When it comes to improving your immune resilience, you need to understand that your body has an anti-inflammatory system and a pro-inflammatory system. Both serve vital protective roles and, ideally, they operate in balance with one another.
For instance, when you have an infection, such as from a virus, your pro-inflammatory system activates to kill the infection and the anti-inflammatory system steps in to support recovery.
However, some people are chronically inflamed, which impacts both these mechanisms. How do you know if you might be chronically inflamed? The most common symptoms are chronic tiredness and all-over body pain.
Many things can promote chronic inflammation, such as an inflammatory diet that includes too many sugars and starches, and foods you are not aware trigger an immune reaction in you. Gluten and dairy are the two most common inflammatory foods, although eggs and soy are also common culprits.
Other possible causes include:
- Chemical sensitivities
- Mold toxicity
- An undiagnosed chronic infection
- Leaky gut
- Overgrowth of bacteria or yeast
- An undiagnosed or improperly managed autoimmune condition
- Endotoxemia, which is the circulation of very inflammatory compounds called lipopolysaccharides in your bloodstream
Chronic inflammation impairs the ability of your overall immune system to respond appropriately to pathogens such as viruses.
I’ve seen this in my practice — we have little effect supporting immune function with diet, lifestyle, and supplements until we can control an active source of inflammation such as an Epstein-Barr or hepatitis C infection.
Or, if you have mold issues, getting out of damp buildings and into a cleaner environment may be the way you tackle chronic inflammation.
In addition, simply removing a common source of food sensitivities can make a profound impact on your overall inflammation, whether it’s gluten, dairy, soy, egg, certain grains, or other foods.
To learn more about anti-inflammatory diet, check out my free ebook, The Autoimmune Diet, which will guide you through the process of developing an anti-inflammatory diet customized to your needs.
As you can see, chronic inflammation can have many possible origins, not all of them a quick and easy fix. But the takeaway is that the more consumed your immune system is with chronic inflammation, the less resilient it is to infections and the harder it is to recover. You can learn about these concepts in more depth in my free Everyday Immune Resilience guide.