Did you know that having a weak immune system is what brought me to Naturopathic medicine?
I used to get yearly throat infections, which meant yearly antibiotics. This lead to other problems! Now helping people have a strong immune system is one of my passions.
This article will discuss what to avoid, what to increase, and how to restore the immune system leading to lowered antibiotic use and better overall health.
Naturopathic doctors strive to support weakened systems in the body. When the immune system has become weak, we can start by removing obstacles to overall health and immune function. Some obstacles may include:
• Sugar in the diet – each time we eat sugar our white blood cell count decreases.
• Stress – stress is known to have a detrimental effect on the immune system, including reduced antibody production and natural killer cells. The mind-body connection is powerful!
• Too much caffeine – this acts as a stressor to an already depleted immune system. It also depletes the body of nutrients that the immune system needs
• Food sensitivities and Leaky gut (Intestinal Permeability) – causing the immune system to become over active and weakened
• Nutrient deficiencies – such as zinc, vitamin D, and selenium
• Toxic load – heavy metals bind to minerals like selenium, leaving your immune system depleted. Heavy metals are found in amalgams, tap water, and in the pesticides on our food.
Next is to start a more healthful regime.
• Avoid your food intolerances, sugar, caffeine, and fake food such as preservatives, colourings, and additives. The body understands these things as foreign and should be avoided.
o antioxidant rich food – dark coloured fruits and veggies like berries, kale, broccoli, onion, garlic, carrots, spinach etc.
o protein – grass fed, organic meat, beans, nuts, seeds, tofu, poultry.
o whole foods diet – foods as close to their natural state as possible. This ensures a synergistic mix of essential vitamins and minerals in their natural most absorbable state.
o 2-3 ltrs of clean water
Stimulate your natural healing mechanism
One way to do this at home is through home hydrotherapy. Take a hot bath or shower for 5-10 minutes. Get out and dry off. Take a large towel wrung out in cold water and wrap it around the torso, from the armpits to the groin. Cover up with a robe or blanket to avoid a chill. Leave in place 20-30 minutes. Do not remove the towel until it becomes warmed. At the end of this treatment you should feel better and not chilled. Discontinue if feel chilled after.
Another way is through acupuncture and homeopathy. This is prescribed in office from your naturopathic doctor.
Support and Regenerate the Immune System Itself
This may be achieved by taking:
• probiotics – modulate immune function
• vitamin C – is rapidly used by the body during infection or high stress. It is also has a broad range of immunological effects, like stimulating interferon, white blood cell proliferation, and regenerates vitamin e.
• vitamin D – now known as imperative to proper immune function. Pro tip – cod liver oil has absorbable vitamin D in it, along with essential fatty acids which are the gatekeepers of immune regulation. 2 for 1! Not for the pregnant population thought!
• Selenium – 200 mcg/d. has a profound effect on healing the immune system.
• Deep Immune by St. Francis – acts as an immune tonic which improves the vitality of the immune system, and modulator.
Thomas was a young boy with chronic repeated ear infections. We started by removing his food intolerances – in his case dairy. We stimulated his natural healing capacity by using homeopathy – Silica, used for chronic ear infections and lowered immunity. We added the basics – probiotic and cod liver oil. Mom was armed with what to do in case of another infection, like the warming sock treatment and to call the office at first signs of infection, but he did not have another ear infection.
Mrs. H used to get sick every year with the flu. We balanced her immune system with monthly acupuncture sessions supporting her “wei qi”. We used homeopathics that tonify and keep the immune system on guard ready to fight the flu. She stuck to the basics: nutritious diet, exercise, vitamin D, probiotics and fish oil. While others around her got sick, she remained healthy all winter.
I love helping people treat and prevent infections in the urinary tract, lungs, sinuses, ears, throat, and skin. Along with an in office oxidative stress test, a chakra check can help us discern which chakras need strengthening, and what the repeated infections may be trying to tell you about your emotional health.
Call us at 289 668 5433 to start your immune strengthening program.
By Dr. Donata Girolamo, Naturopathic Doctor