WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW ABOUT HOW TO BOOST YOUR IMMUNITY
Let’s be honest, there’s never a good time to be sick! Unfortunately, some common solutions (“give them ginger ale!”) actually make the problem worse. It’s important to know what factors are at play so we can prevent these bugs from attacking us in the first place! Therefore in order to know how to boost our immunity, we must first understand what brings it down.
For starters, did you know that over 75% of our immune system lives in our GUT? We rely on our immune system to stay healthy, which includes fighting off any bugs, parasites, viruses, bacteria, mold or fungus that comes our way. Here at TMB our unique treatment philosophy is focused on addressing the root cause of a symptom. As a result, this often leads us to investigating the good old gut.
Therefore, a healthy body is dependent on a properly functioning immune system, and having appropriate immune responses is dependent upon having a healthy gut! This means any impairment to our digestive system can jeopardize the condition of our immune system. A weak immune system makes it less effective when it comes to preventing illness.
5 COMMON FACTORS THAT CAN AFFECT OUR IMMUNITY
HOW TO BOOST YOUR IMMUNITY TIP #1: CHECK THAT CHRONIC STRESS
Chronic stress suppresses our immune response by signalling the release of cortisol. Cortisol interferes with the ability of our protective white blood cells to communicate with the rest of the body and keep our immunity in check. High cortisol levels have also been linked to low levels of an essential antibody called IgA – IgA. This antibody lines our gut and is known as our first line of defense against foreign substances. A low level of this might help explain why you seem “prone” to recurring colds all winter! Curious where you stand? We test for this and other immune markers in our functional medicine program here at TMB!
HOW TO BOOST YOUR IMMUNITY TIP #2: SAY GOODBYE TO LACK OF SLEEP
Lack of adequate rest can disrupt our body’s natural sleep/wake cycle. Such a disruption activates an inflammatory immune response and interferes with the role of T-cells, thus weakening our immune system. We recommend our favourite supplement Insomnitol Chewables to ensure a good night’s sleep. (This is also great for cases of jet-lag!) Implementing healthy sleep hygiene habits, such as dimming like lights in your home, avoiding screens and meditating, can also help to improve your sleep.
HOW TO BOOST YOUR IMMUNITY TIP #3: AVOID DEHYDRATION
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – water is under-rated! When our body runs low on fluids, it puts our immune system at risk. Water helps to keep our immune cells functioning optimally by keeping mucous membranes (like our nose!) moist, which helps the blood transport oxygen their way. Additionally, it helps two important organs (our kidneys and liver) clear toxins out of the body. So make sure that you have good water habits in place!
HOW TO BOOST YOUR IMMUNITY TIP #4: REDUCE PROCESSED FOODS
The cells in our gut thrive off the foods we consume. The wrong types of bacteria and yeast (aka the bad guys) tend to like the processed stuff, like white salt, inflammatory fats and sugar. Consuming too much of these things can cause the bad bacteria to grow and make our immune system less capable of fighting off bugs. On the other hand, foods like leafy greens and resistant starches can help promote the growth of healthy bacteria. Eating these types of food then helps to strengthen our immune system.
HOW TO BOOST YOUR IMMUNITY TIP #5: AVOID OVERUSING ANTIBIOTICS
The issue with antibiotics is that in killing off harmful bacteria, antibiotics also kill off the good guys too. As a result, this impacts our immunity. In a recent study, researchers found a wide-array of adverse antibiotic effects on the GI system, immune system, and metabolic system. Researchers even found links between antibiotic use and an increase in obesity and stress. The moral of the story? Only use antibiotics when absolutely necessary (because sometimes, it is). But if you do take antibiotics, make sure to combat the effects with the right diet and supplement protocol.
ARE YOU LOOKING FOR AN ALL NATURAL WAY TO BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM?
Acupuncture can regulate the immune system and address the underlying root cause of an illness by:
1) Mitigating symptoms
2) Initiating healing
3) Normalizing the body’s immune response