What is Natural Immunity? What makes up our Immune System? What are Pathogens? Antibodies? What inhibits our Natural Immunity and what can we do to build it up? Let’s discuss!
Your body’s immune system is an amazing system if you let it be, and do not hinder its optimal functioning. Let’s take a look at the basic biology behind immunity.
Natural immunity is a response by our body often referred to as “adaptive” or “innate” immunity because as our bodies fight off infection, our cells adapt and develop an ability to fight it when it revisits us in the future. Our bodies have cells within it whose primary purpose is to run around all day and eat disease-causing pathogens including toxins, fungi, bacteria, viruses, and even carcinogens! That is all they live for! The first time we become infected with a virus or bacteria, it can take our body up to fifteen days to fight it naturally, but the second time, it may be only five days.
What makes up our Immune System? Proteins, antibodies, and white blood cells are the primary components of our immune systems. Structures of the immune system include the thymus, an organ in the mediastinum (center of lungs), our entire lymphatic system including lymph nodes and vessels, bone marrow, and the spleen.
White Blood Cells:
- Neutrophils – Destroy bacteria
- Eosinophils – Respond to allergic reaction response
- Basophils – Respond to inflammation
- Lymphocyte – General immunity cell, attacks foreign substances threatening our immunity
- Monocyte – large phagocyte (eats bacteria) and eventually turns into a macrophage
What are pathogens? Any microorganism that can cause disease within our bodies. This may be a virus or bacterial.
What are antibodies? They are proteins within our immune system that attack viruses and bacteria that invade our system. Sometimes they are referred to as immunoglobulins. When we become sick, our bodies produce what are called “Memory B Cells,” which are formed and stored in our cells after we are infected with an invading germ and fight it off, making our immune system better able to fight it next time it tries to get us down! This is called adaptive immunity.
(Antibodies are the yellow “sticks” with blue tips) floating around with our cells
What inhibits the immune system?
Lets talk about how antibiotics affect the formation of these natural antibodies I’ve just explained. Antibodies are formed by our body, naturally, where antibiotics are synthetic, chemical antibodies we ingest or take intravenously. The difference in the two is their chemical structure (we will get into physics another day, perhaps). What you must understand is that if you constantly fill your body with these chemical antibodies, as opposed to natural antibodies that your body produces, your natural immune system will not be as strong, and will depend on the antibiotics.
I completely understand and agree that antibiotics have their place. They are absolutely necessary for certain illnesses. I am not in any way saying they should never be taken. I am saying we should not run to the doctor and get an antibiotic prescribed every time we have a runny nose. When we become dependent on antibiotics, they also become less effective each time we take them.
Think about generators, auxiliary heat on your furnace, and battery backups on computers. They are there to kick on when the primary system fails, right? What if they were always there to supplement the primary system, never allowing it to fail and need backup? The primary systems wouldn’t have to work as hard for themselves and would therefore become lazy! Those systems can each be replaced if a fuse blows, but your immune system cannot be replaced.
It is very important that we keep our immune system strong and not dependent on antibiotics and medications except when absolutely necessary. That way, when we do get seriously ill and need that backup, our body is not immune to it due to overexposure.
How can we boost our immunity?
- Simply make wise lifestyle choices — don’t smoke, if you drink alcohol do so in moderation
- Eat a well-balanced died and include a lot of fresh fruits & vegetables. Watch product labels and try to eat organic as much as possible. (Check out my article about organic foods for more on that topic).
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain ideal body weight for your height/age
- Rest and get adequate sleep
- Drink a lot of water
- Wash your hands frequently when in public and around other people. Germs live everywhere and some can live for weeks on surfaces! Do not touch a shopping cart at the grocery store and then touch your face.
- Manage your stress. I cannot emphasize this one enough! Since learning to do this in my own life, I am healthier than I have ever been. Trust me, stress takes a serious toll on our body.
I hope this article has helped you gain a basic understanding of how our immune system works, and what you can do to promote your innate immunity rather than inhibiting it. Please feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the form on the Contact Me page with any questions, requests for research topics, and writing.
Thank you for visiting my site! Cheers to optimal, ideal health!