This month we’re embracing health and wellness on Jugni Style, and we’ve brought together experts in the field to share their tips on living healthier and happier. Dr. Roop Dhesi tells us why supporting immune health is one of the most important things you can do for yourself (it helps you feel better and look good too – always a bonus in our books).
Story by Dr. Roop Dhesi
Do you ever suffer from hives, poor digestion, excess gas and bloating (ugh), or have conditions like Lupus or cancer? Supporting your immune system can help alleviate symptoms and help prevent other diseases.
So what is the Immune System? Let’s start with the basics:
The immune system is our body’s natural defense system, protecting us from harm and disease. It keeps us in balance and harmony. The immune system’s job is to be aware, recognize and adapt to everything that is foreign material inside our body. We naturally get minor colds and that is how your body improves it’s immunity. However, if the body fails to adapt or adapts at the wrong time or wrong location in our body, it can cause more damage to our health or damage down the road.
If your immune health is out of balance, it can cause major problems and results in infections, inflammation and/or cancer.
How does this happen? There are a number of ways our body fails to adapt. Some include: lifestyle, diet, stress, medical practices, antibiotic use, hygiene, genetics, and exposure to microbes in early life. The number one cause of poor immune health in North America is stress.
In my clinical practice I have found that poor lifestyle and stress are the major contributors to poor immune health. I see this daily in my clinic with cases of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Celiac Disease, inflammatory conditions like Fibromyalgia, and auto-immune conditions.
Poor diet can lead to a whole array of problems with our digestion. Our body stores a lot of immune cells in the gut mainly because it is protecting us from what we eat and absorb. Poor diet, stress and antibiotic use can all suppress healthy fighting and protecting cells, and alter the environment in the gut, making space for bad cells to invade and take over. This leaves the gut vulnerable for infections and inflammation, and repetitive inflammation can lead to something called leaky gut. This causes inflammatory cells to invade the rest of the body, making other injuries heal much slower.
One way to help improve the environment in the gut is to take good probiotics. Remember to buy refrigerated probiotics, rather than off the shelf.
If you have questions about your immune health and how to support it better, contact your health care practitioner or Dr. Roop Dhesi.