Our wonderful Immune SystemOptiStart Chiropractic
What a wonderful Immune system our body is built with!!
This system is responsible for resisting external organisms, such as viruses and bacteria.
This ability is to resist is determined by the strength of the virus/bacteria, versus the integrity of the host defence mechanisms - your internal mechanisms. (Parkin, 2001)
Essentially you can worry about how strong an invading organism may be, or you can concentrate on what might boost your internal systems.
Your body has a wonderful network of lymphoid organs, cells, humoral factors, and cytokines, which are all working without you having to consciously direct the process. Your body also has build in “innate defenses”, which are non-specific, but include aspects such as physical barriers, inflammations responses, and fever responses, all designed as a first line defence (Martini 1995).
In addition, research indicates that other systems influence your immune system function. This includes the function of the gastro-intestinal and neurological systems.
The nervous systems communicates and connects with immune organs. Important parts of the nerve system include the “hypothalamo–pituitary–adrenal” axis - also known as the HPA axis, the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. These parts of our immune system are affected when we are under stress. The nervous system also functions to sense inflammation, which is an important part of the signaling for some immune cells. Studies show the central nervous system injury increases susceptibility to infection by brain-specific mechanisms (Meisel, et al).
As you and your family try to “SURVIVE THIS WINTER” (or perhaps THRIVE??), it can be worth thinking broadly about all the wonderful ways your immune system can function, and all the different parts of your body involved in the immune system, including the gastro-intestinal and neurological systems.