Optimise your immune health

With the COVID pandemic still with us in 2021, everyone would like to know how they can boost their immune system. Unfortunately, it is not as easy as just taking a magic pill a day or a handful of pills as it stands today. A healthy immune system is directly linked to a balanced lifestyle with nutraceuticals supplementing where our diet is not sufficient.

At Elan Healthstyle our goal is to treat patients holistically and to assist them with the lifestyle changes and supplementation needed to achieve this.

There are some common causes of a compromised immune system which often require medical intervention. These can be divided into categories:

  • Lifestyle related e.g. smoking, alcohol abuse, poor nutrition, lack of sleep
  • Disease related e.g. HIV, diabetes, auto immune disease, cancer
  • Medication related e.g. cortisone, methotrexate
  • Primary immune deficiency which means the person is born with a weak immune system

There are some simple lifestyle changes you can make to strengthen your immune system (as well as boost your mood).

  1. Ensure you get 7-8 hours of sleep. The total amount of sleep is not the only important component. Improving deep sleep should be the focus. This can be done by implementing a fixed bedtime routine every night with electronic downtime at least 2 hours before you even attempt to fall asleep. At times hormonal disturbances need to be corrected to improve your sleep quality. Discuss this with your doctor. A magnesium supplement can also help you get some much-needed ZZZZ’s.
  2. Exercise regularly. This does not mean you should run a half marathon daily. On the contrary running tends to raise cortisol levels which is a natural stress hormone. Pilates and yoga are great at reducing that gnawing stress that keeps you up at night.
  3. Quit the bad habits. Obviously, we cannot do a lifestyle post without preaching about reducing alcohol intake and kicking the nicotine addiction.
  4. Stress and anxiety management. Meditation should form part of everyone’s nighttime sleep routine.
  5. Eat a healthy diet. Reduce sugar intake!!! Eat food rich in minerals and vitamins. Supplement with nutraceuticals to cover the gaps in your diet as discussed with your doctor/dietician. Make sure you are not consuming food groups that are detrimental to your gut health (a topic on its own).
  6. Ensure all chronic disease are well controlled!

Dr Nadine Stewart

AUTHOR

Allison Blair

All stories by: Allison Blair