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Colds & Flues? Strengthen your immunity!

Are you suffering from colds and flues often? Do you get cold sores or mouth ulcers regularly? Your immune system must be under the weather.

Chess board with pieces lined up.
Your immune system is like a well organised army.
Photo by Josep Altarriba

Let’s look at how it works, what kind of troubles can it cause when working suboptimal, and how can we get it back on track.

Your Body's Army

A strong immune system is like a well organised army with several different attacking, defending and cleaning groups.

Detects and Prepares to Attack

Through a series of steps called the immune response, this army attacks organisms and substances that invade our body and cause disease. Once the enemy enters the body, special cells recognise non-self cells and harmful substances and this highly complex response is activated.

Attacks Invaders

Through inflammation, raised body temperature, immune cell proliferation and stress hormone production the body is defended.

The immune system is made up of a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to protect the body.

Read on

decorative Element

Protection
First Type - Innate

skin, 3 hands -baby, child and adult Everyone is born with innate (or natural) immunity, a type of general protection, which includes the external barriers of the body, like the skin and mucous membranes (like those that line the nose, throat, and gastrointestinal tract), which are the first line of defense in preventing diseases from entering the body.

Second Type - Adaptive

vacine picture by Brian Hoskins The second kind of protection is adaptive (or active) immunity, which develops throughout our lives via either getting in contact with invaders, or via vaccination.

Third Type - Borrowed

Our third type, the passive immunity is "borrowed" from another source and it lasts for a short time. For example, antibodies in a mother's breast milk provide a baby with temporary immunity to diseases the mother has been exposed to. Infant feeding

This can help protect the baby against infection during the early years of childhood and it also has an effect on general health through later years, therefore breastfeeding is very important.

Probiotics

We also establish a good amount of probiotics (good bacteria) in our gut through breast feeding and these bacteria are crucial for the strength of our digestive system, which is part of our first line of defense.

Line drawing of intestines and stomach
70% of your immune system resides in your digestive tract.

Healthy Digestive System = Healthier Immune System

In fact, 70% of our immune system resides in the digestive tract, therefore the health of the digestive system is greatly influencing our immunity. It comprises two layers: the localised secretory IgA (sIgA) response and the gut-associated lymphoid tissues (GALT).

sIgA is First Layer

Secretory IgA is like an ‘antiseptic paint’ on the intestinal mucosa, it can neutralise viruses and remove antigens before they cross the mucosal barrier and reach circulation. Low levels of total sIgA are associated with recurrent upper-respiratory infections, allergies and altered intestinal permeability which leads to food allergies.

Yogurt.Good bacteria are crucial for the strength of our digestive system.

GALT is Second Layer

Antigens and foreign substances that escape the sIgA surveillance can enter the mucosal layer, where the GALT provides the second layer of defence.

Immune System is Holistic

The immune system is truly "holistic," as evidenced by the close association of psychological, neurological, nutritional, environmental, and hormonal factors with immune function. As little stress as lack of sleep can greatly undermine its work. Many conditions dependant on the health and integrity of the immune system ‐ from colds and recurrent infections through to allergies and severe, debilitating auto‐immune conditions.

Treatment

Supporting the immune system is critical to good health. Conversely, good health and optimum nutrition is critical to supporting the immune system.

Holistic System Needs Holistic Treatment

The best approach to supporting immune function is a comprehensive plan involving lifestyle, stress management, exercise, diet, nutritional supplementation, and the use of plant‐based medicines.

A naturopathic treatment always starts with a thorough investigation to find the root of the problem, whatever the health concern may be. We are all very individual: as there are no two snowflakes alike, neither are any two human bodies. Once we found the cause, with a tailor made menu plan and herbal supplement regime your body can be gently ushered back to health - without side effects.


Read more about immunity in these 2 articles Strengthen Your Child and Stress’ Effect on Immunity.


Find out more about Nutritional Therapy.

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Try my Immune booster Oriental soup.

Try my Aduki Bean-Shitake Mushroom Soup.