By Adekunle Olusanya
In the first part of this narrative, I did assert that getting infected with Covid-19 shouldn’t be a death sentence.
My own incontrovertible and unequivocal assertion is this: it is possible to catch the virus without demonstrable symptoms. That is, you could be asymptomatic in spite of the virus being in your body. Science has proved beyond any doubt that we are wired by God to resist the invasion of pathogen, either virus, bacteria, germ or parasites. This means that the ability to stay healthy in the face of devastating odds depends on the individual’s state of wellness. And with the advancement in science and technology, it is no longer plausible that today’s man is a helpless victim of harmful pathogens.
The father of Homeopathy, C.F.S. Hahnemann (1775 – 1843) demonstrated this in front of a team of eminent physicians. He swallowed diphtheria enough to kill the entire population of London and did not die!
This is no magic but about raising the body’s thermostat of defense. The salient question is whether you are a thermostat or a thermometer. Your body’s responses are hardwired to be thermostatic, that is, you are created with adaptation energy to control your internal environment (milieu interieur). Homeostasis is the word that means equilibrium or balance. Once this balance is compromised either through careless indulgence or loose lifestyle, the body is open to all opportunistic infection and illness.
The three systems responsible for maintaining homeostasis are:
1.The Immune System
2.The Central Nervous System
3.General Adaptation Syndrome
It is pertinent to refer to these body systems for the purpose of clarity. The take home here is this: once you catch the virus, your survival depends on your body’s immune system. Now, the immune system does not work in isolation. It requires the interplay of the nervous system and the body’s adaptation energy.
The Body’s Line of Defense
First of all, it is vitally important to note that our immune system is essential for our survival. Without the immune system we would be at the mercy of rampaging bacteria, viruses, parasites, etc.
At the frontline of the body’s defense is the skin which is the largest organ. There are friendly bacteria on your skin which protect you against foreign invasion. There are also the fat layers which protect you. Certain acids are secreted in the skin to deal with incoming pathogens. Second, you have the mucus lining in your gut, the airways, and the sinuses that trap any foreign bacteria and viruses.
Do you know that sometimes it is good to have catarrh twice a year because it is the body’s system of flushing out toxins from the body. Finally, you have the intestinal flora which are the friendly bacteria in your gut. These bacteria are also known as probiotics. You have billions of them ready to fight any invasion. You have them in unsweetened yoghurt, water from fermented pap (omi ogi in Yoruba). You could buy probiotic capsules. A capsule provides 2 billion live organisms of L. Acidophilus and bifidus. Then you have fructose oligosaccharide (fos), available at the local pharmacy. Inflammation is another way the immune system helps to fight off pathogens through the white blood cells.
What weakens the immune system?
Before going into the issue of strengthening the immune system, let me first of all dwell on what weakens the immune system. These are:
– Low nutrient diet
– Wrong food combination:
80% alkaline, 20% acid forming foods:
To balance our bodies, we must balance our diet with 80 per cent alkaline forming foods and 20 per cent acid forming foods. You are not just reading the Ph value of a food, but the Ph value of the “ash” of the food once it has been metabolized. (Google the alkaline/acid forming foods)
– Low supply of the followings:
. Trace minerals
. Amino acids
. Fatty acids
Stress can significantly pulverize the immune system. It is also important to add that stress can spike stress hormones such as cortisol to the extent that the immune system is weakened and predispose the body to opportunistic infections. Similarly, stress could also cause hormonal imbalance, like estrogen dominance for example. For men, testosterone level begins to drop as they age leading to many health complications such as prostate enlargement and fibroid in women. Stress could make this condition even worse. The secretion of melatonin, a mood regulating hormone which is responsible for our body’s daily cycle, can be disrupted by excessive stress.
– Low Sleep/Sleep deprivation
Experts say we need between 6 to 8 hours of sleep every night, the optimal number being 8 hours. However, the body’s circadian rhythm works only when you have regular sleep habits, like going to bed at night and waking up in the morning around the same time from day to day (including weekends). In short sleep deprivation can make you feel groggy and emotionally depleted. This scenario can appreciably whittle down the efficacy of the immune system.
There are many science-based evidences that sugar suppresses the immune system. A high sugar diet may put your white blood cells (the cellular components of the blood that defend the body against infection and disease) into a state of coma.
Strengthening the Immune System
I list hereunder 7 items that can significantly raise the immune system:
Vit C defends the body against pathogens by strengthening the body’s defense. It is one of the most potent anti-oxidant known to man. Vit C also stimulates the growth and operational mobility of the white blood cells.
This vitamin supports the growth of T-cells. In addition to its primary benefits, vit D also plays a role in the followings:
Reduces the risk of multiple sclerosis
Decreases the risk of developing heart disease
Reduces the risk of developing a flu
This is another major anti–antioxidant. It plays a major role in structural integrity of cellular activity. It also protects your eyes from night blindness and macula-related degeneration.
Supports healthy immune system
Promotes healthy growth and reproduction
Supports mucous cells in the sinus
Promotes healthy respiratory system
-Supports growth of T–cells
Boosts immune system
-Boosts immune system
Garlic is a very potent anti–microbial, anti- fungal, antibiotic, anti- cancer etc.
-Boosts immune system among other roles
Reduces asthma symptoms
Like vit C this vitamin is an antioxidant, that is, it protects other substances in the body from oxidizing.
Vitamin E also stops the destruction of unsaturated fats, hormones and other vitamins. This vitamin also acts as an anti-coagulant, being good for thrombosis, and is excellent for healing scars. What makes this vitamin very important in strengthening the immune system is that it keeps the cells younger, therefore minimizing the ageing process.
The Immune System Defenses
The immune system can be attacked by pathogens, thereby making the body defenseless. It is just like taking out your bodyguard in order to deal with you. But the good news is that the immune system too has its own defensive amour against such attacks. These defenses include the followings:
– Makes acid to destroy invading pathogens
– Poisons invading pathogens by synthesizing certain chemicals
– Fires the pathogens with free radicals which result from oxidative stress
– Secrets enzymes that are injurious to the pathogens
– Generates mucus to engulf the pathogens and kill them
– Develops a memory bank to ward off future attack.
– Deploys phagocytes (6 billion/liter of blood) to the sites of attack. These are ravenous gobblers of pathogens
– Releases T-cells (a form of white blood cells which are capable of recognizing and removing infection-causing cells).
These massive assortments of defensive mechanisms may not be able to function optimally if we remain passive in the fight against infective organisms. This means that we must take responsibility for our health and wellbeing.
TO BE CONCLUDED
All statements/opinions expressed here are not intended as substitutes for the advice of your doctor or health consultant. Try on your own to check the veracity of claims here on the internet. Make sure of all things and hold fast to what is right.
Mr Olusanya is a Certified Stress Management Expert, He lives in Lagos