Strengthening Your Immune System
It is no secret that having a strong immune system allows your body to recover from sickness faster and helps you avoid getting sick. We know that eating properly, exercise, and sleep help strengthen our immune system. But did you that your central nervous system plays a key role in how effective and how responsive your immune system is?
Your central nervous system is a two-way communication system that tells your brain what is happening to your body, and allows your brain to control how your body moves, functions, and reacts to what is happening in your world. This includes how your immune system reacts to and fights off disease, pollen, viruses, and other foreign elements that attack your body.
What Happens to You When Your Immune System is not Functioning Properly?
Your immune system is designed to keep you well and disease free. When your immune system is weak or not functioning as it should you are much more likely to become ill, catch a disease, develop cancer, and other conditions. Having a weakened immune system also makes it harder for you to recover, and even getting over a cold will take longer.
An immune system that is not functioning as it should it can overreact to even non-threatening foreign objects such as pollen or even pet dander. When your immune system overreacts it can release chemicals, like histamine when it thinks there is an allergen. A poorly functioning immune system can even kick up problems like asthma by causing inflammation in the bronchi leading to the lungs, restricting your ability to breathe.
We have all seen the TV commercials recommending we take a certain medication for a problem, and inevitably there is a disclaimer at the end of the commercial warning of all the harmful side-effects that often seem worse than your initial problem. Many medications come with the side-effect of weakening your immune system, making you more suspectable to viruses and infections.
Even taking pain medications can cause difficulties by covering up your actual problem, keeping you from getting the real problem corrected which may restore full function of your immune system.
Autoimmune Diseases and Immune Deficiency Diseases
The importance of a strong and properly functioning immune system goes far beyond dealing with a simple cold. There are two main classes of diseases directly related to your immune system being too weak, or not functioning properly and attacking your own body.
An autoimmune disease can arise when your immune system has an abnormal response to a normal part of your body or a natural substance in your body. Your immune system starts producing antibodies to attack your own body instead of an infection or disease. There are currently at least 80 known autoimmune diseases. Some of the most common autoimmune diseases include:
- Graves’ Disease
- Guillain-Barre Syndrome
- Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Myasthenia Gravis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Type 1 Diabetes
Immune Deficiency Diseases
An immune deficiency disease is when your immune system is compromised and too weak to ward off infections or disease. It a few cases this may be related to a genetic disorder from birth, but most often an immune deficiency disease is related to a secondary cause such as medications, HIV, and poor nutrition. In any case, your body is unable to ward off an infection or disease. The main categories of immune deficiency disease include:
- AIDS / HIV
- Common Variable Immune Deficiency (CVID)
- Drug-Induced Immune Deficiency
- Severe Combined Immune Deficiency (SCID)
Chiropractic Care can Strengthen Your Immune System
The ability of your immune system to function is closely related to the performance of your central nervous system. The nerves throughout your body communicate with your brain which in turn sends out response commands to your body to fight infections and disease — and that is just a portion of what your central nervous system does. It also controls the function of your organs, the movement of your muscles, your immune system, and notifies your brain of pain and injuries.
The nerves that run through your body travel from your brain through the spinal canal until they branch out and go to various parts of your body. This is a 2-way communication.
You might be asking yourself how chiropractic care can strengthen your immune system. It's pretty straight forward. Chiropractic adjustments take care of your nervous system and improve the communication between your nerves and your brain. Often, inflammation, subluxations, injuries, and other stresses will put pressure on the nerves which reduces the amount of information your brain receives about your body. In some cases, communication can be cut off completely. Picture it this way: let's say a garden hose represents a nerve and the water in it the communication between your body and brain. If someone steps on the hose, the flow is lessened. In some cases the hose gets kinked and the water stops flowing completely. The same thing happens in your body when a nerve is pinched or pressure is placed on the nerve. The communication with your brain is weakened. Chiropractic care finds the impingement on the nerves corrects this through gentle adjustments, and restores proper communication with your brain allowing your immune system to function optimally as it should.
After proper chiropractic adjustments, the communication between your nerves and your brain is restored, your brain is more accurately aware of what is going on with your body, and can now make the proper moves to fight off infections and disease.
Studies Show Chiropractic Care Does Strengthen Your Immune System
Here are a few examples:
- The National College of Chiropractic (Lombard, Il) reported in their study the white blood cell counts (disease-fighting cells) were higher in patients as quickly as 15 minutes after an adjustment.
- 200% more immune competence in cancer patients that are under chiropractic care. This was reported by the chief of cancer prevention research at New York’s Preventative Medicine Institute and professor of medicine at New York University — Ronald Pero, Ph.D. — who conducted a 3-year study with 107 individuals who had been under chiropractic care for 5-years or more.
- During the flu epidemic (1917-1918) chiropractic patients had a death rate of .25% compared to the 5% death rate of those who didn't. This means during this major flu epidemic chiropractic patients were 20 times more likely to live!
Set an Appointment with World Class Chiropractic
As you can see based on this article and the evidence presented, everyone who has regular chiropractic care will have a stronger immune system. A healthy immune system will keeper you healthier, and functioning better. Many patients of Dr. Silverston have regular appointments for wellness care just to maintain a robust and properly functioning nervous system and immune system.
Each individual is different, so contact Dr. Steve Silverston at 410.461.3435 or use our convenient form to set an appointment. Dr. Silverston will work to correct any problem areas in your spine and nervous system, and help you live a healthier life. If you have friends or family that may find this article helpful, please recommend it.