Immune System

What is the immune system?

The immune system is like an orchestra of many different cells, all playing their unique part in a complex array of signalling mechanisms, chemical reactions and pathogen killing processes.

For all of this to work properly, we need enough intake and absorption of unprocessed whole foods that provide macronutrients (protein, carbohydrate, and healthy fats), as well as micronutrients (including Vitamins C, A, and D, Zinc, Iron and Selenium). We also need a wide variety of plant-based foods, in order to support our microbiome and provide antioxidants, both of which play important roles in supporting immune function.

When we have insufficient or inadequate nutrition, our immune systems do not work at their best.  This makes us more susceptible to infection. Sometimes, our immune systems may begin to work in overdrive and attack our own body as if it were a foreign pathogen.  This is called autoimmune disease.

How does functional medicine support the immune system?

If you suffer from any of the following, nutritional and lifestyle interventions (in conjunction with any necessary ongoing medical treatment) may make an important difference to your day to day health and wellbeing:

  • Frequent infections such as colds/flu
  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis
  • Skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis

Functional medicine for the immune system

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Step 1: Understand the root cause
In addition to discussing your current symptoms and concerns, I will take a detailed medical and lifestyle history that incorporates a full analysis of your diet, exercise, stress exposure and sleep quality, as well as interpretation of any previous test results.  You may also be asked to complete a three-day food diary.

I will use this to create a timeline of your health concerns to date, mapping these to any significant life events that you may have encountered so far.

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Step 2: Undertake further testing
If necessary, I may recommend further testing in order to better understand the cause of your current symptoms.

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Step 3: Create a personalised wellness plan
I will use the information we have gathered during our initial session, combined with any further results, to design a personalised nutritional programme for you.  The aim will be to address your current symptoms as well as optimising your long-term health and wellbeing going forward.
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