The function of immune system, a double-edged blade
The immune system is composed of a complex network of innate and adaptive components endowed with an extraordinary capacity to adapt and respond to highly diverse challenges.
Behaving as a double-edged blade, our immune system is designed to give us the best protection against challenges in life. However, a dysregulated immune system can cause more harm than good. Allergy, asthma, and IBS are the common examples of malfunctioned immune responses. The current Covid-19 pandemic is the perfect wake up call for everyone about the importance of a well balanced and functioning immune system for our lives.
Many diseases are resulted from a failed immune system, respiratory diseases like strep infection, pneumonia, asthma, bronchitis; skin disease like eczema, urticaria/hives, psoriasis; digestive diseases like Colitis, food intolerance/allergy, appendicitis, hepatitis (Inflamed liver), cholecystitis (inflamed gallbladder); Urinary system like UTI, nephritis (inflamed kidney) and the whole category of Auto-immune disorders. This is also the reason behind why Covid-19 patients have been showing symptoms across many different organ systems including lungs, heart, skin, kidney and digestion, due to a malfunctioned immune system responding to coronavirus.
Three Key components and one problem for immune health
Inflammation is the immune system's response to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, toxic compounds, radiation,
The inflammatory response is protective when the immune system is operating optimally, and becomes destructive when the immune system loses its ability to keep the inflammation checked.
- Gut Health / Microbiota
Microbiota are the trillions of microscopic organisms hosted in the body. It plays a fundamental role in the induction, training and function of the host immune system. When operating optimally this immune system–microbiota alliance allows the induction of protective responses to pathogens and the maintenance of regulatory pathways involved in the maintenance of tolerance to innocuous antigens.
Pathologies that increasingly affect humans such as allergies, autoimmune and inflammatory disorders all arise from a failure to control misdirected immune responses against self, microbiota derived or environmental antigens. Further, alteration of the composition and function of the microbiota as a result of antibiotic use, diet evolution has transformed our microbial allies into potential liabilities.
The majority of the microbiota residuals in our GI tract. Therefore our Gut health play the key role in regulating our immune system’s function.
Endocrine/hormone system plays a critical role in regulating immune response. Corticosteroid, a major immune suppressor and powerful anti-inflammatory hormone that our body produces and is designed for emergency uses. Corticosteroid medication can save lives under some circumstances, for example Covid-19.
The problem with the anti-inflammatory and corticosteroid medications
The side-effects of long-term use of anti-inflammatory and corticosteroid are well-known to damage the digestive system, where the microbiota resides. It is like fixing the leaking roof and broken walls while weakening the foundation at the same time. The house will still collapse eventually. The dilemma of treating the disease and preserve the health is unsolvable under western medicine treatment.
Chinese Medicine For Your Immune Health
By understanding how the immune system works, improving immune health is neither simply strengthening an assumed weakened immunity by the “immune boosters”, nor only suppressing it when it comes to
auto-immune disorder or chronic inflammatory disease through immune suppressor or steroid medication.
Our body is a complex system that requires more than just one-directional action. To optimize immune health, we need a more sophisticated and holistic approach that can address the complexity of the immune system.
Chinese Medicine recognizes the complex nature of the immune system and the important role the digestive system and inflammatory response play in the overall immune function.
Through personalized treatment and on-going fine adjustment based on the feedback from patients, the goal of Dalu’s immune treatment is to correct any disruption, and restore the body's ability to decipher between itself, the external environment, and pathogens.
Dalu Wang, R.TCMP R.Ac, is a licensed Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner and acupuncturist located in Toronto. If you are looking for a natural holistic solution for your immune health, he can help you with his TCM treatment. Book an appointment online or call 647-779-1919 to start your journey to better health.