Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Balanced Immune System

Our health, both physical and emotional, is controlled by our immune systems.   A balanced immune system reacts to the right degree to heal us when we’re hurt, and to protect us from infections and cancers.  It does not “over react” or “under react” to these challenges, it simply reacts appropriately to each situation.  However, an unbalanced immune system, whether over-active or under-active, does not react appropriately and can lead to opportunistic infections and diseases, or even cause them. 

Based on my medical history, I was certain that my immune system was totally out of balance and had declared all-out war on my body!  And while my recent alternative therapies were proving to be very effective, clearly I would have to avoid many (normal) things for the rest of my life.  I was still hopeful that I would find a natural solution to my over-active immune system.  Before this could become a reality I still needed a better understanding of the immune system.

An Under-Active Immune System
An under-active immune system can be caused by a number of things - heredity, chemo-therapy, radiation therapy, aging, and even stress.  Whatever the cause the result is the same, sluggishness and an increased vulnerability to a host of illnesses.  The under-active immune system “under responds” and may be incapable of meeting the challenge of even a mild infection.  Infections that wouldn’t bother a healthy person may be deadly to one with an under-active immune system.  Hence, a person with AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) and those undergoing cancer treatment are highly susceptible to diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites.  These patients must be very careful to avoid any kind of infection, including the common cold and the flu.   

There are a number of immune system “boosters” on the market, but they may do little to help those who suffer from an extremely suppressed immune system.

An Over-Active Immune System   
Autoimmune diseases are the result of an over-active immune system; and just as the term implies, the over-active immune system over responds to everything, resulting in too much inflammation.  A balanced immune system knows the difference between the bad guys and the good guys.  An over-active immune system reads many normal things as bad and proceeds to attack them, including your own tissues and cells!  It just can’t distinguish a foreign antigen from antigens from one’s own body.  Right or wrong, it is an equal opportunity destroyer.   

Allergic reactions to seemingly harmless things, such as pet dander, pollen, and even natural fragrances, are all the result of an over-active immune system.  Autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, arthritis, IBS (or IBD), lupus, insulin-dependent diabetes, and fibromyalgia are also caused by an over-active immune system and are generally treated with immune suppressive drugs, which can inadvertently tip you towards the under-active side of the scale.

Now What?
Armed with this understanding, I began my search for something natural that would safely balance my over-active immune system and allow me to have a reasonably “normal” life.  A call from a friend about a supplement called “i26 Hyperimmune Egg” would prove to be the answer for which I’d been searching.

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