Advice From the Good Doctor: Supporting Immune Function
The Allergist I see is Doctor Colin Little. He is an ancient old man with a wry sense of humour. On my last visit I asked him about the possibility of medical intervention in my case. All the signs are pointing to an immune system dysfunction of some sort and I can’t stop hoping for a magical immune system pill that will fix everything and restore me to health. He just smiled and gave me the following advice;
- Reduce Pollutants – and not just the ones that I am allergic to. Humans aren’t built to withstand the barrage of pollutants we are assaulted with in the modern world.
- Take a good Vitamin D supplement – Vitamin D has an important function in the immune system, and nearly everyone in the modern world has at least a mild Vitamin D deficiency.
- Get some sunlight – even apart from increasing Vitamin D, sunlight is showing benefits to general health and immune function.
- Reduce Stress – prolonged exposure to the stress hormones is bad for the body.
- Increase mild exercise
- Increase vegetable intake
- Reduce antibiotics – this is because the immune system’s regulatory T-cells depend on microbes in the gut.
- Reduce saturated fats
- Increase unsaturated fats
- Increase intake of Brassicas – these are the veggies such as broccoli, cabbage, kale and turnip. They are nutritionally awesome and supply the immune system with many essential nutrients.
I found this advice a little disheartening as I’m already doing most of this and it’s not working particularly well. Why can’t there just be a magic pill? But I am determined to do everything that could possibly help. So I will spend at least an hour outside in the sun every day (as long as it’s not raining), I will include a brassica vegetable in my morning green shake, I will come back to meditating to reduce my stress levels, and I will get an air purifier to reduce pollutants and eliminate some of the more pervasive allergens such as formaldehyde.
Over to you; do you think the immune system plays a part in your chronic illness? What do you do to support your immune system?