The Miracle of the Immune System
Our bodies are all miracles of intelligent design. The human body's ability to heal, smell, taste, touch, see, and recreate, are all signs of the vast intelligent design that keeps this miracle functioning each and every day.
“Our body is a gift, and it's our responsibility to take care of this gift.”
One thing we all share in common is our Immune System.
Our immune system is a complex network of cells and proteins that defend our bodies against infection. Our immune system keeps a record of every foreign invader it has ever defeated so that it can recognize and destroy the germ quickly if it ever enters the body again.
Think about that for a moment...
In other words, our bodies have been designed with a natural defense system that builds a life-long protection system against germs.
However, unlike any time in prior history, our immune systems are under attack.
Let’s look at stress
One of the key factors facing millions of individuals across the globe currently is stress. Let’s face it, our new normal is not normal at all. We have been locked in our homes, many have seen a reduction in income or a complete loss of income. We have lost our social environment and have an underlying fear of what the future holds for us and our families. Add to this increased stress a reduction of healthy foods, a decrease in exercise, and we are creating a perfect storm against our immune systems.
Our bodies are designed to accept short bursts of stress. When the body feels stress it releases a stress hormone called cortisol. Cortisol in short bursts helps the body cope with the added pressure but over time it can get acclimated to having too much cortisol in the blood. This opens the door to more inflammation. Stress also decreases our body’s lymphocytes - the white blood cells that help combat infection. The lower your lymphocyte level, the more at risk you are to combat viruses including the common cold and flu.
Stress affects us in many ways.
Long term autoimmune conditions linked to stress are:
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Cardiovascular problems
- Type 2 diabetes
- Various cancers
- Inflammatory conditions
- Chronic Yeast conditions
- Mental disorders
As stress reduces the ability for our immune systems to properly function, we essentially see our body's internal protection system turning against itself, and therefore combating our healthy tissues.
How do we protect our immune systems?
First, let's take a moment to look into our history. We see that many of these immune conditions have appeared more recently, only in the last 100 years.
Over the past century, we have seen the introduction of petrochemicals (See article Petrochemicals and big pharma). We have experienced more chemicals entering our bodies through food, skincare products, household cleaners, and medicine than at any time in human history. Our bodies were not designed to process chemicals and this puts additional workloads on our immune systems.
Post World Wars I and II we experienced reshaping of our cultures. A rapid increase in technology and fast-paced lifestyles put a strain on our society to “keep up with the Joneses.” We now had televisions, faster automobiles, and all the newfound luxuries that gave us freedom and ‘convenience’. However, this rapid acceleration of technology has been slowly eroding our immune systems generation by generation.
In the past, people prepared their meals with fresh ingredients, worked with their hands, accomplished exercise as a part of their daily life routine, slept better, and had more time to give to their families. All these things were good for our immune systems.
With these changes over the last 100 years, we have experienced an erosion of our immune system now spanning generations.
What can I do to help strengthen my immune system?
Much has been written about giving our immune systems a boost.
Sleep, exercise, proper nutrition, and supplementation are some of the key factors required to increase our immune function.
Most of us do not get the proper amount of sleep. When we sleep there are fewer demands on our hearts. Blood pressure will drop and our heart can take a break. Sleep also causes our bodies to release hormones that can slow breathing and relax other muscles in our bodies. Sleep can help reduce inflammation and assist with natural healing. If you're not getting enough sleep, look at your routine and make the necessary adjustments to go to bed earlier or wake up later. For many of us, it's a matter of shifting priorities like watching one less television show in the evening.
Exercise has many positive benefits for the immune system (As well as contributing to better sleep). Exercise helps to flush bacteria and pathogens out of the airways. Exercise also helps change the antibodies in our white blood cells. When we exercise we also produce hormones that help combat the negative effects of stress on our bodies.
Reduction of Chemicals
Many articles regarding the immune system omit this important information. What we put into and onto our bodies plays a vital role in our immune systems. When the body is working to break down foreign chemicals, it is taking away from its ability to keep up with the day to day functions. Pay close attention to the labels of food, household cleaners, skincare, and personal hygiene products. If these products are full of chemicals, you are putting increased strain on your immune system to accommodate chemicals it was not designed to handle.
Under the legal rules of today, natural supplementation cannot claim treatment, cure, or prevention of any disease. However, without doing that, we can think about the ways natural supplements may support our immune systems. Even if we engage in a healthy organic diet, the level of modern stressors on the immune system is far greater than at any time in human history. In the past diet alone may have been enough but today this is no longer the case. Add to this that most people do not eat a completely healthy organic diet and the potential benefit of supplementation grows. The state of your diet and the level of stressors you encounter on a daily basis will have an influence on how natural supplementation may support your immune system and provide for optimal health.
Many of us have a diet that consists of too much sugar. When we intake too much sugar we overburden the immune cells that combat bad bacteria. Refined sugars reduce the white blood cells' ability to perform properly, as well as increase our inflammatory markers. This reduces our body’s ability to combat infection and puts additional strain on the immune system.
Good Clean Water
Good clean water plays an important role in the immune system. Water helps carry oxygen to the blood cells. In addition, water helps cleanse the body of toxins. Studies show that many people today lack hydration and are not drinking enough water. Before reaching for a sugary drink, substitute for good clean water and help the body stay properly hydrated.
Hand washing, showering, and proper hygiene is vitally important in supporting our immune system. However, ensure that the hygiene products you use are chemical-free so that harsh chemicals don't create an additional burden on your immune function. Find hygiene products with natural ingredients that support your body.
As you can see, the choice is ours regarding health and proper immune function. For many of us today, the hardest decision is to break unhealthy habits we have become dependent on in the name of convenience. Living a healthy lifestyle today is not impossible but does require good decisions and dedication.
Our mission at Freedom Health Alliance is to support you with products and information so you can make the best decisions for you and your family. If you appreciate this article please feel free to share with those close to you and together we can positively impact the lives of those close to us.