by Dr. Corey
Hey everyone, we’ve had a lot of changes in public health recently with the novel coronavirus. The best defense against the unknown is having a healthy immune system. Our bodies are self healing and self regulating. Just like when we have a scrape and a scab forms, our body knows how to heal itself. Our immune system is our barrier to the outside world. Daily we are exposed to different bacteria and viruses. If the body recognizes them as harmful to us, the immune system hunts them down. When we get sick, we often perceive it as a bad thing, when in reality it is good. For example, when we run a fever that is our body's way of trying to fight off the bacteria or virus that likes our healthy body temperature. By raising its temperature a few degrees, the harmful pathogen in our body has a hard time replicating and the white blood cells finish the job by destroying them completely. That’s why right now when those who are not immunocompromised test positive for Covid-19 they are instructed to go home, rest, and quarantine. We know their body can regulate and kick this virus. The medical field is there for those of us that need some extra help in the healing time.
There are 3 processes in our body that can give our immune systems a boost: chemical processes, physical processes and emotional processes.
So what can you control to give your immune system a boost? Let’s talk about Vitamin D first. Vitamin D plays many different roles in the body such as helping us absorb calcium to promote strong bones, but one thing that you may not know about it is how important it is to the immune system. Vitamin D is a modulator meaning it gives balance or regulates the immune system. It is shown in people with low levels of serum Vitamin D, they are more susceptible to infections and autoimmune disease than those with normal levels. That’s why in the Winter time when we are receiving less sunlight we see the common cold and the seasonal flu instances increase.When our skin is exposed to sunlight in the warmer Spring and Summer months the cold and flu aren’t as prevalent because there’s a chemical reaction in the body that starts the process of turning cholesterol into Vitamin D, this is our natural source. In our office, we recommend 5,000 IUs a day, we currently have Vitamin D with Vitamin K on hand or we can set you up with a FullScript account. This allows you to order online and have the supplements directly shipped to you.
Another step in keeping a strong immune system is staying hydrated. Think of a car. A car needs oil, or lubrication to run. That’s what water is to our body. About 60% of our body weight comes from water. Without it we simply cannot stay alive. So it’s that important that we stay hydrated. It keeps our joints lubricated, moves nutrients throughout our body all the way down to the molecular level, helps regulate temperature, assists the liver and kidneys in their filtration and elimination functions, and can even help fight off infection. Staying hydrated can also aid in decreasing inflammation and can lessen the chances of dehydration induced migraine headaches. We recommend drinking half our body weight in fluid ounces a day. So if someone weighs 100 lbs they should drink 50 oz of water. This doesn’t mean 50 oz. of soda, or coffee or some other beverage. If you are exercising or sweating a lot you will need more. This may seem like a daunting task but if you spread that throughout the day you can do it easily.
Right now we are trying to do our best with social distancing which we agree with, but did you know physical touch is scientifically proven to be a great stress and anxiety reducer? Stress and anxiety alone can wreak havoc on us physically, which in turn can affect our immune system. With that being said, just stay close to your loved ones! When it comes to touch from a significant other our brain releases hormones, feel good hormones: oxytocin, endorphins, and dopamine. These hormones are what we call neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that communicate with the nervous system causing different things to happen in our body such as our heart rate increasing, or that pit in your stomach you get before you stand up to make a speech. When oxytocin, endorphins, and dopamine are released from our brain we may have a sense of being loved, warmth, pleasure, or a reduction in stress or anxiety to name a few. All of which play a role in our mental health. If we are healthy mentally, we are more apt to have a healthy immune system.
Chiropractic also fits in the category of helping out our immune system. A lot of people think that we only work on the musculoskeletal system. What we are actually doing is working on our nervous system and that affects the musculoskeletal system. We also have an effect on the immune system in several different ways. When we start to have dysfunction of the musculoskeletal system we start to move differently. When dysfunction happens in an area inflammation can set in. Inflammation can heal tissue, but in some cases it can also break down tissue if it is lingering. Everything that is wrong in our bodies can be traced back to inflammation or oxidation. If we can restore a normal range of motion in a joint or an area that is not moving properly we are giving our body the best ability to heal and rid itself of inflammation. That’s why it’s so important that right now we stay moving and not become sedentary! Stay adjusted!
Last but not least, now is the perfect time to begin eating healthy! Since restaurants are currently closed and take-out and drive-thru are the only options for eating out, save the time and the money and just eat home cooked meals! Go to the grocery store, go to the fresh produce section and fill your cart up with fruits and vegetables. Avoid canned foods (most are sold out anyways) and processed foods because they tend to be high in sodium. Stay away from all the sugary stuff too. You’ll be surprised how much more energy you have eating fresh healthy foods. We are posting some of our favorite recipes on our website and facebook over the next month. Try some out you may also learn you enjoy cooking as well! DO IT, this is my challenge to you in boosting your immune system!
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