One of my passions in natural health has always been the immune system. One of the aha moments just before my choice to study Naturopathy was my own son's immune system.
My son was as always sick and never recovered, lasting a month on average each time, hives and swelling from his head to his toes, big black bags under his eyes, multiple cold sores at a time, chronic staph infections in his mozzie bites, myself lying awake all night with him to make sure he didn't stop breathing…it went on. For a child who had a healthy diet, who ate whatever I told him he had to as it was his fuel to grow up big and strong like his dad, who was very well looked after, who slept all night got what he needed when he needed it. His last hospital trip resulted in multiple, scary anaphylaxis episodes, with doctors fighting and contradicting each other as to the answer. Oh dear, this such a confusing, expensive and rigorous time. To this day there still hasn't been a medical answer for it all. But this is all in the past, for years now. I made changes to his health, which now he is healthy fit and strong and is rarely, if at all sick. That's part of my story that lead me to be passionate about working with the immune system.
When I work with you as a patient, I can work with your immune system, such as your infections, autoimmune disease or allergies. However, I can also work with your immune system in the following systems of the body as part of holistic treatment to provide you with natural better health outcomes, for example:
-Your muscular-skeletal system in conditions such as arthritis, -Your nervous system in conditions of mental health and stress, or -Your gastrointestinal system and your gut health.
Your immune system plays a part with your health in so much more than cold, flu and allergies.
Some conditions require enhancing the immune system, to enable the immune system to properly protect against infections or detrimental invasions, diabetes and the worn-down immune system from conditions such as stress.
However, some conditions require modulating the immune system, as in autoimmune disease and allergies whether the immune system is not working adequately as it is hyper-sensitive or working on overdrive.
Other conditions need the immune systems to be reduced or suppressed such as cancer, Crohn's disease and lupus and any modulation or enhancement may be detrimental.
As I said, my son had a healthy diet and lifestyle, but it was not healthy for him. Finding the right answer for each individual is doing it alone can be exhaustive. What is healthy for one, is not always healthy for another. That is where my service to you as my patient draws on my Health Science training and education to find the healthy that you individually need.
So what are things you can be doing to support your immune system? If you would like to work with me to help you improve your health and wellbeing, naturally. I would love to hear from you.
I offer in-person on Bribie Island or online via Skype: -Free Discovery Sessions for 15 minutes for $Free new clients -Initial Consultations are 1 hour and 15 mins with you and further 45 minutes researching and preparing your treatment plan and a prescription for $150 -Follow up consultations for 30 minutes are $70 -Quick Consultations are also available for $35. This where you can tell me what nutrition or herbal prescription you require and I can do a check to see if it is safe for your health conditions and medications. The prescription can then be written for you to obtain quality, therapeutic doses of naturopathic supplements not available to the public/retail environment.
You can book online on this link or phone 3410 0521 or 0418 999 643. https://www.carissamcallister.com.au/book-online
On the topic of immunity, here are some key nutrients and herbs:
Vitamin C Vitamin C deficiency results in impaired immunity and a higher susceptibility to infections. It is a powerful antioxidant, participates in microbial killing, protects against tissue damage. Treatment of infection and inflammation requires significantly higher, therapeutic doses, not reasonably achieved through food. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5707683/pdf/nutrients-09-01211.pdf
Vitamin D Vitamin D deficiency results in an increased risk of infection and increases the risk of autoimmunity. It reduces inflammation, is protective of bacterial infection and influenza incidences, reduces autoimmune disease progression. Our lifestyle sees us is summer slip, slop, and slapping on the sunscreen and protective clothing, the skin cancer scare and then the covering up in winter cold which can limit adequate amounts Vitamin D we receive from the sun. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3166406/pdf/nihms-291217.pdf
Zinc Zinc is a first responder to infection. It is thought 2 billion people worldwide are zinc deficient. When deficiency exists and an infection occurs, excessive inflammation occurs causing cellular damage and reducing immune function. A simple taste test can be offered to assess if you are zinc deficient. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130207131344.htm
Diet Are you getting enough protein per day, check your intake with your body weight so your body has the fuel to be able to fight infection. Are you getting adequate amounts of your ALL your vitamins and minerals? This is hard these days for most people, and I can even struggle to do this on my busy days. Avoid processed foods and sugar. Ditch the packets and fast food, focus on natural whole foods for your vitamins and minerals and sugar, it reduces your immune system and blocks your absorption of Vitamin C.
Probiotics Lactobacillus paracasei LP-33 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus (LGG) Help restore immune control and moderate over-active immune responses. Lactobacillus plantarum Immune stimulator, particularly for those with immune insufficiency, chronic recurrent infections, post-viral immune depletion and other conditions associated with low immunity.
Echinacea Echinacea was first used by Native Americans and modulates and stimulates the immune system. Echinacea is more effective when taken at the onset or first signs of illness. Echinacea is anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic, anti-fungal.
Thyme Thyme has been used since the 16th century and improves the immune system and is used to treat infections as an antibacterial, antiviral and antioxidant.
Cats Claw Cats Claw is a traditional Peruvian medicine and immune system stimulant, an anti-inflammatory, and antiviral.
Licorice Licorice has been used around the world since as early as 2500 BC. It can block DNA replication in viruses, is an anti-infective expectorant and anti-inflammatory.
Astragalus Astragalus is a traditional Chinese medicine and increases white blood cells, macrophages and immunoglobulins. It is used to treat bronchitis, COPD, colds, flu, gastrointestinal conditions, weakness, fatigue, chronic hepatitis, ulcers and hypertension.
Braun, L., & Cohen, M. (2015). Herbs and Supplements - An Evidence Based Guide (Fourth ed., Vol. 2). Chatswood, Australia: Elsevier. Skidmore-Roth, L. (2010). Mosby's Handbook of Herbs and Natural Supplements (Fourth ed.). Missouri: Mosby Elsevier.
If you think I could help you or your loved ones, reach out to me, I would love to hear from you. Carissa