Lifestyle and genetics affect your immune system.
According to the book, An Elegant Defense your immune system is affected by the same factors that increase your cancer risk. Lifestyle and genetics factor into the strength of your immune system. Even if two people live a similar lifestyle, their response to infection or virus may be different.
In addition to your lifestyle habits and genetics, societal changes and modern advances factor into the strength of your immune function. Smaller family size and limited interactions with others and the environment reduce the strength of your immune function. Regular use of bleach cleaners, hand sanitizers and antibiotics reduce your exposure to germs and viruses but weaken your system.
What is your immune system?
According to the Mayo Clinic, your immune system is made up of five parts, the thymus, bone marrow, liver, spleen and lymphatic system, that constantly work to eliminate threats and maintain balance.
Everything that you consume or encounter is identified as either self or alien. Substances identified as self are easily absorbed by your body. Whereas, substances identified as alien will trigger an immune response. With that said, it’s not quite as black and white as it sounds.
Your immune system is considered an elegant defense because it is sophisticated enough to suppress a response in order to prioritize issues such as wound healing. Alien cells with sufficient self characteristics can result during the wound healing process and evade your system. The more wounds you incur, the greater your risk of cancer.
What types of things are alien?
- Animal Protein
- Pharmaceuticals including Marijuana
- Environmental pollutants and industrial chemicals
What is an Immune Response?
The most common immune response is inflammation. Inflammation can be either acute or chronic.
Acute inflammation is a quick response to an injury, such as a cut and is characterized by pain, bruising, swelling, heat or redness.
Chronic inflammation is a sustained response in the absence of an outside injury. It’s characterized by abdominal pain, chest pain, joint pain and stiffness, mouth sores, skin rashes and fatigue.
Why do you get sick after a stressful event or period?
Many think it’s because their immune system finally succumbs to stress, but that’s not quite right. Your immune system gets suppressed by cortisol released by your adrenal glands during the fight or flight response. When the stress event or period ends, cortisol subsidizes. Then you feel the impact of the threat until your immune system cleans up [infected and damaged cells] and restores balance.
Five ways you can maintain a healthy immune function
1/ Eat a plant based diet.
2/ Exercise regularly but don’t over tax your body.
3/ Develop good sleep habits so that you get 7-9 hours of sleep/night.
4/ Develop healthy couping skills to manage stress.
5/ Choose environmentally friendly products that are also good for you.
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