The Vital Role of our Immune System

The Vital Role of our Immune System

The Vital Role of our Immune System

By: Dr. Michelle Irwin

The strength of our immune system is an ever-present topic these days.
This month we are going to work on how to get and keep a healthy immune system so that when life happens, we are best prepared. Understanding what is happening and where it all starts is important.

Here is the science of the immune system in a nutshell.

The immune system has one overall function which is to limit or prevent infection and is controlled by the nervous system.

The first line of defense is our skin and mucosal tissues in the nose and mouth. When these tissues are strong and intact, they keep most of the microbial invaders out our body. When the microbes get past the first line then our body gets to work.

All immune cells start in the bone marrow as precursor cells called stem cells which then mature into the various cells based on where in the body they are sent. The innate immune system is comprised of non-specific white blood cells that are the first line responders to infection and let the adaptive/acquired immune system know what specific response is needed.

This response is based on the immunological memory that has been built over the years of exposure to the world, these memory cells are our B and T cells. B cells mature in the bone marrow and T cells mature in the Thymus gland, B bone and T thymus.

These are what we need to fight infections of viruses and bacteria that we have been exposed to in our lifetime.

T cells need to the thymus gland to mature but our thymus gland isn’t fully developed until we are about 6 months old and then it reduced and gets smaller and less active when hit puberty, so the best time for our body to build a strong immune system is when we are young.

The innate immune cells travel though the body in the bloodstream and the lymph system staying inactive until they encounter an invader and then when they reach the lymph nodes and or the spleen.

They activate the adaptive/acquired immune system and then our body will increase our temperature to overheat the invader making it weaker and more susceptible to the cytokines released by our cells meant to kill the invader.

When we interrupt this system early in the process not allowing for the cycle to continue or the cycle doesn’t work properly due to systemic chronic issues, we get a viral overload and then we get sick.

The good news is we can help our body stay away from sickness by providing the proper vitamins and internal environment. This means getting enough vitamins A, B, C, and D, proper diet and exercise, and proper hygiene. This means washing our hands thoroughly, taking care of our oral hygiene as well, and maintaining spinal hygiene with Chiropractic Adjustments. Decreasing stress and worry will also help the immune system function properly, because part of the stress response is to slow down the immune response.

When we are running from the tiger or bear, we aren’t worried about the small invaders so why use precious resources to run a system that will work just as well when we aren’t running for our life?

Problem is we are in this high state of stress right now, so our immune system isn’t working when the bear we are running from is microscopic.

Trust your body and its process, give it what it needs to work correctly, and know what it is you need to feel safe and healthy!

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