Boost Your Immune System
I wanted to write to you and address some effective strategies that we all can take to improve the immune systems of our families and ourselves. There are many effective and surprising ways to boost your immune system against viruses and other immune system threats. It is understandable to be concerned about keeping your immune system strong in the face of the coming season of colds and flu and the news stories of the Ebola epidemic in Africa facing us every day. What I have found to be true is that there are sources that exist in our environments that feed our fears. Mindfully choose to avoid these sources and use your own common sense despite what is being said and beamed out to us continually by countless media outlets. Flu season is upon us and in addition we now have the Ebola epidemic not only “a world away” but in our own borders. The way I see it is that we have a couple choices. We can panic and cease to use our reasoning capabilities or we can look at the true risks and make decisions based on facts, not innuendo or hearsay. There are basic public health and hygienic principles to follow that would serve us all well if we would do them ourselves and get others to do them too. We hear the reports daily and all the information and disinformation can be very confusing and sometimes disturbing. I wanted to find some positive and fun ways to keep that immune system strong and your spirits high. I also have some amazing products to introduce that will support your body and help to keep your immune system strong. The following list has been shown, by study in many cases, to improve your immune system. I challenge you to find several of them and introduce them into your daily life.
Keep a Positive Attitude
- Laughter is the best medicine! Laughter can strengthen your immune system and boost your energy. The best part is that laughter is fun and FREE! Laughter relaxes you and can decrease stress hormones, which will increase your infection fighting abilities and therefore your resistance to disease. Turn off the news! Watch a funny movie, play with your pet or your child and do something fun or silly and laugh!
- Have sex! According to Yvonne K. Fulbright PhD a sexual health expert, people who have sex have higher levels of those defenses that protect your body against viruses and other invaders. Of course use a condom if you don’t know the STD status of your partner but take that time for you and that someone you love and just let go for a little bit. Reducing stress allows your body’s immune system to function better and more reliably. Studies show that regular sex lowers blood pressure, and keeps hormone levels in balance. A good sex life can be good for your heart. In one study, men who had sex at least twice weekly were half as likely to die of heart disease as men who had sex rarely. Sex, it does a body and an immune system good.
- Keep a positive attitude. Sometimes it is easy to worry. Benjamin Franklin said, “Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.” We only feed the dark side of life when we worry. Savor the things that bring you joy. Seek them out and revel in them. That joy, that laughter, that positive outlook keep those stress hormones low and our protective mechanisms high. Look for the positive in life and work to not dwell on the negative. There is more than enough of that to go around. It really is true that your cup can be either half-empty or half full. It is all in how you choose to look at it.
Natural Immune System Boosters
- And speaking of sunlight, go out in the sun. It has been shown that just 20 minutes of summer sun without sunscreen can make 20,000 units of vitamin D for our bodies. That’s 100 times the RDA of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is ESSENTIAL for good immunity. A German study found that vitamin D increases your immune function by a factor of 3-5 and it helps your body to produce over 200 antimicrobial peptides. These peptides help fight all kinds of infections. Vitamin D is also one of nature’s most effect cancer fighters. Do you know your Vitamin D serum Level? 25(OH)D or 25-Hydroxyvitamin D is the better overall D status and the best marker for overall health. To help a body that has cancer or heart disease the recommendation is to keep your vitamin D levels between 70-100ng/ml and optimal is 50-70ng/ml. Your best defense against any intruding disease process is a healthy strong immune system. Getting vitamin D from sun exposure is the best way to get your “sunshine vitamin.” We can test you for vitamin D and help you supplement where necessary to optimize your immunity. Getting your vitamin D levels into optimal range is one of the MOST IMPORTANT and easy things you can do to improve your immune system. Call us (770-937-9200) or ask about it at your next appointment!
- Get some good and restful ZZZZZZZZs. Yes, lack of sleep can and does affect immunity. Studies show that people who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to get sick. After exposure to a virus, like a cold virus or flu virus, lack of sleep can cause people to be more likely to contract the illness. Sleep restriction and sleep deprivation can decrease white blood cells, which make us more open to infection. Sleep loss can decrease our body’s antibodies, which are our natural defenses against infections and illnesses. Long-term sleep deprivation can also leave you at an increased risk for obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep. Teens may need 9-10 hours and younger children may need 10 or more hours of sleep. Go to bed ideally between 10-11 and sleep 7-8 hours. Get good restful sleep and keep that immune system in top form.
- Eat some delicious whole foods. Enjoy a wide range of colorful fruits and vegetables. Oranges, green peppers, broccoli, strawberries, carrots, squash, kale, melons. The bounty of the garden can give you a very healthy dose of antioxidants. These substances help to protect your cells from free radicals that can damage cell structure. Just dropping the soft drinks and junk food in favor of a healthy salad or gently cooked veggies can be a treat to a stressed immune system. What we eat determines our body’s ability to respond to the stresses around us. Make sure you are getting the nutrients your immune system needs for optimal health. Vitamins A, C, E, zinc, selenium and magnesium are essential for good health. Whole fruits and vegetables are full of these nutrients.
- Take your “good bacteria”. Probiotics can boost immune system health via your gut’s mucosal immune system. Most people do not realize that 80% of your immunity is in your gut. A strong immune system is the best prevention against ALL disease and infection. Probiotics help the body produce antibodies to pathogens. Without good digestive system bacteria your body does not absorb nutrients well. Probiotics help your body produce both vitamin K and B and aid in the breakdown of foreign toxins. Probiotics are an essential part of your body’s immunity. Not all probiotics are created equal. You want a probiotic that is acid safe and can survive the stomach acid and reach the small intestine. Ideally, there would be no need for refrigeration. Cultured and fermented foods like yogurt, some cheeses and sauerkraut can be good sources of good bacteria. See the list below for a good preventative probiotic. Ask at your next visit about probiotics or call us with any questions.
There are many possibilities out there and many scenarios can occur. The best defense against any pathogen is a strong immune system. In addition to the above suggestions, follow good hygiene and wash your hands frequently. If you or another are sick, stay home if you are contagious. Stay observant and keep your head and your wits about you. Eat well, sleep well and surround yourself with people and activities that you love and that bring you joy. Make your day count everyday and help someone else as part of it. Do the important things and let the other things work themselves out. Be well and live healthy!
Great News! We have “Immune System Booster Bags”!
We will have the following supplements available at the office in “immune system booster bags”. You can purchase them for yourselves and for your families. Please understand that these products in no way treat Ebola or any other virus. They merely assist your body and immune system in being healthy. Please follow all CDC guidelines for prevention and treatment of Ebola.
Healthy Immune System is Key
Note from DesBio: DesBio has not developed protocols or products for either Ebola or enterovirus, nor do we intend to do so. We recommend that our doctors and their patients follow CDC guidelines for prevention and treatment of Ebola and enterovirus. With any illness, keeping your immune system healthy is essential in supporting resilience against infection. Here is a list of supplements, homeopathics and herbals to help keep your immune system healthy:
- Smart Silver Liquid
- Provides preventative support
- 2 tsp orally twice daily
- Smart Silver Gel
- Use in high-contact areas to limit transmission
- Apply frequently to hands and dab in nostrils
- Vitamin C Liposomal
- Adequate nutrition, especially Vitamin C, has been linked to improved ability to handle infection
- 1/2 tsp daily
- Immune Support
- General homeopathic for immune support
- 10 drops 3x daily
- Virus Plus
- A combination of virus nosodes to support the immune system when fighting a viral infection
- 10 drops 3x daily
- Flora Synergy
- A nutritional supplement designed to support healthy intestinal and immune function
- Liquid Vit D with Vitamin K
- A unique, highly concentrated tasty liquid that provides vitamin D3, vitamin K2 plus vitamin E, beta glucan, turmeric, L-carnatine, calcium and magnesium. It includes liver and kidney support.
- Echinacea Premium
- Assists the body’s immune response in a number of ways. One of the most important is the nonspecific immune response; particularly white blood cells helping with phagocytosis. Phagocytosis is a process involving certain white blood cells that engulf and digest foreign particles or cells that might challenge the body. (The response is nonspecific because the body launches this broad attack against particles of all kinds. It is not specific to just one particle.) A practical effect is that top quality Echinacea root helps the immune response following stress or sudden changes in weather.
Patients who experience flu-like symptoms should consult their primary care physician or, if there is any chance that they may have been exposed to the Ebola virus go to the nearest hospital emergency room. Comments are welcome! If you have questions, please call the clinic at 770-937-9200. We are happy to talk to you.
Here’s to your good health,
Dr. Melodie Billiot
Alternative Health Atlanta