Many people do not know that a healthy immune system actually starts in the intestines. The intestines are filled with a delicate balance of more than 500 different strains of bacteria (also called gastrointestinal flora). These microorganisms account for 70% of our immune system. Maintaining a healthy balance of intestinal flora is essential to protect you from the constant exposure to external pathogens. By supporting your intestinal flora you also strengthen your immune system.
Probiotics are one of the best ways to strengthen your immune system. Probiotics replenish the healthy flora throughout the GI tract. Many different strains and strengths of probiotics are available on the market, so it’s very important to work with a knowledgeable healthcare practitioner to ensure you are taking a high quality probiotic that it is indicated for your individual health condition.
Many factors contribute to a weakened immune system. These factors include vitamin and mineral deficiencies, inadequate sleep and rest, a stressful lifestyle, cigarette smoking, use of alcohol and other drugs, side effects of certain types of medications, steroids, and antibiotics, as well as a imbalance within the meridian system of Chinese Medicine.
At Sage Medicine, we work closely with our patients to address all of your healthcare needs. We can help determine why your immune system is compromised, support you in eliminating contributing factors, and create an individual treatment plan to specifically strengthen your immune system.
Signs of a Weakened Immune System:
• Frequent colds and flu
• Unable to recover from illness
• Feeling tired and run down
• Changes in your digestion and GI health
• Headaches and dizziness
• Watery eyes, sinus congestion, runny nose
• Achy muscles and joints
• Hypersensitivity to foods
10 Tips to Boost your Immune System:
• High quality probiotics (with at least 8 billion viable cells per capsule)
• If you’ve been sick or on antibiotics – take a higher potency of probiotics (50-100 billion
viable cells per capsule)
• Include fermented foods in your diet (sauerkraut, pickled foods, kimchi, tempeh, miso)
• Avoid sugar, dairy, carbohydrates, and alcohol
• Vitamin C & Zinc
• Elderberry syrup
• Medicinal mushrooms (reishi, shitakii, maitake, cordyceps)
• Adequate sleep and water
• Fresh cooked wholesome meals
• Acupuncture and Chinese herbs