Immune dysfunction can cause the body to use up its energy stores as it tries to keep the body healthy. When the immune system is not able to function effectively it can cause disruption of other body systems. Immune system dysfunction is encountered when the immune system is in a heightened state from battling chronic disease, stress and inflammation, or when the immune system is suppressed directly from the battle or conditions such as aging, drugs and other lifestyle choices.
Ultimately inflammation and insulin resistance (pre-diabetes) are the driving factors of disease and disability and major causes of mitochondrial and immune dysfunction. Treatments targeted at bolstering our immune function should be directed at managing or preventing these two conditions.
Our mitochondria (power source of our cells) suffer as the body tries to fight infections and use up our valuable energy reserves in an attempt to keep the body healthy. Viruses, bacteria and funguses all cause the immune system to become a large consumer of mitochondria resources. For those already suffering from low energy, having poor immune and mitochondria function can be devastating.
It is not just physical disease that we have to worry about, mental illness can also lead to immune dysfunction. Studies have showed that both physical and psychological stressors can directly cause suppression of immune function. Those that are significantly affected by stress can have an exaggerated immune response that can suppress various aspects of immune function.
The first consideration for supporting and boosting the immune system is a healthy lifestyle. Creating a healthy lifestyle focused on sleep, diet and exercise is the single best step to take toward naturally keeping the immune system strong and reducing the incidence of disease.
Keys to a Healthy Lifestyle
- Avoid the two most preventable health risks: tobacco and obesity
- Sleep 6-8 hours per night
- Exercise three days a week
- Alcohol and cannabis consumption only in moderation
- Active sex life
- Be happy – you must create your own happiness through positive thinking and decision making
Beyond healthy living, there are other research supported therapies that can directly improve immune function. Immune supportive therapies are a great way to ensure mental and physical health. Our bodies are in a constant war between damage and repair and when the body is healthy our repair mechanisms should win. Eventually with aging and exposures, damage takes over and it is much more difficult to compete against as our innate immune response weakens.
Alternative therapies can support our mitochondria, immune function and anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory response:
- Maximizing health of the nervous system
- Enhancing the immune system
- Improving mitochondria function
- Improving insulin sensitivity
- Reducing inflammation
- Reducing body fat
- Increasing lean muscle mass
- Improving sleep
- Improving blood flow to the body and brain