I actually believe the coronavirus (COVID-19) has been a wakeup call for us all. And maybe, just maybe it has helped us understand who we really are, and not only… Maybe it has also helped us to understand how important a well-functioning body and immune system really is. To have a well-functioning body we need a strong immune system.
When we talk about the COVID-19 virus we are entering into uncharted waters, however, many top doctors have suggested that a robust immune system may protect you from this virus. Well not actually protect…you can still get it, but if the immune system is working well, strong and robust, you (your immune system) has more chance of fighting it off. You may have it but your symptoms won’t be as severe. In fact, a major hospital in New York is now administering high dose vitamin C IV therapy, which is a potent immune booster, to help combat the COVID-19 virus, and they have seen great results.
So to explain further…
I like to think of our immune system as our ‘Knight in shining armour. It is our shield, our defence mechanism against illness and disease – disease is the blade that cuts deep into our body and attacks it. The shield is our protector that holds out and rescues us – it is our health. That’s it made simple by the way.
In reality, the immune system is extremely complex, and supporting, building, improving, and/or repairing it, is not all about taking a whole cocktail of different nutraceuticals and botanicals. It’s so much more than that. Yes, supplements and bioidentical hormones are one of the keys to building a strong and robust immune system. And in fact, hormones (natural hormones not HRT ) is the most single independent factor to an optimal-working immune system. However, they are not the only health steps you can take. In fact, immune system health is a lifestyle!
So what is the immune system and what is so complex about it?
Well, there’s always two sides to a story, right? This one is immune tolerance and immune resilience.
The status of our immune system tolerance and immune resilience, in relationship to disease, is very important. When the immune system is not functioning very well due to low tolerance the immune system will be compromised and disease – viral or bacterial – will have more chance of getting in. When tolerance is even and resilience is strong we will have a well-functioning immune system,
So what exactly does tolerance mean? Tolerance is an immunological term in which our immune system reacts correctly to the environment. When we have a healthy immune tolerance we won’t have food intolerances, chemical sensitivities, or autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s disease (where our immune system erroneously attacks the thyroid gland), rheumatoid arthritis (where the immune system erroneously to attack the joints), etc…the immune system will respond appropriately to the environment around us. In other words, it is working properly.
In short, our immune tolerance will be ‘the decider’ whether our immune system reacts or doesn’t react against various food proteins we ingest. Basically, when we lose immune tolerance we are more likely to react to different foods, and therefore, develop many food sensitivities.
Another type of immune tolerance is chemical. When chemical tolerance is low we are more likely to see sudden skin breakouts and rashes to certain lotions and soaps/detergents we use. This is a clear sign that something is wrong. Also, you may not be able to tolerate certain scents or perfumes anymore more…which can make you feel really quite nauseous.
Finally, there is the third type of tolerance which is self-tolerance. Self-tolerance is basically an autoimmune disease, of which there are many. As mentioned above, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and rheumatoid arthritis, and others such as vasculitis, Grave’s disease, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, etc.
So, to cut it short, we know that when someone has a decline in their immune tolerance, their overall immune system will be weaker. This is when we need to support immune tolerance to strengthen immune resilience.
Immune resilience is not the same as immune tolerance. Immune resilience (strength) is the body’s ability to protect itself against biological pathogens (illness and disease). In other words, preventing us from getting infections that we are exposed in everyday life, either bacterial or viral. It is our immune resilience that determines if pathogens get in and infect us, which then cause a significant and ongoing immune response.
When resilience is high we are better protected. Again, in the case of low immune tolerance, we need to support it, in order to build correct immune resilience.
There a number of strategies we can do and something that should be followed at all times if you want to remain healthy and have a robust immune system:
Proper diet and nutrition
Physical activity at appropriate levels
Emotions (crying and laughing)
As mentioned previously, supplements and bioidentical hormones restorative therapy are key to an optimally working immune system. However, the first strategies people can do is to follow the lifestyle habits mentioned above. I will go into them in more depth in my next blog. These strategies are very powerful in helping you to build a healthy/optimal immune system. Immune system strength is not found in a supplement bottle alone. It’s a lifestyle. When we combine all these things together, our immune system will be at peace.
The truth of the matter is if you are fatigued all the time, if you catch colds and flu easily…if you have food sensitivities, if you have digestive issues, these are all signs our immune system, and therefore, our health is below optimal. Now is the time to challenge yourself to get healthy. You can do it! You may have to abandon ship for a while to reach these goals. I know old habits die hard but you can do it, and at the same time most likely lose weight along the way.
Please look out for my next blog. I will explain exactly how to get the best out of these lifestyle strategies, and discuss why they are so important to immune system health.
To your health