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Survival: Our immune system; physiology and making the difference between life and death

04/12/2011

Our immune system is a silent wonder. While we are aware of our heart beating and the breaths we take, we are less aware of our immune system that protects us from thousands of potentially deadly attacks every day.

1. The first line of defence in our bodies are physical and chemical barriers – our skin, stomach acids, mucous, tears, vaginal opening, of which the last three mostly produce lysozyme to destroy harmful incoming pathogens.

2. In our bodies the second line of defence is non-specific immune responses – macrophages, neutrophils, interferons, and complement proteins. This line of defence also includes fever and inflammatory response as nonspecific defences.

3. Our third line of defence is specific immune responses – T Cells and B Cells. There are many types of each which work like a close knit team to destroy pathogens.

If pathogens try and succeed in penetrating the first line of defence, then the second line of defence is ready to act. If both the first and second line of defence fail, then the third line of defence will act. It is when all three lines of defence are breached that we get sick and are subject to disease.

Our immune system is a set of mechanisms of defence, protecting us from infection by identifying and attacking pathogens. This is a difficult task, since pathogens range from viruses to parasitic worms and must be detected with absolute specificity as they are “hidden” amongst normal cells and tissues. Pathogens are also constantly changing themselves to avoid detection and successfully infect and destroy their hosts.

4. When it comes to injury, our bodies are built in a way that gives us maximum mobility while protecting vital structures. The ribs provide a bony yet flexible shelter for the heart, lungs, liver, spleen, and kidneys. A wall of muscle tissue and a curtain of fat tissue protect our intestines. Our skull protects our brain.

5. Our muscular tissues are built for protecting ourselves from attackers, or running from them at high speed, if necessary.

6. Maintain the strongest possible immune system possible by:

Blood type O thrives on a lean, high protein diet.
Blood type A thrives on a primarily vegetarian diet.
Blood type B thrives on a mixed diet of meat, fish and dairy.
Blood type AB thrives on a modified vegetarian diet.

And, further supplementing our diets with a balanced multivitamin is essential.  

  • A regular exercise programme (e.g., a regular brisk walk can bolster many defences of the immune system, including the antibody response and the natural killer (T cell) response).
  • Reducing stress through achieving higher levels of spiritual harmony by techniques such as meditation and yoga.

We must all attend to all three areas to achieve our optimum health.

Some people eat a nutritious diet and exercise regularly, but are so keyed up in their lives that their stress levels overcome all of the success they achieve in the first two areas. Other people might have successfully modified their mental and spiritual state but are eating unhealthy diets or are sedentary. Others might make significant advances in all three areas, but are doing foolish and harmful things to their bodies, such as smoking or using excessive alcohol, which take away from their achievements.

We can take advantage of our body’s inner ability to heal by eating well, exercising regularly, and striving for spiritual well-being. Eliminate negative factors such as drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and other insults to the our bodies.

7. Survival is the struggle to remain alive and living. What you do could make a difference between life and death. Remember, you are responsible for your life and you can affect your own destiny. Be confident to cope with the situational stress.

  • Be aware and pay attention to your environment so you know what to do in a crisis situation
  • Assess risk, take control and prepare for action
  • Ignore peer pressure
  • React immediately
  • Time is of the essence
  • Do the thing right the first time

Only you can put it all together and it cannot be achieved overnight. There is no better time to start than now.

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