Over-exercise supresses immune function


Q: Dear Mr./Ms. Doctor,

I have a question related to body immune. Around over 1 year ago, I started to do intense and heavy exercises in order to lose weight. Although I did lose a lot of weight (around 10 kg in 6 months), I assume the method that I used in the exercise was totally unhealthy (eating very little and doing intense workouts for around 3 hours everyday with almost never skipped any day for resting). Even worse, I did that for 6 months. Consequently, my problem occurred, which I got sick quite often and it took quite a lot of time to recover from the sickness. The sickness was like common flu or sore throat, however, it always took me 1 to 2 weeks to recover (it took me only 2-3 days to recover from flu or sore throat before I had the problem) and I got sick very often in the past 6 months (once to twice a month and I believe I was not this vulnerable before). This triggered swollen lymph node once. I currently feel like I am extremely vulnerable to flu-like sickness. I have totally stopped my weight-losing-exercise-related activities for about a month now, however, I still got sick recently.

I got quite anxious that I might got HIV/AIDS since the symptoms were related, however, I do not think I have done things like HIV/AIDS-related activities. I did HIV/AIDS test twice, which the results were negatives.

I did little research on the internet and I found something called as 'over-exercise', which I think my exercise method really distract my body immune. These are the websites: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/amanda-russell/overexercising_b_3461970.html and http://www.active.com/fitness/articles/can-too-much-exercise-make-you-sick

Therefore, what do you think about this? Is my body immune some kind of 'broken'? What do you think should I do in order for me to regain my former healthy body?

I will much appreciate your help. Thank you very much.

Symptoms:  Very vulnerable to common cold, sore throat, flu. Get these kind of sickness very often.

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