Welcome to my 5-part blog series “5 Things You Must Do To Avoid An Early Death.”
I think it’s safe to say that most of us don’t want to face an early death and would instead prefer to live a long, healthy life.
But sadly, our current state of “health” is not healthy at all.
Instead, we now live in a time where the vast majority of us are sick, overweight and medicated and the percentages continue to go up—not down.
A poor state of health dramatically increases your chances of an early demise.
So if you want to make sure the grim reaper doesn’t come calling for you anytime soon, now is the time to do something about increasing your chances of a long, healthy life.
Not next week, next year, later, or someday.
In this series I will talk about the five crucial actions you must take to help avoid sickness, disease and early death, as well as help create better health and pave the way for a longer life, no matter where you may be starting from!
Even if you have battled illnesses in the past or are currently dealing with health challenges, it’s never too late to feel better and stack the deck in your favor!
And the first place you should start when paving the way for better health is…your humble immune system!
Part 1: Support a Strong-Functioning Immune System
The immune system is a bit mysterious, because unlike your other bodily systems that you can pretty easily pinpoint (like your heart and blood vessels, your lungs or your GI tract), your immune system is everywhere inside you.
Eighty percent of it is in your gut, but it’s also in all your cells, your bloodstream, your lymphatic system, your organs—EVERYWHERE.
The immune system’s jobs are threefold:
1- It works to neutralize and remove pathogens like bacteria, viruses, parasites or fungi that enter the body;
2- It identifies and neutralizes harmful substances from the environment and;
3- It counteracts the body’s own cells that have changed due to an illness (including cancer cells!).
Your immune system works to protect you every day, 24/7. When the performance of your immune system is weakened, compromised or aggravated, that’s when you get sick.
An under-active immune system can result in severe infections and tumors, while overactivity can cause allergies, asthma and autoimmune disease.
Self vs. non-self
For your immune system to act properly, it must be able to differentiate between “self” and “non-self” cells, organisms and substances.
As you would expect, “self” includes proteins on your own cells. Typically, the immune system has learned early on to identify these cell proteins as “self” or “good guys.” But sometimes the immune system gets mixed up, sees your cell proteins as “non-self” or “bad guys” and launches an inflammatory attack--this is called an autoimmune reaction.
“Non-self” substances are called antigens. These include the proteins on the surfaces of various bacteria, fungi and viruses. Cells in your immune system work quickly to detect the presence of antigens and fight them off or destroy them.
The two parts
Your immune system is incredibly smart because it’s constantly adapting and learning so your body can fight against bacteria or viruses that evolve over time.
There are two parts to your immune system—the innate immune system and the adaptive immune system.
Your innate immune system works as a general, first-line defense against pathogens, while your adaptive immune system targets very specific pathogens that your body has already had contact with. These two systems work side by side to counteract pathogens or harmful substances and keep you healthy.
Taking care of your immune system
Even though this all sounds very complex, the truth is, your precious immune system is relatively easy to take care of!
Most people know that having a healthy whole foods diet, getting enough sleep and minimizing stress are all important for a sharp immune system.
But that’s only half of the picture.
The other half is to identify ways that you may unknowingly be harming your immune system and do what you need to do to turn them around!
Here’s what I mean:
Six ways you may be harming your immune system
1) Using acid reducers
One of your immune system’s defenses is your stomach acid—it kills dangerous pathogens you may ingest with your food.
But when you cripple your stomach’s acid production with medications, you are lacking the acid’s protection and become a sitting duck for food-borne illnesses.
Unfortunately, acid reducing medications are among the most commonly prescribed drugs on the planet, so millions of people are impairing one of their body’s natural immune defenses and opening themselves up to sickness.
How to help: If you’re bothered by acid reflux/heartburn, keep your meals simpler, pairing meat and vegetables OR starch and vegetables. Avoid mixing proteins and starches together in the same meal because that combination is very taxing on the stomach and sets the stage for digestive problems, including heartburn/acid reflux. If you need more guidance, meal ideas or recipes, check out my Great Taste No Pain system.
And for occasional heartburn, a safe natural remedy like Gastro BeCalm Blend is just what you need. Its effective blend of anti-inflammatory herbs (including mastic gum and ginger) eases heartburn, burping and belching without the dangerous side effects of antacids.
2) Taking pain relievers for fevers
Contrary to popular belief, most fevers are good guys!
An initial rise in your body temperature is a sign that your immune system is “rising up to the challenge” of an infection or virus—and your temperature allows it to function at a higher level.
As your core temperature rises, it activates immune cells called lymphocytes that can destroy cells infected with viruses (as well as cancer cells too).
The increase in your temperature also activates neutrophils, which are immune cells that target bacterial infection. Plus the temperature increase also helps create an internal environment that is unfriendly toward harmful microbes.
But when you intentionally lower your fever with pain relievers, you are undermining your immune system’s efforts and making it likely that you’ll become even sicker!
Generally, fevers only become truly dangerous when they get up over 103°F and/or last longer than three to four days.
How to help: To ease the discomfort of a fever, it’s crucial to get lots of rest, drink plenty of fluids and take a lukewarm bath.
Also since your immune system is compromised during a fever, a potent probiotic formula like Super Shield PLUS can support your gut microbiome and immune function and help it bounce back.
3) Using sunscreen
Our use of sunscreen has had a tremendously harmful impact on our immune systems, especially as it pertains to Vitamin D.
Vitamin D plays a crucial role in your overall immune function in several ways.
First, it helps modulate your immune system activity by calming excessive, inflammatory immune responses, such as those seen with allergies and autoimmune conditions.
Vitamin D is also necessary in order for your immune system’s T cells, B cells, dendrite cells and macrophages (white blood cells that attack pathogens), to do their jobs properly.
In addition, it helps support the integrity of the gut lining, protect the mucosal barrier and regulate gut immunity.
Unfortunately, Vitamin D deficiency is widespread—up to 80 percent of Americans have a degree of deficiency.
This is primarily due to our (exaggerated) fears of the sun and skin cancer and slathering on sunscreen, thereby not allowing our skin to produce Vitamin D from sunlight like it was designed to.
How to help: Weather permitting, allow yourself unprotected time in the sun (about 20-30 minutes) so your skin can manufacture Vitamin D naturally. Make sure to never get a sunburn.
Also, supplementation with Optimum DK Formula with FruiteX-B can help ensure you have sound Vitamin D levels year-round, especially if you live in the northern hemisphere where sunlight may be limited.
4) Not weighing the risks vs. benefits of vaccines
The theory behind most vaccines is to give you a small amount of a virus to “fool” your immune system into thinking you’re sick and trick it into developing antibodies to that virus.
But everyone is different, and certain people’s immune systems might not react as expected, and/or may be hyper-stimulated and launch an inflammatory response to the components of the shot.
There has been a concurrent rise in autoimmune conditions, allergies and asthma as the number of recommended vaccines has increased over the last few decades and that’s not a coincidence.
In addition, antibodies are just one small component of total immunity, so any protection acquired from a vaccine will never equate to naturally derived immunity.
How to help: Read package inserts for ALL vaccines prior to injection and carefully weigh the risks vs. benefits as they pertain to you. Note the insert is much more thorough than the brief information sheet that most doctors and pharmacies hand out. If your doctor or pharmacist does not have (or won’t give you) the package inserts, you can look them up at FDA.gov.
Educate yourself about vaccine injuries—they are not “one in a million” as the media may lead you to believe. Currently, $4.97 billion in compensation has been paid to victims of vaccine injury or death through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (Vaccine Injury Compensation Data | HRSA) and it is estimated by Harvard that only one percent of injuries are reported…so that dollar amount could potentially be 100 times higher.
It's also important to remember that the media receive 70-90 percent of their advertising revenue from the pharmaceutical industry, so you’ll never hear the truth about ANY pharmaceutical product on the news—there’s too much money at risk.
An excellent source to help you make an informed vaccine decision that is right for you is the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC.org).
6) Using antibacterial products
By trying to germ-proof our world with antibacterial products like soaps, wipes and hand sanitizers, we are not exposing our immune systems to microbes and allowing them to get stronger, smarter and develop natural immunity.
Instead, we are encasing our immune systems in a sort of “plastic bubble,” preventing them from functioning as they were designed to. In the long run, this has the unfortunate effect of actually weakening your immune function!
How to help: Use ordinary soap and water to clean your skin and avoid all antibacterial products. Be sure to wash your hands often, especially after using the restroom, handling food or being out in public.
Now you are armed with the information you need to help support a super strong, smart immune system that will help keep you healthy for life!
To your immune health,