Here’s an important question: Is your immune system ready for the next hit?
This question has been at the top of my mind for months. Having struggled with chronic tick-borne diseases, I’m concerned about my immune system mounting a response against other pathogens, such as COVID, influenza and even the common cold.
Perhaps you relate? The pandemic has been a reality check … we are not as big and strong as we’d like to think we are. One little virus brought our world to its knees.
There’s good reason to be concerned. Infectious diseases are on the rise globally. From medical journals to the news, it seems something new is constantly popping up. Today we’re talking about Monkey Pox and Tomato Flu. What will be next?
The statistics are sobering:
- The World Health Organization reports infectious diseases kill more than 17 million people a year. In fact, 30 new diseases have emerged in the last 20 years.
- A report from the CDC shows a three-fold increase in the number of diseases from mosquitoes, ticks and fleas like West Nile, Zika, Malaria and Lyme disease from 2004 to 2016. Climate change will only make this worse.
- Viral infections, bacterial and spirochete infections, such as tick-borne diseases, are implicated in the root cause of autoimmune disease. Infections such as Epstein-Barr Virus and Lyme Disease have been well studied as triggers of autoimmunity. And, you guessed it, autoimmune diseases are increasing year over year – over a 50% increase in the last 25 years.
You read correctly: Pathogens are potential triggers of autoimmune disease and their flares.
Autoimmune diseases are a family of more than 80 chronic, often debilitating and, in some cases, life-threatening illnesses. According to the National Institutes of Health, up to 23.5 million Americans (more than 7% percent of the population) suffer from an autoimmune disease.
This begs the question (stick with me, there is good news): If infectious diseases and autoimmune diseases and flares are on the rise, what are we to do?
Here’s the quick answer: Ensure that your immune system is working optimally. Period. End of story.
And the good news is: You can do this!
The 5 Steps to Ensure Your Immune System is Ready to Protect You:
Give your undivided attention to your gut microbiome – Nearly 80% of your immune system lives in your digestive tract. Yep, 80%! Your gut plays a key role in your body’s ability to defend itself against infection. It is imperative that your gut is in top working order. Signs your gut needs attention: gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, food intolerances, undigested food in your stool, feeling tired or lethargic. If you struggling with Long Covid or get sick a lot, this is an absolute must-do.
Eat foods that support your immune system – Food is medicine, or food can be poison. –Minimize immune-suppressing foods, such as sugar, processed foods, refined carbs, fried foods, vegetable oils, artificial anything and alcohol.
–Maximize vegetables, fruit, olive oil, whole grains, nuts, seeds, fermented foods and healthy fats, like avocado and wild caught salmon.
Reduce your toxin load and remove toxins from your home – We live in a world filled with toxins that can harm the immune system (and even trigger autoimmune disease). These include pesticides/herbicides, hormones and plastics in food and water, solvents and mold in our homes and heavy metals in the fish we eat and water we drink. Others can come from cosmetics and products we use at home.
Become stress resilient – Bottom line: Stress damages the immune system. Even low grade stress (you know, they kind we wave away, like having to deal with a daily commute) depletes your immune system, opening you up to pathogenic infection, and fueling the fire of autoimmunity. Even good stress, like getting ready to go on vacation, can be problematic
Consider supplementation – There are targeted supplements that will support your immune system and make your body less hospitable to viruses. These include Vitamins A, C, and D3, Zinc, N-Acetylcysteine, mushroom extracts, and herbs, such as elderberry, astragalus, and echinacea. Not all of these are appropriate for everyone. If you have an autoimmune disease, the mushrooms and herbs may not be right for you.
Bringing this full circle … if you are like me … if you are concerned that your immune system is up to the task of protecting you from infectious disease and the havoc it creates in the body, consider joining Dr. Blum and me for our newly-updated course — Immune System Strong. Two LIVE classes and four video classes with Dr. Blum, and 9 LIVE coaching calls with me, you’ll learn exactly what you need to do to fortify your immune system.
We begin soon! I’ll be with you every step of the way. Learn More