An update on the covid-19 blog

In this blog I want to highlight modifiable lifestyle factors. It is more important than ever to have a healthy and strong immune system to defend ourselves. You can certainly strengthen your immune system and enhance your body’s ability to fight contagious diseases like corona viruses. In order for your immune system to perform at its best, it needs to be balanced – meaning, not overactive or under active.

Your immune system is a complicated network of specialized cells, chemical messengers, tissues, organs, and glands that work together to protect your body from harmful foreign invaders; viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites.

You need to address many factors to strengthen your immune system. It is important to take a balanced approach to give your immune system all it needs. Some of the most powerful ways to keep your immune system running at full capacity are addressing your lifestyle.

Important lifestyle factors that influence the immune system

This can resolve the baseline inflammation that can influence your immune response to COVID-19

Support the immune system by eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables from all colours of the rainbow as well as clean protein foods.

Include high fibre, pro-biotic containing foods.

This will support  you to:

  • Increase antioxidant levels and reduce oxidative stress.
  • Balance and support the gut microbiome.
  • Provide nutrients to balance the inflammatory response.

Tend to gut related issues as needed.

Your gut health and immune system are closely linked:

  • Approximately 70% to 80% of you immune tissue is located within your digestive tract.

Disruptions that lowers the body’s immune response:

  • Stress reduce the pro-biotic numbers in the gastrointestinal tract.
    These gut microbes support the immune response as one of their functions in the body
  • Intolerant foods lead to a chronic mucosal immune response in the intestinal tract, which will weaken the body’s immune response to viral and other infection.
  • Chronic inflammatory bowel disease, an umbrella term used to describe disorders that involve chronic inflammation of your digestive tract, that weakens the gut associated lymphoid tissue which works in the immune system to protect the body from invasion by organisms from the gut.
  • Impaired intestinal barrier function in diseases like chronic inflammatory bowel disease. The barrier function includes protecting the body from the large numbers of microbes that inhabits the intestines.

You need Adequate Sleep

  • Sleep is one of  your body’s first line defence against infectious disease.
  • During sleep, your body produces proteins called cytokines that fight inflamation and infection.
  • Sleep improves your body’s ability to fight off infections naturally.
  • Lack of sleep slows down the immune response and can increase the risk of catching the common cold or a viral infection.
  • Your body needs regular sleep to rest, repair and rejuvenate. Sleep depravation also leads to to an increased stress response that reduces the immune response. This increases the vulnerability to inflammation, infections and other ilnesses.

Use de-stress techniques to reduce the stress response in the body.

  • Do diapraghm or abdominal breathing.
  • Listen to soothing music with slow tempos.
  • Have a hot magnesium sulphate salt bath – add soft candlelight.
  • Get a massage – add aromatherapy oils such as chamomile or lavendar to reduce anxiety.
  • Exercise regularly – outside in the sunlight can improve the experience.
  • Make a checklist or draw up an action plan to gain more control.
  • Say no to things that will add to the stress.

Social Connections:

  • Even in the face of social distancing it is important to connect regularly with you fellow humans.

Culture an attitude of gratitude Sustained feelings of gratitude have real benefits:

  • Boost the Immune system – the IgA antibody, which serves as the first line of defence against pathogens, increases in the body.
  • Biochemical changes – favourable changes in the body’s biochemistry include improved hormonal balances.
  • Increased positivity – according to researchers from the University of Miami and the University of California, Davis who studied this process in 157 individuals over 13 days.

Do not allow fear to drive your emotions and actions.


COVID-19 Functional medicine resources practitioner portal IFM

Practitioner portal Metagenics Webinar by Dr Deanna Minich, PhD, FACN, CNS talking with dr Heather Zwickey, PhD, professor of Immunology at the National University of Natural Medicine


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