What Is Immuno-Identity? A Functional Medicine Expert Explains
Immunity is everything. COVID-19 has caused you to become more aware of your own immune function, but immunity is so much more than just staying healthy during a pandemic. Like the nervous system and the microbiome, immunity connects inside to outside. It’s a translator in search of balance. It’s also a system of rapid turnover—1 million new white blood cells every 10 seconds—and interventions can really spark change.
My experience in personalized, functional medicine has led me to new ways of thinking about immunity, and in the wake of COVID-19, that work feels even more urgent. By connecting some dots in the scientific literature, I’ve come to recognize that there’s a simple question everyone needs to ask: What kind of immune system have you built for yourself? In other words, what’s your immune system personality?
That’s right, I strongly believe that each immune system has a personality. Once you understand that your immune system has its own identity, you can begin to personalize the therapies and interventions you use to support it.
This is a different approach, so let me restate it a bit. Your immune system matters on a daily basis, and it’s special to you. I’ve come to think of five main personalities here—let’s call them immuno-identities—to help us all get past the one-size-fits-all approach to supporting immunity. We need to cater to our own unique needs, and getting in touch with your personal immune system can help.
What do I do? There are some adjustments you can make with your diet to help calm down a chronically overreactive immune system. I recommend incorporating more cruciferous vegetables, olive oil, garlic, and green tea. Intermittent fasting can be an especially powerful tool for this identity.
What do I do? Sleep (seven hours at least), social interaction, and daily exercise are a vital foundation for immune-rejuvenation here. I also recommend including supplements like zinc and vitamin C, along with mushrooms, like cordyceps and reishi.
This content was originally published here.