How to boost your immune system so that you are less likely to get a virus.
Two weeks ago we talked about how a vaccination works in your body to create immunity to a virus. Last week we discussed the issues that put people at risk for getting a virus and for not responding to a vaccine.
The third and last section of our series on viruses and vaccines centers on how to boost your immune system so that you are less likely to get a virus, to die from a virus, and more likely to get immunity from a vaccine.
There is a great controversy about vaccines right now, but vaccines have changed the modern world from one where we had a very high death rate from communicable diseases and high childhood death rate to one that is generally protected against communicable viruses, where we now only worry about dying from the diseases of old age. Most vaccines are given a few times in our lives, like MMR (measles mumps and rubella vaccines), usually when we are children and then every 10 years or so, we get a booster. The flu vaccine is different, and we get a different vaccine every year that is created to kill the permutation of the flu virus we think is going to go around the world this winter. Doctors recommend those patients who are not allergic to the flu vaccine to get an immunization against the flu every year, because it is a preventable deadly disease, however we rarely tell our patients how to make their vaccine more effective to provide protection (to decrease the likelihood of immunization failure).
The necessary elements for a human being to be adequately protected from a virus and by an immunization include:
- A healthy immune system with adequate numbers of white blood cells of healthy white blood cells.
- Good Nutrition
- A normal blood sugar –intake of a lot of sugar containing food and drinks and carbohydrates, or the presence of uncontrolled Diabetes decreases the ability of a person’s immune system to function. Viruses LOVE sugar!
- Young healthy levels of Testosterone. Testosterone stimulates white blood cell production and modulates the activity of the thymus. Testosterone decreases and becomes deficient as we age, and the activity and effectiveness of the immune system parallels the drop of our testosterone levels in both sexes.
- Daily moderate exercise. Sitting all day slows your immune response and can accelerate the drop in hormones and the number of white blood cells. To stay healthy, you must exercise every day.
- Control of stress. High stress, and major negative life events (like divorce, loss of family members, money worries, etc.) can cause your hormone, Cortisol from your adrenal gland, to increase over long periods of time. This blunts the effect of White blood cells and decreases your immune function. Taking action to decrease stress with biofeedback, exercise, prayer, or socializing is important to keep your immune function healthy. You can also take a supplement called Endodren Supplement (1 every am) to keep Cortisol from spiking.
- Good Gut bacteria—feed the gut biome with probiotics and good basic nutrition including raw veggies and fruit. Your immunity starts in your gut.
- Replace declining hormones– Estradiol, testosterone, and thyroid hormones.
At BioBalance Health our patients who have been taking T pellets for over a year had a better immune response to viral infections during 2020 and 2021 and their T cells and B cells reacted more aggressively to kill viruses.
In addition to the recommendations above we suggest supplementation to your basic nutrition to improve your immune system:
- Vitamin D 5,000 IU per day is a must and has been proven to lessen the effects of viruses and improve the response to immunizations.
- Vitamin C 1000 mg/day
- Zinc 30 mg po q day
- Quercetin 250 mg/day
My doctor-daughter primes my grand-daughter before her immunizations with a form of liquid vitamin C each day for 3 days and the day of her immunization at the pediatrician’s office. This improves her chances of obtaining immunity from that one shot.
Special Cases require special immunizations and sometimes boosters:
There are some diseases and conditions that require additional treatment and prevention for viruses and often special immunizations that have a stronger dose of dead virus to create immunity.
- Autoimmune diseases: If you take suppressive medications for autoimmune diseases (Biologics) It is very important that you take good care of yourself and try to be as healthy as possible.
- Diabetes must be kept in control and your blood sugar and insulin within normal limits.
- AIDS Patients
- Cancer Patients
- Patients over 65 yo
- All chronic diseases
If you are a high-risk patient or you can’t lower all of your risk factors, then you may want to check to see if your immunization or recent infection gave you immunity. It will take a blood test to determine your immune status, and to see if you need a booster shot.
The current test can be done at Quest and is an IGG and IGM test for a specific virus. It tells you if you have made antibodies to a specific virus or not. You may be checking to see if your immunization worked or if you still have antibodies to an infection that you had, to confirm your immunity.
If you are at high risk and can’t take an immunization or can’t develop immunity after an immunization or infection, then you will have to continue to avoid crowds, wear masks and take supplements to fortify your immune system.
These are my suggestions for all viral illnesses like the flu, covid, pneumonia, shingles and other viruses for which we have immunizations. I hope this helps you make proper choices about activity, and immunization and that this talk assists you in improving your immunity as much as possible.