In the middle of the winter many people reach for a bottle of vitamin C to strengthen their immune system. Although good for immunity, many people overlook the importance of whole foods and a complete wellness lifestyle. +More In today’s world, wellness means more visits to the medical doctor, flu shots, antibiotics, bone density tests and cancer screenings. Unfortunately, this form of health care ends up putting you on more drugs.
Have you ever thought that drugs are the problem?
Toxins Suppress Immunity
When the body’s elimination channels are jammed up it’s much easier for bacteria or viruses to proliferate. So to have a strong immune system the human body needs to be able to eliminate toxins. Drugs are toxins to the human body because they interfere with normal function and they suppress biochemical pathways which interfere with liver and kidney function. Heavy metals and environmental chemicals which are ubiquitous to our modern age do the exact same thing. They overwhelmingly suppress your immune system without you knowing.
Think about it. How many drugs are helpful in strengthening your body’s ability to defend itself against bacteria and viruses?
Flu shots? Despite widespread use, approximately the same number of people die from the flu every year whether they have had the shot or not.
Antibiotics? Antibiotics kill bacteria but they don’t strengthen your immune system. They may help you feel better if you have an infection but overuse can damage your gut microflora and weaken your immune system in the long run. They can also lead to stronger varieties of bacteria which are antibiotic resistant.
Below is a list of drugs which also suppress your natural immunity:
Corticosteroids (including fluoromethane, a steroid for eye conditions) Prednisone (anti-inflammatory)
Nasal steroid sprays (Flonase, Nasonex)
Antidepressants (such as Remeron) Rheumatoid Arthritis drugs
Statin drugs ( Zocor, Lipitor, Pravachol, Crestor)
Vitamins and minerals rucial elements for proper Pain killers (hydrocodone, codeine, morphine)
Acid blockers (Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec) Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
Can Vitamins and Minerals Strengthen Immunity?
Vitamins and minerals are crucial elements for proper functioning of the immune system. They are catalysts which run many different biochemical pathways vital to our health. Despite all our knowledge about the body’s defenses, its vital to understand that all systems of the body are integrated together. If one system, such as immunity is effected there may be other areas that need attention. It’s important to treat the body as a whole to fully optimize your health.
Wholesome Food and the Immune System
It’s not good enough to just eat a “good diet.” We all have different definitions of what a good diet is and even good wholesome food may fall short of what your body really needs. Our food contains significantly less nutrients than it did just 50 years ago and each year our quality of food continues to worsen due to genetically modified foods, increased use of pesticides and herbicides.
This is why organic food and GMO labeling is so important to our health. We need to educate our country about health, not put a flu shot depot at every supermarket and drug store in America. Instead of forcing flu shots in preschool, we should be educating parents on proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. When we are sick we should be going to a qualified health professional who helps find the real reason for ill health, not just handing out antibiotics unless there is an emergency.
Our population needs to know that true health comes from the food that we eat. There are no shortcuts. Many things contribute to good health, but quality food is our foundation. Avoid processed food and products made from flour. They are full of chemicals that don’t belong in our our bodies and they contribute to high blood sugar and obesity. Eliminate genetically modified food from your diet. It has not been studied on humans and animal studies show that it’s toxic and contributes to a variety of diseases.
One of the best things you can do for your health and immune system is to avoid SUGAR. It suppresses the activity of your white blood cells for up to 72 hours after it’s consumption.
Sugar also creates vitamin and mineral deficiencies which are important for a proper functioning immune system. Instead of forcing drugs on our kids we should take the time to properly educate parents so that they can make good food choices for their families.
Allergies and Immunity
Many people are also unaware of allergies and sensitivities to foods they eat everyday. Not everyone has dark circles under the eyes, eczema or other obvious signs when allergic or sensitive to a particular food. For some, the symptom can be fatigue, depression, weight gain and even poor immunity.
Many people suffer from food allergies due to excessive antibiotic use. These drugs (and others) wipe out the beneficial bacteria in the digestive system. This can lead to improper digestion in which undigested proteins slip past the intestinal barrier and causes your immune
system to over-react. This may subsequently cause you to develop an allergy or sensitivity to that protein.
Airborne allergies (mold, tree pollen etc.) can also make you feel rundown, tired, stuffy, and also make your body more susceptible to colds and flus.
Getting checked for allergies doesn’t just mean getting your skin pricked by the medical doctor. There are many methods for determining allergies and sensitivities and different parts of your body may respond differently to a potential allergen. Your skin may react one way, but your blood or nervous system may respond another way. When any part of your body reacts to a particular substance it is indeed an allergy or sensitivity. Ask about getting an analysis done to see if it’s a missing link in your health care.
Sleep and Immunity
Another strategy for improving your immunity is decreasing your stress, and getting more sleep. Most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep a night and most people neglect this area of health due to work schedules, children up in the night or they simply can’t fall asleep.
Clinical studies have shown that in states of sleep deprivation your immune system becomes more active at night similar to what happens in times of physical stress. This elevates levels of stress hormones, contributing to inflammation and increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes.
You might be able to get away with an occasional night of disturbed sleep, but chronic sleep deprivation will weaken your immune system and make you susceptible to colds and flus. If you can’t fall asleep, make sure you get to the underlying cause. Sleep problems can be caused by a hyperactive thyroid, adrenal dysfunction, mental stress, parasitic or other chronic infections, nutritional deficiencies, hormone imbalances and more.
Chiropractic and the Immune System
The brain and nervous system send important electrical signals down your spinal cord which gives life to all your organs and muscles. Information from the environment is also sent up to the brain and it’s the job of the nervous system to control and coordinate the activities of every system in the body, including the immune system.
Unfortunately, these signals can become distorted like a bad cell phone connection due to lack of motion or misalignment of the spine. These structural interferences to the nervous system are called “Subluxations” in the spine. Chiropractors treat these disruptions in the nervous system by properly aligning and improving motion of the spine. They perform “spinal adjustments” which can certainly enhance immune function and improve the overall health of adults and children.
Reducing subluxations of the spine seems to improve immune competence the most in children. You will hear from many chiropractic offices around the country that children receiving chiropractic care on a regular basis are generally healthier and have fewer colds and flus than children who don’t receive chiropractic care. Adults also seem to experience this phenomenon, however it largely depends upon their overall lifestyle which includes eating habits, medications, smoking status and their ability to handle stress.
Having a strong immune system means giving your body what it needs.
What does it need? A well balanced lifestyle which includes:
*Whole foods which include plenty of vegetables, adequate protein and healthy fats. *Organic food free of genetic modification and hormones.
*Proper rest and getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night.
*A healthy digestive system free of gas, bloating, constipation, acid reflux etc.
*An occasional detoxification/purification of the body to keep your elimination channels open. *Proper spinal alignment which optimizes the function of your nervous system
*A personally designed nutrition program specific to your needs.