therapeutic Targets.”
  2. Goronzy, Jorg. “Naive T cell maintenance and function in human aging.”
  3. Goronzy, Jorg. “Immune aging and autoimmunity.”
  4. Schonland, Stefan. “Premature telomeric loss in rheumatoid arthritis is genetically determined and involves both myeloid and lymphoid cell lineages.”