The immune system is the body’s natural defense system that helps fight infections. The immune system is made up a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to defend the body against attacks by “foreign” invaders. These are primarily tiny organisms such as bacteria, parasites, fungi, and viruses that can cause infections. It is the immune system’s job to keep them out or, failing that, to seek out and destroy them.
A healthy immune system recognizes these as foreign and different from the body’s normal healthy tissues. Having a healthy immune system is important to fending off the common cold or flu.
Immune system disorders, on the other hand, cause abnormally low activity or over activity of the immune system. In cases of immune system over activity, the body attacks and damages its own tissues (autoimmune diseases). Immune deficiency diseases decrease the body’s ability to fight invaders, causing vulnerability to infections.
In response to an unknown trigger, the immune system may begin producing antibodies that instead of fighting infections, attack the body’s own tissues. Treatment for autoimmune diseases generally focuses on reducing immune system activity. Some examples of autoimmune diseases include: Rheumatoid arthritis, Systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus), Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Multiple sclerosis (MS), and Psoriasis.
The immune system is amazingly complex. It can recognize and remember millions of different enemies, and it can produce secretions (release of fluids) and cells to match up with and wipe out nearly all of them. Of course, as with anything, maintenance is important to keep your system running smoothly.
10 steps to optimize the function of your immune system:
- Manage stress. Massage, Yoga and Meditation are great ways to reduce stress
- Acupuncture Studies have shown that acupuncture helps the brain increase the body’s level of T-cells; cells which destroy bacteria and harmful viruses in the body.
- Get enough sleep
- Avoid smoking and limit alcohol
- Cleanse your gut with Oregano Oil
- Avoid sugar and processed foods
- Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds
- Take probiotics
- Catch some rays
- Eat anti-inflammatory foods like ginger and garlic, and add mushrooms to the mix.