The body’s immune system is a complex and precise function that recognizes any foreign invasion by any substance, bacteria or virus that will cause disease or harm the host in any way. When a foreign substance invades the body, an inflammatory condition results in the tissues affected.
A prime example would be when a patient has tissue transplanted from another person, living or dead into to their body. Their immune system will reject the implanted tissue, and in order to prevent this, they will have to be on specific medications for the rest of their life to try to prevent this rejection.
Another example would be when a person has been getting colds on a more frequent basis than is usual. Their immune system has not been able to fend off the invading rhinoviruses that cause these colds. There can also be more serious consequences due to impaired immune systems.
These could be very serious in nature, and there can be attacks on any of the major organs of the body. The immune system can also turn on the individuals’ body when it fails to recognize a particular tissue and feels that it is an invader. Conditions that occur when this scenario is played out are called “Auto-Immune Deficiencies”, or “Auto Immune Disorders”.
The immune system is differentiated from other systems, such as the digestive, cardiovascular, skeletal, lymphatic, and nervous systems. The immune system is comprised of and can be found within the cells of our body. These are mainly the white blood cells (WBC), the warriors that attack invaders when the body is compromised and can cause bodily harm. There are also unique white cells such as Eosinophils, Lymphocytes, Basophils, etc. that are warriors in their own right. There also are the T-Cells that help maintain the immunity system. When they are lowered, the bodies’ ability to fight disease is lowered. These then comprise the immune system. It is when these cells are depleted or impaired in any way, that the body’s immunity is lowered and the individual can develop an autoimmune disorder that can result in increased infections or tumor formations. As an example, every individual has cancer cells within their body. Yet they do not have cancer. It is when there is a breakdown of the immune system, these cancer cells start to proliferate, and that is when they can develop full-blown cancer.
Other factors have a profound affect on the immune system. Environmental, the air we breathe and everything around us can have a bearing on the strength of our immune systems. We are literally surrounded by toxins in our everyday living, from our carpets, drapes, bedding, clothes we wear, even when they come from the cleaners, and the cleaning products used in the home. Personally everyone uses some form of cosmetic, shampoo, after-shave, deodorant, etc. These all contain chemicals that can have some toxins associated with their use. Cooking can be another area whereby we can be exposed to toxins. As an example, meat that is charred can be toxic to the body. There are other areas as well; such as food stored in plastic containers, food cooked in aluminum utensils, the metal fillings in our teeth, can all contribute toxins within our body. Although these toxins are minute in nature as they are released, in time they can have an impact on our immune systems, causing a weakening, and in some cases a complete breakdown.
Because of the immune system, the body has within itself the ability to resist diseases and other disorders. This ability is called “innate ability”. This innate ability is found within the specialized cells discussed above and in the individual’s genetic makeup as well. When this innate ability is in a weakened state, the body is apt to succumb to invaders that will overpower these cells, and the body goes from “ease to disease”. Therefore to stay healthy, it is imperative to maintain your immune system at its’ peak operating level.
It goes without saying that having a strong immune system depends on the state of your health, both physically and emotionally. Therefore, it up to each and everyone one of us to maintain or improve the state of our immune systems. How to improve and maintain the immune system, is discussed below in the health hints.
The emotional aspects of ones’ physical being plays a tremendous role in maintaining a strong immune system. Scientists have found that if a patient focuses on believing that they will get well and fully believe in this, this can raise the T-Cell count and this will help in their recovery. Meditation and deep breathing can prove to be a powerful tool in this aspect. One must set aside a time of day to have a quite time. Just 20 minutes to a half hour in a darkened room, free from all noises and interferences, where you can just focus on the problem area of the body. Using “visualization” can be an important tool in boosting the immune system and speed the healing process. As an example, if there is a tumor, focus your mind on the tumor, and visualize that the tumor is shrinking. Use this method on any type of problem, a painful muscle or any type of disorder.
Diet is a prominent aspect of maintaining a strong immune system. Antioxidants are a necessary part of the diet that can help stimulate the immune system. These are vitamin C, E, A, plus the minerals zinc and selenium. CoQ10 can also be included. Eating enough fruits, vegetables, whole grains, poultry and fish will supply a great amount of these nutrients. Unfortunately most people do not eat enough of these foods on a daily basis, so it is necessary to supplement the diet. Taking a multivitamin, plus zinc 50 mg, selenium 100mcg, folic acid 400 mcg, vitamin C 500, and vitamin E 400 i.u. will add the additional amounts to the multivitamin formula necessary to augment the amounts for the body to absorb. Additional augmentation should include Omega-3 fatty acids by supplementing with Salmon Oil or Fish Oil 1000 mg. (DHA are essential fats needed to protect against nerve damage and to support overall health and wellness).
In addition to a well balanced diet and the supplements, you should include “Probiotics”. Probiotics are the good bacteria found in our digestive tracts and stimulate our immune systems. Probiotics are found in Yogurt. For those that can’t eat yogurt because of lactose-intolerance, it can be supplemented and found in any health-food store. One food in particular that should be mentioned is Shitake and Maitake Mushrooms. These have been a staple for thousands of years for the tribes in the South American Jungles and in the Orient.
These mushrooms are excellent boosters for the immune system. There are supplements that contain the extracts of these mushrooms. Keeping the body well hydrated is equally important. Every individual should drink enough water and other fluids to equal half their body weight in ounces.
As an example if your weight is 120 pounds, that would be 60 divided by 16 equals 3 ¾ 16 ounce bottles of water, taking into account the other fluids ingested during the day, so that the number of bottles can be reduced accordingly.
An excellent antioxidant and immune booster are green and black tea. In order to realize it’s full potential, it is best to brew your own, as tea bags do not offer the same immune boosting quality. cardiac conditioner and rejuvenation support.
PLEASE NOTE: Before starting any new diets, use of new supplements, or exercise programs, you should discuss it with your healthcare provider to see if this is right for you.
Exercise must be a part of the over-all plan. Exercise plays an extremely important part in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and not only maintains a healthy immune system, but will help boost it to optimum levels..
Boosting your immune system will also require many lifestyle changes. Many of these changes should include the following:
Wash hands often, especially before eating, after going to the bathroom, handling doorknobs, after shaking hands, and almost anything you come in contact with. And keep your hands away from your eyes, mouth and nose to prevent invading organisms from entering the body.
If you are a smoker, you must stop.
If you are overweight you need to lose the excess weight and maintain a healthy weight.
Cook meat and poultry thoroughly to kill any dangerous bacteria.
Consume alcohol in moderation. Alcohol has a tendency to cause a breakdown in the liver cells and can lower the efficacy of the immune system. Two drinks for men and one for women, preferably red wine, are the preferred amount.
Eat fewer sugars. Sugar reduces the ability of the white blood cells to kill germs by 40 percent for up to 5 hours after ingestion.
Get enough rest so that the body will be less stressed and can renew any damage to tissues that could have been caused during the day. This means getting at least 7 to 8 hours of a restful sleep.
Exercise for at least 30 minutes everyday of the week. Start an exercise program if you haven’t already done so. Before you do, discuss it with your healthcare provider, to see if you are physically able to start an exercise program. You also need to be active and just keep moving and not become a couch potato.
The program outlined above will boost your immune system to optimum levels and help maintain it at its’ highest levels. By boosting your immune system, you will be able to prevent colds, infections, and live a more healthy and vigorours lifestyle.
Dr. Emanuel M. Cane, D.C.
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