Immune System Health Part 1

If you find yourself frequently sick you may be suffering from a weakened immune system.  Your first line of defense, your immune system functionality is important in staying healthy and happy.  While we are all born with different levels of immune strength, there are certain things that we can do to strengthen or weaken our immune system.  Your Chiropractor can be a wonderful ally in establishing immune system health.

Your immune system fights off harmful diseases and conditions, viral infections, parasites, fungal infections and harmful bacteria. The immune system also restricts cancerous growths and tumors.  Obviously you want to do what you can to keep your immune system strong.  Look through this list of things that you are probably doing that tear your immune system down and pick a few to start improving on.

Diet: Garbage in, garbage out.  We have all heard it, but it is sometimes difficult to keep in mind that every single item you consume has an effect on your body. Occasional indulgences aren’t necessarily a problem, but picking up bad habits is a lot easier than getting rid of them.  Refined sugars and processed foods containing chemical additives and preservatives (and sometimes pesticides) will weaken your immune system and can make you vulnerable to chronic conditions.  Fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamins C and E will help you stay healthy.  Brightly colored vegetables are typically great, citrus fruits, berries, sweet potatoes, spinach, carrots, onions, grapes, and kale are great options to try to make a regular part of your intake.  Fresh garlic is also an immune system booster, helping to fight viruses and bacteria.

Exercise:  Increased blood flow from exercise helps to expel toxic waste from your body and promotes the circulation of white blood cells and antibodies that fight off infections.  People that have almost daily exercise, such as a brisk walk or daily use of stairs, may take half as many sick days as an inactive individual.  Making the effort to include some exercise every day will keep you healthier and keep your immune system strong.  Regular exercise also helps you to sleep better, and sleep is a great immune system builder!

Sleep:  Your immune system rebuilds while you sleep.  If you aren’t getting the appropriate amount of sleep for your body you are weakening your immune system. T cells are a subtype of white blood cells that are part of your immune response.  A lack of sleep or poor sleep can cause a reduced number of these important disease fighters.  A lack of sleep can contribute to stress, which is also an immune system killer.

Chronic stress: The stress response is your body’s way of dealing with difficult or dangerous situations, but it is meant to be a response, not a way of life. If you are suffering from chronic stress you are wearing down not only your immune system, but your entire body. Stress can raise the production of cortisol which impairs the ability of T cells to fight infections.  Chronic stress makes you more vulnerable to the flu and common colds as well as heart problems and diabetes.  Take some intentional steps to reduce your stress levels.  Try a walk outside or some quiet time to meditate.  Call a friend to connect and share, or try exercising the frustration away. Check out or blog on stress if you want to know more.

Humor: Laughing can help to reduce the levels of stress hormones in your body and can boost white blood cell production, increasing the effectiveness of your immune response.  Try a comedy radio station or take the time to read the Sunday comics.

If you want to be proactive about building your immune system call our office.  We can help to make a proactive plan to balance body alignment and healthy habits to keep your immune system at peak performance all year round.