Health Talk Nugget – February 22, 2020
The Immune System and How to Care For It
Our immune system is a wonderful and complex system. It is the result of the interaction of white blood cells, immunoglobulins (antibodies), plasma factors and complements; arachidonic acids, prostaglandins and platelet activating factors. It protects us from external factors, microbial invasion and tumors. Occasionally, however, the immune system can also damage our own body with hypersensitivity as in anaphylactic shock, autoimmune disorders like lupus, and by deficiencies which can be congenital or acquired such as HIV.
Symptoms of a weakened immune system include increased infections, loss of appetite, diarrhea, abdominal cramping,
Elderly people are more prone for a decrease in immune response due to:
1) The decrease production of T-cell lymphocytes
2) Micronutrient deficiency due to the tendency to eat a limited variety of healthy foods, resulting in the deficiency of nutrients like zinc, selenium, iron, cooper, folic acid, and Vitamins A, B, C, D and E.
Other things that can weaken the Immune System are:
1. Stress. The increase of cortisol in blood due to stress decreases the production of good prostaglandins. Under stress we are more prone to get colds, flu cardiovascular diseases and diabetes to name a few.
Treatment: Stress-reducing exercises; deep, slow in and out breathing; interaction with and caring for a pet; listening to classical music; laughter; singing; reading edifying and spiritual books.
- Smoking. Smoking is one of the most hazardous things you can do.
Treatment: Stop if you do smoke, do not start if you do not smoke. There are approximately 600 ingredients in cigarettes. When burned, cigarettes create more than 7,000 chemicals. At least 69 of these chemicals are known to cause cancer, and many are toxic.
- Poor Diet: reduce or eliminate refined sugars and flours, highly processed foods. They decrease the white cells function and increase risk of diabetes.
Treatment: adopt a healthy diet plenty of fresh fruits and veggies and use none or a minimum of sugar and processed foods.
- Alcohol. Alcoholic beverages decrease activity of the white blood cells.
Treatment: Abstain from drinking alcohol
- Lack of Sleep. Many of our body functions, rebuild during our sleep including the Immune System.
Treatment: Improve your sleep habits
- Obesity. Obesity decreases WBC multiplication, antibodies and increases inflammation.
Treatment: Maintain an ideal body weight as close as possible
- Inactivity. Lack of physical activity promotes decrease of the circulation of antibodies, cells and the elimination of toxic waste.
Treatment: Exercise, and/or walk a minimum of 30 min a day
- Excessive Use of Medications. Some medicines like antibiotics and cold medicines can reduce the level of cytokines (hormone messengers of the Immune System) and increase bacterial resistance.
Treatment: Maintain a healthy lifestyle, clean body and home, and take antibiotics only when absolutely necessary.
- Lack of Proper Hygiene. This is mainly brushing teeth properly and keeping nails clean and tidy.
- Environmental Exposures. Radiation therapy, chemical exposure, and excessive ultraviolet exposure all decrease the Immune System.
Treatment: Avoid accidental exposure but understand that when used as therapy it can save and or prolong life.
- Dehydration. Poor hydration affects energy and the ability to get toxins and waste out of the body.
Treatment: Drink enough water to keep urine clear
- Above All - Be positive, forgiving and thankful.
Honor God in everything you think, say and do.