You have 3 parts to your immune system:
- Innate (Non-Specific: Skin, Mucus, Secretions, Phagocytes, NK Cells, Inflammation, Antimicrobial proteins)
- Adaptive (Specific: Humoral + Cell Mediated Immunity)
- Acquired (Specific / through external sources: time required)
Innate is your non-specific lines of defence…
That’s right…you have 2 innate lines of defence. This is what you are born with, and is what you depend on for a good portion of your life.
Adaptive is your Specific line of defence. This is when, during times of acute activity in your innate defence, that your body has created antibodies to fight off specific invaders. Over time and into old age, your immune system is mostly that of an Adaptive Immunity. Hence why, the elderly are more susceptible to be very sick when a new virus is circulating. They do not have the abundance of their once thriving innate immunity.
Acquired is with the introduction of vaccinations, immunity therapies and/ or time that has passed with adapted immunity.
All the magic happens with the help of your white blood cells (WCB).
WBC are your Immune Cells.
WBCs consist of Leukocytes, Agranulocytes, Natural Killer (NK) Cells, B-Cells and T-Cells.
Functions of your Leukocytes:
- Neutrophils (phagocytes: 40-70% of WBC): They increase during short-term infections. Immediate Response!
- Eosinophils (1-4% of WBC): They kill parasitic worms and play a complex roll in allergy attacks.
- Basophils (0-1% of WBC): Release histamines at the site of infection and are anticoagulants.
Functions of your Agranulocytes:
- Lymphocytes (20-30% WBC): come from marrow in the long bones in your body. They are long lived and carry memory of past infections. The fight tumours and viruses via Direct Attack.
- Monocytes (4-8% of WCB…and are the LARGEST WBC): These are phagocytes that becomes macrophages in the tissue = Long term clean up; increase in numbers during chronic infections.
Natural Killer (NK) Cells: Attack foreign pathogens directly by attacking the nucleus. Specific to tumours and virus-infecting cells.
B-Cells: Some Lymphocytes develop into B-Cells in the bone marrow. Antibodies bind to antigens in immune response and form memory cells. This is where we find plasma B-Cells: Immunoglobins (IgE, IgM, IgA, IgG, IgD). IgE is your anaphylactic allergy response. IgG is your delayed allergy response.
Cell Mediated Immunity:
T-Cells: Some Lymphocytes go to the Thymus and become T-Cells that are taught to recognize only ONE of millions of antigens ~ meaning, T-Cells only recognize one specific antigen.
Support your Immune System!
Action steps during an invasion on your immune system.
When your immune system is under attack you may or may not feel it. But most will feel a little more drained during a day, or feel they need more sleep. This is a grande indicator that your immune system is hard at work for your well-being! Here are solutions!
Rest. Drink lots of fluids. Fluids flush out toxins created by pathogens and thin out mucous secretions.
Limit Refined Sugars and processed food: These create acidity. Viruses and bacteria LOVE the acidic atmosphere.
Avoid Dairy: Dairy increases mucus, and will hinder your immediate innate defence.
Avoid Known Sensitivities: as it adds to your toxin burden.
Black Mustard / Elderberry / Green leafy vegetables / nuts / sunflower seeds / carrots / flax / onion / sweet potatoes / catnip / Garlic / Horseradish / Oranges / Cayenne pepper / Ginger / lemon / peppermint / Grapefruit
Echinacea: Increases production of T-Cells.
Astragalus: raises WCB count and reverses T-Cell abnormality that occur due to radiation and aging.
Goldenseal: antibacterial - Heals mucus membranes.
Chamomile Tea: 2x/day to help relax so you can rest
Ginger tea: Increases perspiration to help cleanse and reduce intensity of cold. Stimulates fever to naturally peak and subside.
Cayenne pepper tea: Warming, antimicrobial and anti-viral. 1/2 tsp to 1tsp with hot water and lemon.
Action steps to Maintain your immune system
- Sleep 7-8 hours / night
- Drink 8-12 cups of purified water per day deepening on your weight and exercise routine
- Exercise 30min 5x per week
- Eat whole foods
- Eat fresh vegetables and colourful fruit
- Take your highest quality vitamins for foundational support
- AVOID: added sugar and processed / packaged food.