Are You Chronically Ill? 9 Tips to Boost Your Immune System Today!

immune health

By Georgia Tetlow, MD and Jill Maddock, PIM Office Manager

Want to Dive Deeper on this topic? Join Dr. Tetlow for a FREE class at Cabrini University on 8/15 at 6:30 pm: Essentials of Immune Health.

  1. Good Bacteria! Friendly microorganisms live in our respiratory, intestinal and urinary tracts and compete with bad bacteria to reduce sickness. When we say ‘bacteria’, we mean fungi, viruses and parasites, too! Most of these colonizing microorganisms are beneficial. Probiotics (bacteria, yeasts and more!) help prevent side effects of antibiotics including yeast infections and and diarrhea. Probiotic foods include fermented foods such as yogurt, miso soup, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha tea or in supplement form. At PIM, we recommend Biotics, Klaire and Kirkman supplements.

  2. Be specific about vitamin and mineral choices, and take them daily. Vitamins A, B,C and E along with Selenium and Zinc can lead to increased immune function. Working with a healthcare provider to monitor and improve your levels as well as choose the most bioavailable forms of supplements is a must. Alternatively, too much of a good thing can hurt. For example, too much Zinc can possibly lead to suppressed immune function.

  3. Choose the right dose of Vitamin D. The recommended daily allowance for Vitamin D continues to increase!

  4. Eat your veggies! On top of proper supplementation, proper nutrition is vital. Avoid sugary, processed foods that lessen immunity. A diet high in veggies and fruits along with appropriate protein intake will increase immune function. Mushrooms such as maitake, shiitake, and reishi contain complex carbohydrates called beta-glucans that enhance immunity. See our 3 part mushroom blog for details! Four Sigmatic makes an array of wonderful mushroom elixirs in the forms of teas, hot chocolates and coffee! They are pretty pricey, if you want to try individual packets, they are available at MOM’s Market.

  5. Less Stress! When you are in a stressed state, your adrenals pump out adrenaline and cortisol. Prolonged states lead to higher risk of viruses and the common cold. Save your stress for real emergencies. Mindfulness, meditation, quiet music and massage have all been shown to effectively reduce stress.

  6. Social Support. Those with rich social connections have better longevity and immune function than loners. Even stroking a pet can stimulate well being and feelings of safety that put you in the ideal rest and digest state. We can even test the immune protein in your blood called IgG that fights infection. One study even showed that those having more intimate connections have more IgA antibodies.

  7. Movement as Medicine! Regular moderate exercise will reduce tension in the body and lead to increase immune function.

  8. Get your Zzz’s! While you sleep, reparative and growth hormones go to work and make up for any damage that may have been caused from daily life. If you are deprived of sleep, your body will not be able to get into the rest and digest state, rather fight of flight which in turn activates stress on the body like inflammation and decreased immune function. Those that sleep less than 7 hours a night are 3 times more like to develop a cold!

  9. Herbs! On top of veggies and medicinal mushrooms, many other plants contain immune enhancing chemicals like raw garlic, ginseng, echinacea and astragalus.

PIM wants to hear from you! Do you have an experience with chronic illness? Do you find this article helpful? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Register for  upcoming events - FREE Group Classes at Cabrini College (please RSVP online). The next one is 8/15 at 6:30 pm on Essentials of Immune Health.

If you or your loved one needs help, perhaps you are suffering from the effects of ongoing stress, mood or hormone imbalance, including thyroid imbalance, or you or they are already working with a doctor to address a condition but want a more comprehensive, empowering approach schedule your a 20 minute free consultation or an appointment with Annmarie McManus, MMSc, PA-C, PT, IFMCP or Lauren Houser, MS, MSN, CRNP today! Not quite ready to schedule and have questions, quickly get in touch with us today!