My immune system seems quite depressed lately. About three weeks ago, I had an infection in my ear canal (cellulitis), which I treated with antibiotic ear drops and an oral antibiotic. About a week after I stopped taking the antibiotics, I came down with a cold. About three days after that cold seemed over, I was hit with a horrible cold that left me completely wiped out. I’m not sure if it was a “relapse” or a new virus that caused it.

Before I was diagnosed with LADA over seven years ago, I took echinacea at the first sign of a cold and it worked well for me. Since LADA is an autoimmune disease, I’ve avoided echinacea ever since the diagnosis.

What do y’all think about taking echinacea? Since I know that my body is producing very little insulin these days, part of me says, “Why not? What can it really hurt since my pancreas is toast anyway?” OTOH, there’s an awful lot about diabetes that I don’t know.

If you have other ideas for boosting the immune system to ward off colds, etc., please let me know about them. My diet is quite healthy since I’m a vegetarian and I take a multivitamin every day plus a B complex vitamin and vitamin E on alternating days. I’ve tried zinc but it didn’t seem to do much for me.


There is no reason I’ve ever heard that a person with an autoimmune illness can’t take echinacea. I’ve taken it as a T1. As a matter of fact, I have a friend who has had HIV for nearly 25 years who has taken it daily to stave off infection and illness. Along with goldenseal.

I ussed to take the stuff and swore by it. I have read it really doesn’t help that much, but to me it did. So, if it works and is safe, why not?

Judith – I’m with you on the herbal/natural route. I hadn’t thought about my liver but you’re right.

I’m also with you on the over-prescribing-antibiotics issue. I avoid them if at all possible and tried to keep my kids off of them when they were little. This time, since I was facing cellulitis, it seemed the best treatment.

Thanks to all of you for the replies. I’m feeling more confident about taking echinacea again.