How to build a resilient immune system

How to build a resilient immune system

When dengue strikes twice

When I had dengue in 2016, I recovered in two weeks*. In Dec 2019, I was down with a different strain of the dengue virus and I recovered in one week.

And it is strange. Because this is a repeated infection, according to science, I’m supposed to have it worse.

Although I felt super terrible on the first three days, this time I felt much better quicker than the first time when I had dengue.

In fact, I felt I was well rested and productive by the end of the week.

While I slept and hydrated a lot, I also finished playing “Life is Strange”, did the essential oil Christmas gifts for my friends and colleagues, as well as settled all the refunds for my trip before I returned to work.

In both dengue episodes, I did not visit the hospital and recover at home, while I had blood test at the GP clinic once every two days to ensure my platelet count didn’t fall to dangerous levels.

An ex-colleague, who’s younger than me by eight years thereabout, said that she had to be hospitalised and even then, it took her four weeks to recover.

People often were surprised:

How did I recover so fast?

In Aug 2015, I started on a regime of taking Lingzhi daily to modulate my immune system’s response.

Lingzhi features 2 bioactive components – Ganoderic Acids (triterpenoids that act directly on inflammations) and high molecular weight Polysaccharides (modulate the functions of our autoimmune cells).

2016 – 2017

In Jul 2016, I started my Traditional Chinese Medicine studies. I have class three times a week at night after work. As part of the curriculum, I’m also attached to the clinics at Chung Hwa Medical Institution, up to thrice a week for clinical learning.

Between 2016 and 2017, I had two episodes of being ill. I realised Lingzhi wasn’t enough, to help me on such a physically and mentally demanding lifestyle. It may, however, suffice on a less hectic schedule.

In Dec 2017, I decided to include a high-strength therapeutic probiotics to assist Lingzhi by improving the intestinal immune system. Lingzhi serves as an outstanding prebiotics for the gut biome.

2018 – Present

Since 2018, I did not fall ill to any common cold or flu virus, which I had to be on medical leave. Dengue virus is carried by mosquitoes.

If I hadn’t been bitten by one, I have zero medical leave rate for two years.

Good things come in pairs

So says the Chinese proverb. (Well, it seems that bad things also come in pairs =_=)

Since then, my health took a 360 degree turn for the better.

My immune system has come a long way.

I credit it to the work I have prepared it to handle, and it also helped that I keep myself in good health by leaning on better habits now.

Here are the five actions I took:

1) Lingzhi + Probiotics

If you have noticed on my blog, the only Lingzhi brand that I’m taking is from Shuang Hor. I simply swear by it. Other than their bio liquid detergent, it’s the only other product I buy from this company.

As for probiotics, I’m taking Vivomixx. I currently work in the company that sells it. I disclose this for transparency to my readers.

You can take any other probiotics brand you want.

Do ensure that there is a blend of bacteria strains, and that they can survive the harsh journey down to your colon, to build a home (colonies) in your gut and proliferate.

2) Having Quality Sleep

Late nights are bad. Unfortunately, when I have classes, I’m unable to hit the bed before 12 midnight. I try to ensure on days when I don’t have class, that I sleep by 11 pm.

Otherwise, I’ll mitigate this by ensuring quality sleep in the shorter nights, with Lingzhi and essential oils.

3) Watching What You Eat

ALWAYS read the nutritional and ingredient labels. If you love yourself, please don’t put junk into your system.

Remember to feed your gut biome – they love food that you don’t love e.g. cilantro, garlic, onions. Think about these little fellows when you make your food choices.

4) Practising Good Hygiene

5) Exercise

Exercise is important. Due to my punishing schedule, I haven’t been doing it as much as I would like.

Sleep still takes first place.

Because if the central control room (the brain) is not in order, it just puts the whole system out of whack – even exercise can’t save it.

This is why “Having Quality Sleep” is higher up on the list.

You can watch this interview with Dr. Matthew Walker by Joe Rogan on “Why We Sleep”. Totally mind-blowing.

These will help you keep chronic illnesses away in good times. You certainly do not want them to complicate / overload the immune system in times of need.

During the dengue virus infection, I also ensure I hydrate frequently (urine colour must be clear or at least light green/yellow), eat well, get plenty of rest and avoid crowds.

Here comes 2019-nCoV

A.K.A. Wuhan virus. At the point of this writing, deaths have risen to 17. People are feeling fearful.

“I believe the government for sure, but I still feel fearful. Because there’s no cure for the virus. You have to rely on your immunity if you get an infection. It sounds very scary.”

Resident from Beijing

Yes, what she said is true. We will feel fearful. And I think it’s because we haven’t been doing the ground work for our immune system and health.

In good times, sadly most people may not think about it.

We don’t know what the future brings – the virus may have become more widespread or it may have abated. What we can do is to fortify our immunity and stay vigilant.

And I believe our immune system is a force to be reckoned with. Do the necessary work, treat it with respect, build it up and trust in it.

It’s the only one you got.


My mom also had dengue in the same period as me in 2016.

While I had dengue, I was in better shape so I could drive the both of us to the clinic for our blood test, as well as saw my acupuncturist for my foot injury.

At age 62, she took three weeks to recover and her symptoms were more serious, such as vomiting and immense fatigue.

She has high blood pressure and since her late 20s, she has always been battling urticaria (an immune response gone haywire). Once in a while, it will flare up.

While I also had dengue for the first time like her, from this experience, you can tell that having existing illnesses will slow the rate of recovery when the immune system is fending off the virus.

Hence, if you have chronic illnesses, please do yourself a favour to bring them to manageable levels.

I want to say “eradicate”, which I’d think could be a possibility (check out Dr. Fuhrman) but you need to have that perseverance and a leap of faith. If you tried and don’t work, at least I’d think you would have come out stronger and wiser.

As for those who don’t have chronic illnesses, please don’t start one. Keep a diary to track your food choices (including groceries purchases) to get clarity.

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it”

– Peter Drucker

May the odds be ever in your favour!