What is your Immunity Identity and why is this important?
Take a moment and think about what makes up who you are. Your lifestyle spectrum consists of things you do and the places you have lived in your life starting at birth. The lifestyle spectrum also involves the things you eat, breathe, how you exercise, and the various things in nature you have been exposed to throughout life. Your genetics are the combination of cells, organs, and DNA predispositions that make up you as a physical presence and a human body. Now reflect on your emotions, your well-being, your spiritual self. Each of these three things is a part of who you are and they determine how well you will manage your day-to-day activities and your future as you age.
Human beings have survived here on earth for over 2000 years. The human body is amazing in its construct. We have been given an immune system that knows when it is being attacked by foreign substances and how to respond. This immune system, however, depends on how well your overall Immunity ID functions.
LifeStyle Spectrum – Genetics – Emotional Well-being
The lifestyle spectrum begins at birth and continues throughout our lifetime. Studies show that our gut flora is seeded at birth providing the newborn baby with the essential immunity protection needed for an infant. The microbiome of the gut is a key set of bacteria living in our bodies and providing the ability to fight off disease, chronic illnesses, and infections. It also gives us the ability to absorb nutrients and fluids essential to our health. Our Gut flora is now understood to have a large impact on our health. As our gut microbiome changes during our lifetime so do our ability to fight off viruses and immunity challenges. What you eat and drink during a lifetime play an enormous part in your quality of life and length of life. As the saying goes, “you are what you eat”.
Genetics is the second part of our Immunity ID make up
We can choose our friends but not our family. The genetic predispositions we inherit can affect both our short-term and long-term health choices. Think about the history of illnesses in your family. Thyroid problems, diabetes, cancer, and/or inherited genetic DNA markers such as muscular dystrophy or Rheumatoid Arthritis to name a few. Knowing important information about your genetics should direct how you manage your basic daily life which includes the food you eat, the exercise activities you participate in, and poor choice habits to avoid.
A good example is Celiac Disease. The small intestine of folks with celiac disease is sensitive to gluten in the food they eat (bread, pasta, grains). When gluten is present the body reacts by attacking the gastrointestinal tract with inflammation. This inflammation intern affects how nutrients are absorbed and increases abdominal pain and swelling. Eating gluten can cause symptoms like chronic diarrhea and can lead to malnutrition and other health complications such as cancers. If you know your grandfather and mother or father have always complained about abdominal issues – getting tested for gluten intolerance and discovering you have this sensitivity also, can be addressed by a simple change in what you eat. Removing Gluten from your diet can equal (=) eliminating abdominal pain, bloating, and reducing or eliminating long-term health issues.
Opening doors to conversations with family and close relatives are important not just to you as an individual but also to your children. Education is knowledge, understanding how to circumvent or decrease the severity of a known genetic marker in the family history can make the difference between enjoying your grandkids on vacation or spending most of your later years in a hospital.
The third ingredient to your Immunity ID is your psychological well-being
This is your emotional self. It is hard to organize, change up activities and be positive each day if you do not feel good. Your hormones play a big part in emotions as well as energy levels. If your thyroid is out of whack then most likely so are your hormones. Folks who suffer from thyroid imbalances walk a tight rope often not understanding how to help monitor hormonal changes and what they can do. There is no short, easy plan. The only way to know for sure is to perform the tests needed to begin the journey to discovering your Immunity ID. Hormones out of balance do not fix themselves, treatment is often mineral supplements and discovering which hormones are in need of balancing out. Everyone is different at different stages of life.
Let’s turn this triad of Immunity ID ingredients into the circle of Life. Emotional well-being and the Lifestyle spectrum bump back into each other.
How are your stress levels? Stress increases the cortisol levels in the body which leads to an increase in weight gain and cardiovascular issues.
A person whose cortisol levels are constantly rebounding due to stressful activities often experiences pain more frequently, demonstrates poor breathing patterns, has little to no energy, and complains of brain fog. The enzyme saliva test tells a doctor if you are having cortisol hormone spikes and then can provide a map to discussing how to naturally make changes. The doctor might suggest a daily walk, deep breathing exercises and emotionally recognizing what is the root cause of your stress and how to begin addressing the problem.
One more thing to consider is a series of small issues can add up to one big issue. When your Immune system is taxed for extended periods of time this can lead to chronic disease and a host of other medical problems. The National Academies Press describes Chronic diseases as long-term health conditions that threaten the well-being and function in a continuous and progressive way over many years of life. Not only have chronic diseases emerged as leading causes of death; they also represent enormous and growing causes of impairment and disability. By discovering and addressing the root cause of a declining change in daily activities and abilities, a person can improve their overall health outcomes in relation to possible chronic illnesses and permanent disability.
How to find out about your immunity ID, and what to expect when you visit the Doctor
A doctor who is interested in finding the root cause of an illness, will most often spend one to two hours with you on your first or second visit. You can expect to start with a blood workup exam, a detailed list of questions on your first visit, and an honest question concerning the amount of effort you will put forth to address and change the illnesses or health problems you are experiencing.
Doctors who can help you find out and make changes based on your Immunity Id include Naturopathic Physicians (ND) and Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DO). These doctors often have additional education in nutrition, eastern medicine, and chiropractic training. They consider the whole body and address the root cause of the health issue or issues. All aspects of your immunity ID are considered; Physical and genetics, chemical, hormones, and blood imbalances as well as the psychological well-being component. Treating you as an entire person. There is no quick fix. The changes and recommendations will lead to a better, longer, and healthier life if you are up for the journey.
The purpose of discovering your Immunity Id is to address the real issues leading to the problems associated with
your concerns and move forward
Expect recommendations of diet changes and lifestyle changes. It may be recommended you swap a few prescription drugs for Vitamin and mineral supplements. You may need to lose a little weight or need to improve your balance; a recommendation might be to add cardio exercises and possibly a little yoga or meditation and deep breathing activities. There are a variety of tests that provide different types of information. A thermography exam finds “hot spots” in the body which may indicate infections, lymphatic disorders, or congestion, stress-hormone analysis checking on cortisol levels. If there is a neurological component such as poor memory or dementia, a heavy metal analysis is a good place to start. There are several other types of tests, each with the goal of finding the root cause of an issue and finding the best appropriate treatment.
The Clinicians will review your medication and past history of medications.
Discuss your current medication cycle and help you determine what medications are necessary and which ones are not. For these doctors, medication is not the bottom line answer. There are many techniques available in addressing, reducing, and if possible eliminating the root cause of the medical problem. This may be difficult in the short term but the long-term benefits of a vibrant, energetic, happier, and more purposeful life are well worth the effort. Every person is different. Every Immunity ID is unique to each person. Finding out your Identity enables you as a person to take charge of your life. You do not have to live life afraid of what virus might catch up with you, you do not have to live in pain or be overmedicated to kind-of-function.
Live life to its fullest by knowing in every season of life, who you are.
Find out what Your Immunity Identification is and enjoy a long healthy life!
I would like to thank Dr. Carsrud of Lakeline Wellness Center for speaking with me about Immunity Id. This blog only scratches the surface of the importance of know your Immunity information. If you are stuck in an unhealthy, unhappy situation a good place to start is with this team of professionals.