Strengthen Your Immune System Naturally!

Strengthen Your Immune System Naturally!

by Adel Eldin, MD, FACC, FACP, MBA, GGA

It is all about how strong your immune system which determines how successful your body will be able to combat any attacks by any invading pathogen whether a virus, bacteria, fungus or protozoa. It is estimated that 3.6% of the population in the US are immunocompromised ( about 10 million). This high number could be attributed to the intake of immunosuppressive drugs for diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) or Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBS), intake of cancer chemotherapy, HIV/AIDS which in particular has led to a surge in (TB )Tuberculosis.

Also, Patients with Kidney failure or those who received organ transplantation ( liver, kidney, lung or heart) are maintained on immunosuppressive therapy to prevent transplant rejection. Autoimmune disease occurs when the body attacks itself, which could be due to a defective gene linked to the inherited immune deficiency. This, in turn, would predispose to severe respiratory or gastrointestinal symptoms.

Autoimmune diseases are treated with immunosuppressive drugs such as steroids which have many side effects such as causing diabetes, delayed wound healing, elevation of blood pressure, salt and water retention.

Limiting the spread of infection by containment interventions first, then moving on to the mitigation phase by staying home when you are sick, practice social distancing, infection control measures, wash hands frequently with soap and water after coughing, sneezing, after changing diapers, touching an animal or preparing food. Use hand sanitizers, avoid handshaking, hugging and wear a mask or use a tissue to cover nose and mouth. Apply disinfectants to frequently touched areas such as door handles, light switches, and faucets . High-risk patients include those with chronic diseases, such as heart disease, and lung disease, elderly above 65 years or malnourished would be included.

Nutrition is a critical determinant of the immune system health. protein-malnutrition is associated with significant improvement of cell-mediated immunity. Similarly, a deficiency of a single nutrient such as Zinc, Vitamin A, C, B or Folic acid when supplemented will improve the immune system health. So, some people with a weak immune system would make them prone to frequent infections including Coronavirus as the healthy immune system protects from infections.

Stress can weaken the immune system which would make the stressed individual more prone to getting sick. Similarly, lack of adequate sleep would disrupt the normal production of white blood cells which are a critical component of the immune system. According to CDC, ( Center for Disease Control), Adults should get at least 7 hours of sleep. Now, comes the important question on how we can make our immune system strong?. Simple interventions would include eating healthy food, avoid smoking, heavy alcohol intake, avoid taking immuno-suppressive drugs, may use them only when needed as a bridge during exacerbation of conditions such as respiratory or inflammatory bowel disease, keeping a minimum maintenance dose, get enough sleep, exercise regularly, manage stress, practice intermittent fasting, yoga, mediation, and pray regularly which has calming and immunity-boosting effect as well.

There are many types of foods that boost the immune system such as garlic, citrus, honey, oily fish, Ginger, green tea, sunflower seed, Papaya, Tumeric and broccoli, banana, almonds, mushrooms, Pomegranate along with fresh vegetables. Apple Cider Vinger has been used for over 5000 years as a medicinal vinegar and was found in Egyptian Urns confirming that ancient Egyptians knew about the Vinger positive effect on health and beauty. It was used during the US civil war to disinfect wounds.

Useful supplements include Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 ( found chickpeas being the main ingredient in Humus) and the Black Seed ( Seed of Blessing) as it has over 100 active ingredients that would naturally boost the immune system and exert its anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-protozoal, anti-cancer and anti-aging properties. Black Seed would strengthen and stabilize the immune system naturally as it does not have any side effects or interaction with any medications. Exceptions include anyone pregnant or suspected to be pregnant because it has prostaglandin effect which may cause uterine contractions or children below 5 years of age.

Hopefully, this good news will help replacing extreme stress and anxiety about the spread of Coronavirus infection that weakens the immune system and increases the vulnerability of getting sick into hope and optimism. Remember that you will be fine if you have a healthy immune system no matter what the bug is! Coronavirus has no current vaccine or treatment available yet!

Thus taking all the necessary precautions, adopt a healthy lifestyle with a positive outlook will strengthen your immune system. This will be the ultimate successful strategy for everyone to fight Coronavirus or any infection here at home and across the globe. Stay well, everyone. It shall pass!