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You are viewing: H4H Monographs - Immunity - Level 2
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to H4H Monographs - Level 1

February 10
H4H Monograph
Immunity
What it is & How it Works

Contents
Immunity
What it is & How it Works
Introduction

Immunological Response
Summary of Non Specific (Innate) Immunity
Summary of Specific (Acquired) Immunity
Description of Non Specific (Innate) Immunity
Background
Physical
Phagocytes
Interferonal
Plasmic Protein
Inflammatory
Febrile
Description of Specific (Acquired) Immunity
Background
Lymphatic System
The Lymph Sites
The Thymus
The Spleen
Bone Marrow
Node Sites
Lymph Vessles

Reasons for Reduce Immunity

10 Ways to Boost Your Immunity

Boosting Immunity Homeopthically

 

Immunity
What it is & How it Works.

Introduction
The Immune System is a complex network of specialised cells (lymph glands) and organs (lymph organs) that are connected together by vessels (lymph circulatory system) and specifically designated to defend the body against attacks by "foreign" invaders and infections by antigens such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites.

A person with a healthy immune system should have no chronic disease or debilitating physical problems. The invader challenge is overcome and cannot infect the host until such time as the immune system is too weak to combat it.

However where health is seriously compromised the immune system may be unable to ward off the invader with the result that entry into the host is secured. This typically occurs over a lengthy period in which negative health condition gradually prevail as a result of a slowly diminishing white blood cell count.

The Immunological Response
The bodys immune response is multi factorial involving many different systems, methods, levels, types, barriers, organs, secretions, cells, classes and organisations of defense as summarised below
 

A] Summary of
Non Specific (Innate) Immune Response

  • 1. Physical
    • Skin
    • Mucus membranes
  • 2. Phagocytes
    • Microphages
      • Neutrophils
      • Eosinophils
      • Basophils
    • b) Macrophages
      • Monocytes
  • 3. Interferon
    • Interferons (cytokines)
  • 4. Plasmic Proteins
  • 5. Inflammatory
  • 6. Febrile

B] Summary of
Specific (Acquired) Immune Response

  • 1. Thymus
    • Lympahtic
    • Natural Killer T-Cells (NK Cells)
    • NK Helper T-Cells
    • Suppressor Cells
    • Memory T-Cells
  • 2. Spleen
  • 3. Bone Marrow
    • Lymphocyte B-Cells
      • IgM
      • IgA
      • IgG
      • IgE

A] Description of
Non Specific (Innate) Immune Response

Background
The Non Specific (Innate) immune system defends the host from infection in a non-specific manner. This means that the cells of the Innate system recognise and respond to pathogens in a generic way, but unlike the adaptive immune system thy do not confer long-lasting protective immunity to the host. The Innate immune systems provide immediate defense against infection, and are found in all classes of plant and animal life.

It is thought that the innate system is an evolutionarily older defense strategy and is the dominant immune system found in plants, fungi, insects, and in primitive multicellular organisms. 

Characteristics of Innate Immunity include:

  • Disease resistence with which one is born (ie genetically based origins), nonspecific in action with all antigens attacked pretty much equally. As such its mode of action is non antibody and is passed on genetically from generation to the next.
  • In common with all genetic traits whilst their characteristics cannot be fundamentally changed their degree of expression can be environmentally modified both adversely or favourably. This phenomena forms the basis for Darwin's theory of evolution in which characteristic are gradually modified by environmental pressure.   

Functions of Innate Immunity include:

  • Destruction of bacteria, viruses, parasites and allergic antigens by phagocytosis.
  • Recruiting immune cells to sites of infection through the production of mediators including cytokines.
  • Activation of a system to promote clearance of dead cells or antibody complexes.
  • The identification and removal of foreign substances present in organs
  • Activation of the adaptive immune system through a process known as antigen presentation.

1. Physical Barriers
a). Skin
This waterproof physical barrier is the largest organ of the body, is hard to penetrate and resists bacterial toxins and enzymes. Secretions from the sebaceous and the sweat glands produce an acidic covering over the skin that prevents bacterial growth (pH of 3 to 5). Additionally sebum secreted by the sebaceous glands also includes an enzyme called lysozyme that destroys bacteria

b). Mucous Membranes
The mucus lining of our digestive, respiratory, urinary and reproductive tracts produce secretions that inhibit bacterial growth.   Glandular secretions in the reproductive tract such as vaginal secretions of adult females are very acidic and prevents bacterial growth.  The stomach mucosa secretes a concentrated hydrochloric acid along with protein-digesting enzymes which destroy bacteria. Saliva is secreted into the mouth and lachrymal fluid is secreted by the lacrimal glands in the eye. Both secretions also contain the enzyme lysozyme which destroys bacteria.  Mucous membrane in the respiratory tract will secrete mucus which entraps dust particles containing bacteria as they are breathed into the lungs and eventually expelled by a cough. The mucous membrane of the eye is still another defense mechanism. It resists infection by lachrymal secretions (tearing) containing both phagocytes and lysozyme.

2. Phagocytes:
This first line of cellular defense can destroy foreign microorganisms before the lymphocytes are aware of the incident. There are two classes of Phagocyte. The Microphages are composed of Neutrophils, Basophils and Eosinophils whilst the Macrophages are larger Monocytes

Scroll right for diagrammatic presentation >>>>>>>>>

Neutrophils are the most abundant type of phagocyte normally representing 50 to 60% of the total phagocite population. They secrete enzymes that help the cell to kill and digest microorganisms it has engulfed by phagocytosis. An increased proportion of neutrophils in the blood, a common finding with acute bacterial infections, is called neutrophilia whilst the converse, often associated with viral infectiuons, is termed neutropenia. Thus neutropenia lowers the immunologic barrier to bacterial and fungal infection.

Basophils stain with basic dyes (hence their name) and constitute up to 3% of the phagocyte population whilst Eosinophils stain with acid dyes. Both are important for their roles in the prevention of allergic reactions such as asthma as well as bacterial, parasitic and yeast infections. Upon activation they secrete a range of highly toxic proteins and free radicals which are highly effective in killing invading bacteria, parasites yeasts and inflicting tissue damage to the agents of allergic reactions.  

3. Interferon (IFN):
These small proteins called Interferons are classified as cytokines (hormones of the immune system) whose function it is to interfere with viral replication by diffusing into uninfected neighbouring cells and making them resistant to viral infections. As a result the host exhibits increased resistance to viral infections. Thus interferon induces an antiviral state in non-infected cells. Interferon is considered to be the body's first line of defence against infection by viruses

Interferon (IFN) Mode of Action- Diagrammatic

Interferon Diagramme


4. Plasmic Proteins
Some 20 special plasma proteins that bind to invading bacteria thus destroying their cell membranes resulting in inflammation.

5. Inflammatory
This occurs when injured cells release inflammatory mediators (including cytokines and Interferon) which cause a local sensation of swelling , redness , heat, and pain.  This dilation of blood vessels attracts phagocytes which results in clot formation

Scroll right for diagrammatic presentation >>>>>>>>>

6. Febrile
Fever occurs when
pyrogens released by macrophages in response to pathogens in the blood increase body temperature in an attempt to destroy them by heat.  

B] Description of
Specific (Acquired) Immune Response

Background

The Specific (Acquired) Immune ystem is a system of biological structures and processes within an organism that protects against disease by identifying and killing pathogens and tumor cells. It detects a wide variety of agents, from viruses to parasitic worms, and needs to distinguish them from the organism's own healthy cells and tissues in order to function properly.

To survive this challenge multiple mechanisms evolved that recognise and neutralise pathogens. This adaptation process based on immunological memory is referred to as "adaptive immunity" or "acquired immunity". Immunological memory cells are thus created from the primary response to a specific pathogen which in turn provides an enhanced response to secondary encounters with that same specific pathogen.

The adaptive immune system allows for a stronger immune response where each pathogen is "remembered" by a signature antigen. The adaptive immune response is antigen-specific and requires the recognition of specific non-self antigens during a process called antigen presentation. Antigen specificity allows for the generation of responses that are tailored to specific pathogens or pathogen-infected cells. The ability to mount these tailored responses is maintained in the body by "memory cells". Should a pathogen infect the body more than once, these specific memory cells are used to quickly eliminate it.

1. The Lymphatic System                                               
Lymph is a clear plasma like fluid composed of lymphocytes (a specialised type of white blood cell) that is manufactured in specific sites in the body. On the outward journey from the heart lymph travels by means of the body's arteries when it is combined with oxygenated blood and plasma. Its function is to circulate both around and into tissues and cells cleansing and maintaining their health. The return journey is facilitated by lymph nodes which extract used lymph from blood and convey it back towards the heart by means of the lymph vessels of the lymph capillary and circulatory system.  Thus the outward journey from the heart is via the bodys arteries whilst the return journey is through lymph vessels. The final collection points for returning lymph are the two lymphatic ducts (the right and left thoracic ducts) which readmit used lymph into the circulatory system by way of the venous system.

Scroll right for diagrammatic presentation >>>>>>>>>

2. Lymph Sites
The main three areas of activity are 

i) The Thymus (Cellular Immunity): which is a gland situated just below the thyroid and is divided into two by a septum. It is the primary gland of the lymphatic system since not only are lymph cells manufactured here (lymphocyte T-cells a type of white blood cell) but control is also exerted over the activity of all other lymph cells manufactured elsewhere. There are five main types of lymphocyte T-cells including:

Natural Killer T cells (NK cells) which destroys cells that have already become infected. These cells do not produce antibodies to destroy invading pathogens. Rather they bind themselves to the pathogen thus inhibiting pathological activity. The T-cell bound pathogen is then filtered out by the spleen and excreted via the blood and kidneys
NK Helper T Cells which activates more NK cells
B Helper T-Cells cells which activates B-cell cells to begin antibody production.
Suppressor T Cells which protect healthy cells from viral attack and finally.

Memory T-cells which persist in the blood to ward off any future occurrence of the same challenge


The controlling action of lymphocyte T cells takes place within the cell itself hence the term
Cellular Immunity is often used to describe T-cell activity.



When a T cell encounters an invading virus it begins to divide, forming four different types of T cell, each with a different function. Killer T cells destroy cells that have become infected with the virus by lysis. Helper T cells activate more killer T cells and also stimulate B cells to begin antibody production (unlike B cells, T cells do not produce antibodies to destroy invading pathogens). Suppressor T cells protect healthy cells from viral attack and memory T cells persist in the bloodstream to guard against re-infection.

.

ii) The Spleen: which is situated below the lobe of the liver in the left hypochondria It functions as a filter and reservoir for lymphocytes and can be considered analogous to a large lymph node.

iii) Bone Marrow (Humoural Immunity): which is the site for Lymphocyte B cell manufacture (another type of white blood cell). It exerts its effect through globular proteins called antibodies (or immunoglobulins) of which there are four main types
IgM (the primary response antibody),
IgG (the secondary response antibody),
IgA (antibody associated with the digestive and respiratory systems) and
IgE (antibody involved in allergic response).
These antibodies operate in the bodys extracellular fluids (outside of the cell) which include blood plasma and lymph and hence is often referred to as Humoural immunity. When a B cell encounters an invading antigen it starts to divide forming two different types of cell. One type is a clone of itself that begins to produce antibodies to fight the infection; the other is a memory cell which persists in the bloodstream ready to produce antibodies should re-infection occur. However for any B-cell to become active it must first be activated by a T-cell.

The controlling action of lymphocyte B cells takes place outside the cell itself hence the term 
Humoural Immunity is often used to describe B-cell activity.

When a B cell recognises an invader it starts to divide forming two different types of cell. One type is a clone of itself that begins to produce antibodies to fight the infection; the other is a memory cell that will persist in the bloodstream, ready to produce antibodies should re-infection occur.

Summary diagramme fo B-Cell & T-Cell Mode of Action

Summary of B-Cell & T-Cell mode of action (diagrammatic)

3. Lymph Node Sites
 These are small circular ball shape organs along the lymphatic vessels. Their job is to filter out and trap bacteria, viruses, cancer cells, and other unwanted substances in arterial blood and make sure they are safely eliminated from the body via the lymph circulatory system.
The Nodes themselves are sited throughout the lymphatic circulatory system but their highest concentration is found at the prime ports of entry for foreign invaders including the respiratory, digestive, urinary, inguinal and mammary systems as well as the mouth (palatine, lingual and pharyngeal tonsils or adenoids) and eustation tubes (tubular tonsils).

4. Lymphatic vessels
These begin as lymphatic capillaries in the peripheral tissues which form into larger lymphatics (with valves) and then into lymphatic ducts which collect the lymph and returns it into the circulatory system by way of the venous system. The structure of collecting vessels are like veins except that they contain more valves and of course carry only plasma.

The main two lymphatic ducts are the left lymphatic duct which collects lymph from the pelvis, lower limbs left side of the head and the right lymphatic duct which collects lymph from the right side of the body above the diaphragm at the junction of the right internal jugular and the right subcavian veins.

Reasons for Reduced Immunity
1. Diet:
Diet has an important influence on the efficiency of the immune system. Malnutrition in the fetal stage can have negative effects that last for ones entire life. Even later in life, research has shown that certain proteins, minerals, vitamins and essential fatty acids are essential for the immune system to function properly.

2. Stress
Possibly the main reason why stress causes so many health problems is that it weakens the immune system. Long term, chronic stress can have a serious effect. It is therefore extremely important to minimize stress and ensure that ones energy status is properly balanced.

3. Alcohol & Drug Abuse
Alcohol and drug abuse over a long period of time has numerous ill effects on the body, and among these is a weakening of the immune system, leaving the body more vulnerable to disease.

4. Obesity
 Obesity results in immunodeficiency partly because of the flawed diet that gives the body empty calories and not enough healthy nutrients, but also because it directly affects the immune system.

5. Chronic Disease
Chronic disease can be both a cause and a result of a weakened immune system. Certain types of cancer, such as lymphoma and leukemia, are essentially diseases of the immune system. In addition certain other diseases can weaken the immune system by themselves. Finally many genetic disorders which begin right from childhood. can also result in immunodeficiency.

6. Lifestyle
The modern world is relentless in grinding down our immunity levels. Here are some examples. 

  • Meats, poultry and dairy laced with antibiotics 
  • Chlorinated tap and shower water
  • Foods tainted with pesticides and toxins
  • Antibiotic and steroid medicines
  • Stress-filled jobs and lifestyles
  • Caffeinated and alcoholic beverages
  • Chemical-laced processed foods and junk foods
  • Sugar-filled diets that only produce empty calories
  • Diets high in salt resulting in hypertension
  • Diets high in saturated fat
  • Aspirin, NSAID, and antacid drugs

10 Ways to Boost Your Immunity

Clinical experience shows that people who pick three or more of the suggestions from this list - and stick to them - will substantially improve their immune strength, increase their ability to stay sane and healthy through dreaded cold and flu seasons, and keep their health and happiness up through the darkest months of the year!

Click More button for full details

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Boosting Immunity Homeopathically

Why Seek Treatment
Whilst the 10 ways to boost immunity naturally (as above) may be adequate for the healthy individual who does not have a compromised immunity for others less fortunate who suffer from chronic low immunity problems some form of medical assistance may be advisable. If you experience from any of the following symptoms/ conditions/ states then your immunity system could well be compromised and chronic low immunity could be an issue.

  • Frequent colds
  • Recurring infections (eg flu etc)
  • Fevers & Headaches
  • Chronic infections
  • Never felt right since ..happened
  • Frequent cold sores
  • Genital herpes
  • Painful and swollen lymph glands
  • Low energy & vitality
  • Any long term illness/ condition or addiction (arthritis, asthma, depression/anxiety, digestive complaints, tumours, neutropenia, smoking etc)
  • Life stage (age, state of development, child, senior adult, pregnant woman)
  • Genetic background

Weak immune systems are often a product of many years of neglect as well as constant wear and tear. Our bodies have naturally strong immune systems that are programmed to fight off disease, but when it is deprived of the proper nutrients it needs a deficiency builds up resulting in a compromised immunity with lowered effectiveness. Typical precursing reasons for reduced immune response have already been listed (as above).

 

The Homeopathic Alternative to Antibiotics

An increasing number of people are turning to homeopathy to boost their immune systems in order to fight disease naturally. Homeopathy provides another natural alternative to avoid the indiscriminate use of antibiotics.

Holistic Boost
When things are out of sync in the body the result is a decline in health and the appearance of visible symptoms. Homeopathy is intended to make you healthier not just by fighting symptoms (like many common over-the-counter and prescription medications) but by addressing the holistic characteristics of the individual including mind and emotions as well as symptoms. The natural healing power of Homeopathics can boost the immune system in its fight against disease and even prevent the occurence of sickness into the future.

 

Promotes Natural Balance
The foremost priority should be to boost the immune system so that the body can heal by itself. Homeopathic remedies stimulate the immune system to assist the body in repairing any imbalances that may have occurred. The immune system has to be in perfect condition to perform its functions. A hyperactive immune system will cause autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis where the body starts attacking its own cells. A deficient immune system, on the other hand, leads to deficiency diseases like common cold and flu, often extending to more serious conditions. Homeopathy aims at establishing the body's own natural balance by providing a holistc environment in which the inate natural immune system can flourish. 

 
Maintains Health

In addition to boosting vitality and promotiung energy balance Homeopathics can be used to prevent future illness by the maintianence of a high immune status. The incorporation of homeopathy into your everyday life by taking immune enhancers on a daily basis can in turn help prevent disease and keep you healthier longer. Why not enjoy the better health and increased longevity you can from homeopathic treatment. Make sure you visit your Homeopathic practitioner regularly to evaluate the ongoing success of your treatment plan.

Complete Safety

Homeopathic remedies are not only easy and convenient to take but are completely safe being non-habit forming, gentle, good value for money and free of all side effects. 

 

Constitutional Treatment 

For people with low immunity the #1 thing that I recommend is constitutional homeopathic treatment. The constitutional remedy strengthens the immunity naturally so the body can resist a disease challenge naturally. There are other things that help, but constitutional treatment is the foundation for building a strong immunity.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about constitutional homeopathic treatment.

Dr. Peter Darashah

Ph.D.,M.Sc (Lond), B.Sc., DIHom (Pract),FBIH, MARH

Nutrition Consultant & Homeopathic Physician

(087) 2621943


Consultations held at :-

The Natural Health Centre, 34 Princes Str., Cork.

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Phagocytosis diagramme CLICK TO ENLARGE
Phagocytosis diagramme
(Click image to enlarge)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imflammation diagramme CLICK TO ENLARGE
Inflammation diagramme
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lick image to enlage)

 

 

 

 

Overview Lymphatic System CLICK TO ENLARGE
Overview of Lymphatic System
(Click image to enlarge)

Lymphocyte photo CLICK TO ENLARGE
Photo of Lymphocyte
(Click image to enlarge)

Photo NK Cells CLICK TO ENLARGE
Photo of NK Cells
(Click image to enlarge)







 

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