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The Perfect Machine:The Body’s Immune System

I can’t overstate the importance of the body’s immune system. I see so many clients who want that quick fix. They want to quickly drop weight that they’ve gained because of their bad eating habits. The problem is that it all comes down to more than simply losing weight. It comes down to getting the body healthy.

The body doesn’t make mistakes. The body is this perfect machine that has to be cared for or it starts to have problems. We hurt our bodies tremendously by making bad food choices. It is literally oral suicide.

When I say oral suicide, I mean that the food choices we make and put in our mouths have huge ramifications. Weight gain is just the visual impact. Processed foods — white flour, sugar, msg — may taste good, but they force the body to respond to our choices. When the body has to respond to our choices, it creates havoc in the immune and nervous systems.

Our bodies are like a Swiss watch with numerous parts. Every single gear must be working for it to function properly. If one gear slows or stops, everything else is affected.  When we make bad food choices, the body has to kick in the immune system to restore it to the proper function.

The immune system is an immensely complicated and intricate system, and like all systems in the body, it needs to be in top condition to perform optimally. If it is compromised in any way, germs will win the battle and disease will develop. We are always surrounded by germs, but when the body is healthy, we don’t get sick. When our immune system is compromised and cannot effectively fight off the infection, we become ill.

Digestion and the Immune System

Organs that make up the digestive tract are the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine (or colon), rectum, and anus. Inside these hollow organs is a lining called the mucosa. In the mouth, stomach, and small intestine, the mucosa contains tiny glands that produce juices to help digest food. The digestive tract also contains a layer of smooth muscle that helps break down food and move it along the tract.

Poor digestion leaves the body and the immune system in the same predicament as poor food choices – a lack of nutritional factors that support immune functioning and the function of the entire body. The reason is a poorly functioning digestive system has lost some of the ability to turn what’s consumed into something the body can actually use.

We’re using up pancreatic enzymes (digestive enzymes) faster than ever, even though we have a limited number of them. Processed food is a contributing factor. Negative symptoms include gas, bloating, belching, muscle pain, skin disorders, insomnia, constipation, diarrhea, and heartburn.

An inadequate digestive system will “steal” enzymes from the immune system to operate, therefore weakening immune function. Poor digestive capability increases the body’s toxic load.

Some areas of potential inadequacy are low pancreatic enzymes and poor bacterial balance in the intestines. Too low or too high hydrochloric acid in the stomach can also be a factor.

Poor digestion can do more than give you a stomach ache or gas because digestion is the mechanism that makes your body work. Chronic fatigue, premature aging, arthritis, poor skin and hair quality, toxicity, allergies, cancer, and many diseases can all result from faulty digestion because poor digestion (1) interferes with nutrient breakdown, absorption and metabolism, (2) allows toxins to remain in the body and accumulate, and (3) over-stresses the body.

The rate of cancer has doubled over the last 40 years. The average person age 40 or above will not just have one chronic degenerative disease; they will have two to three..

Healthy bodies start with the diet. There really is no such thing as disease. Disease is a physiological process caused by nutritional deficiencies, emotional stress and environmental stressors.

The bottom line is that we need to focus on more than losing weight. We should be focusing on healthy lifestyle habits. Stop the oral suicide that creates disease.

By Kay Spears, San Antonio Nutritionist