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Natural Ways to Strengthen Your Immune System

Immune system- What is your immune system? protects your body from outside invaders, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and toxins (chemicals produced by microbes).

There are two main parts of the immune system:

  1. The innate immune system, which you are born with.  The innate immune system is inherited and is active from the moment you are born. When this system recognizes an invader, it goes into action immediately. The cells of this immune system surround and engulf the invader. The invader is killed inside the immune system cells. 
  2. The adaptive immune system, which you develop when your body is exposed to microbes or chemicals released by microbes. The acquired immune system, with help from the innate system, produces cells (antibodies) to protect your body from a specific invader. These antibodies are developed by cells called B lymphocytes after the body has been exposed to the invader. The antibodies stay in your body. It can take several days for antibodies to develop. But after the first exposure, the immune system will recognize the invader and defend against it. The acquired immune system changes throughout your life.

***These two immune systems work together.

Organs-

Spleen- largest lymphatic organ, like a large lymph node, filters the blood

Thymus gland- large gland that produces T-lymphocytes which provide immunity

Tonsils- large lymph nodes in throat protecting oral cavity

Adenoids- lymph nodes protecting the nasal cavity

Lymph nodes- chains throughout body except nervous system. Filter particles, 

bacteria. Produce lymphocytes (attack bacteria, viruses and other parasitic cells)

Lymphatic vessels- filters filters the blood from bacteria and foreign particles

 

Healthy functioning Immune System-

Normal body temp 98.6

No signs of illness (fever, infection etc.)

Normal energy levels

You have good gut health

You recover well from colds and flus

Your wounds are fast to heal

You never catch a cold

 

One example is when you get a mosquito bite. The red, bumpy itch is a sign of your immune system at work. You catch the flu or a cold is a typical example of your body failing to stop the germs/bacteria before they get in.

 

Weakened Immune System-

Chronic infections-get sick frequently

Allergies- chemicals, pollen, pet dander, molds

Auto-immune disorders-Lupus, Rheumatoid, Hashimoto’s etc.

Low energy- Tired all the time, 

Other health issues (cardiovascular, diabetes)

Frequent use antibiotics

Wounds slow to heal

Poor Gut Health

 

Challenges to Immune System-

Environmental- Chemicals, Toxins, Pollution, Poor Diet

Obesity

Health Conditions- Diabetes, Cardiovascular Conditions

Stress- Nervous system, adrenal stress, cardiovascular stress

Stress is the root of many major diseases (HBP, Diabetes, CVD)

Infections- bacterial, viral

Alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, sugar- Weakens vitality. Challenges organ

Poor Sleep- Lack recuperative properties of sleep, lowers energy levels

 

Ways to Test affects on Immune system-

Laboratory Blood tests- CBC or specific tests

Body Symptom Survey- monitors organ systems for stress and dysfunction

Toxin Exposure questionnaire- symptoms based on toxic overload to body and liver

  • Immune System Test – 12 question Quiz – https://www.healthshots.com/quiz/answer-these-12-questions-and-well-reveal-just-how-strong-your-immune-system-is/

 

6 Strategies to STRENGTHEN Your Immune function-

*Most important thing you can focus on for your health right now!

1  Chiropractic adj- Reduces stress to NS and improves NS function. Increases IL-2 (protective), Decreases IL-6 and other cell mediators (TNF, CRP etc.)

2  Exercise- allows immune cells to perform effectively — it increases blood flow, reduces stress and inflammation, and can strengthen antibodies.

3  Healthy Food-Citrus fruits. Red bell peppers, Broccoli, Garlic, Ginger, Spinach, Yogurt, Almonds, Kiwi, Papaya, Green tea, Turmeric

4  Rest/Sleep- Researchers have found that during nightly sleep, certain components of the immune system rev up.  In fact, sleep contributes to both innate and adaptive immunity.

5  Meditation- calms the nervous system and the stress system

6  Supplements-

Turmeric (Curcumin) – Anti-viral, anti-inflammatory

Echinacea- Decreases inflammation, Increases NK cells

Andrographis- Improves respiratory infections

Tulsi (Holy Basil)- Increased NK cells, T helper cells

Licorice- Anti-viral activity, Anti-inflammatory

St. John’s Wort- Anti-viral

Ashwaganda- Anti-inflammatory, NS calming, good for insomnia