Flu season is well underway, and we have received lots of questions on how to stay well this winter. This is an important question, as getting sick can stress your immune system, increasing your risk of a flare-up in an autoimmune condition, thyroid dysfunction, or other chronic illness. A large part of what most of us take for granted, of course, is that our immune systems are doing their jobs.
A healthy immune system keeps us strong, centered, and able to fight off infections and disease. It is the most important thing getting us through our lives healthfully. When the immune system goes array, all kinds of struggles emerge. When functioning properly, the immune system identifies, attacks, and destroys threats like viruses, bacteria, and parasites. This keeps us from falling prey to colds, the flu, bacterial infections (like pneumonia, urinary tract infections, ear infections, and sinus infections), autoimmune diseases, and even cancer.
Despite how critical the immune system is to our overall health, many of us unwittingly compromise it with poor lifestyle choices. Chronic stress, poor diet, and lack of exercise are common culprits. In addition, lack of adequate sleep diminishes our natural killer cells, which work to find and eliminate viruses, bacteria, and cancer cells. When we eat a nutritionally deficient diet (also known as SAD, the Standard American Diet), we don’t have the nutrients necessary for our immune system to work properly.
So how do we boost our immune system to enable it to function properly?
Get 7-9 Hours of Sleep
It’s during this period of rest that our body recuperates and rejuvenates. Cultivating a regular sleep routine makes a huge difference in the quality of our sleep.
Repair Your Gut
Since nearly 80% of your immune system is located in your gut, make sure your gut is in tip-top shape by taking a high-quality, multi-strain probiotic with at least 25 billion units. This will keep your levels of good gut bacteria up to help fight off infections. Also be sure to avoid antibiotic use if at all possible.
Reduce Sugar and Alcohol Consumption
With the abundance of holiday treats out this time of year, sugar cravings can be challenging. However, consuming too much sugar can suppress your immune system and make it more difficult for your body to fight off infections, including the flu virus. It also leaves you open to gut infections such as Candida and SIBO, which suppress your immune system and cause leaky gut. Even moderate alcohol consumption suppresses your central nervous system, and therefore your immune system.
Reduce Your Stress
Stress is known to suppress your immune system. Consider meditation, yoga, or acupuncture to help with this.
Take an Immune Boosting Supplement
Give your immune system an added boost with a supplement containing immunoglobulins and protein, such Igg Protect, the immune boost powder we carry in our retail area. This supplement is a purified form of colostrum, which is the first milk after birth designed to bolster the immune system. The immunoglobulins in colostrum boost your IgA antibodies – which are your body’s first line of defense. These IgA antibodies are produced by immune cells in your gut and can deactivate and even eliminate harmful pathogens and toxins, such as those that come with seasonal sickness and bacterial imbalances. This means immune boosting will strengthen, not heighten your immune system, which is key for anyone with autoimmunity. We recommend this nutritional supplement in Springfield Missouri for anyone looking to take preventative measures with their health and avoid seasonal illnesses.
Supplements or Infusions With Glutathione and High Dose Vitamin C
Antioxidants are very important for your immune function. Glutathione is the chief antioxidant in your body, responsible for enhancing your immune system and helping your liver with detoxification. Vitamin C is an important antioxidant which can regenerate other antioxidants. It is involved in many parts of the immune system such as increasing the production of white blood cells known as lymphocytes and phagocytes, which help protect the body against infections, improving the white blood cell function and protecting cells from being damaged by free radicals. We sell N- acetyl cysteine caps (which will convert to glutathione) and Vitamin C capsules, powder, and liposomal packets in our store. We also administer glutathione and high dose Vitamin C in Springfield Missouri through intravenous infusions. Receiving these high dose Vitamin C and glutathione infusions regularly throughout the winter maybe be one of the most impactful things you could do to boost your immune system.
Optimize Vitamin D
Vitamin is a powerful immune system modulator, meaning it is key to fighting off infections and regulating autoimmunity. Optimal levels range from 70 to 100 ng/mL, so we recommend taking 5,000 IU of a high-quality vitamin D supplement per day and working with a physician to regularly monitor your levels. You will also want to be sure that your vitamin D supplement is paired with vitamin K (like the Vitamin K2D3 that we carry in our retail area) to ensure that it is safely absorbed and doesn’t lead to artery calcifications.
Get Plenty of Exercise
Exercise can boost your immune system by increasing your circulation. Increased circulation allows antibodies to travel throughout your bloodstream faster, making it easier for your immune system to fight off an illness. Exercise can also enhance your immune system by relieving stress and slowing the release of stress hormones in the body.
Supporting your immune system, strengthening your gut health, and remaining rested and stress-free are not only the keys to boosting your immune system and preventing the flu, but they are also an integral part of our treatment at Kare Health and Wellness to keeping you on the path to optimal health.