The Immune System Simplified and Explained
In HG Wells’ 1898 Science fiction novel, The War of the Worlds, Martians invade Earth with the intent to colonize. Many of us have seen one of many movie adaptation over the years.In the end, the extraterrestrial invaders all but conquer, only to succumb to Earth’s microbial pathogens, The Martians could clearly out-fight the humans; however, they didn’t contemplate that their most dangerous threat would be microscopic pathogens or antigens. The same fate, in today’s toxic world, is true for us humans.
The immune system is extraordinarily complicated. Even so, it is important for people to understand some of the basics, because a properly functioning and primed immune system is our first line of defense against infections, viruses, and, most importantly, diseases.
The T-Cells are the main characters and heroes of the immune system. These cells mobilize and coordinate, like an army in battle. T-cells are the commanding officers, soldiers, supply chain, messengers, and are involved in all strategic responses to pathogens. It is no surprise that T-Cells are the mechanism of action for CAR-T Therapy. With this breakthrough T-Cell therapy that has recently been approved for cancer treatment, T-Cells are extracted from the patient, modified to recognize and fight the specific cancer that is attacking the patient, and reintroduced to the patient’s system. Once modified, these T-cells are able to seek out the cancer cells and kill them.
The Command Centers
The Lymphatic System is comprised of the tissues and organ system that help manage the immune system. This system of thin vessels runs throughout the body. They contain Lymph fluid where white blood or immune cells are found. Lymph nodes are small masses of tissue that are found in certain areas of the body (neck, groin and armpits). They filter bacteria and other foreign materials out of lymph fluid and expose them to B and T cells and macrophages that can engulf and get rid of them before they become a problem. Lymph cells multiply in response to accumulation of such materials, which is why lymph nodes swell during infections.
The Microbiome is the population of good and bacteria which reside in our GI system, stomach, and bowels. When properly populated, good bacteria kill foreign bacteria upon their entrance into the GI tract. This maintains a balance of good and bad bacteria. When the microbiome is imbalanced, for example when antibiotics kill off the good bacteria, the GI system becomes a breeding ground for some fungi. In these situations, yeast or fungal infections can occur in the mouth and other parts of the body.
The First Line of Defense (Barriers)
The first line of defense includes physical and chemical barriers that are ready and prepared to defend the body from infection. These include skin, tears, mucus, cilia, stomach acid, frequent urination, ‘friendly’ gut bacteria, and white blood cells called neutrophils. In addition, there are also “good bacteria” on our skin and throughout our GI systems that kill pathogens.
Pathogens that enter through the mouth eyes and nose are broken down by enzymes and excreted in tears, saliva, and mucous. Pathogens that pass through to the windpipe and lungs are trapped by cilia, very small, fine hairs, where mucous forms. Pathogens that make it to the stomach are exposed to the gut microbiome. Ideally, the good bacteria will kill foreign antigens and those that remain will be killed by stomach acid and excreted through our bladders and GI systems.
The Second line of Defense (Innate or Cell Mediated Immunity)
Innate Immunity is passed on via colostrum, a clear liquid that accompanies a mother’s milk in breastfeeding. It is our body’s first rapid response immune mechanism.
Pathogens that enter the blood stream through the skin, nose, and mouth are exposed to white blood cells (leukocytes). There are many different types of white blood cells that play a part in a complex cascade of events releasing countless subtypes cells that are crucial to our body’s immune system. These include cells involved in the identification, killing, and clean up of dead antigen cells.
- Dendritic Cells – These cells are disbursed and identify foreign invaders. Once identified, they send evidence of the invaders to T-cells in the lymph nodes.
- Neutrophils – These are short living cells that serve as frontline soldiers attacking bacteria. They live only days, but continue to be produced in adequate numbers to attack infections. Our bone marrow continuously produces them.
- T-cells – These are the officers giving signals or instructions for other cells to kill antigens. T-cells are designed to target specific antigens.
- Natural Killer T-Cells attack the antigen by breaking its cell walls. Once unstable, it is easier for the body to get rid of.
- Cytotoxic T-cells – These are killer cells that can handle more difficult invaders, like viruses and even cancer.
- Phagocytes are cells (neutrophils and macrophages) that kill and ingest the dead antigen cells during the battle.
- Suppressor T-Cells slow down or turn off the immune system once the infection is gone. Otherwise, the natural killer T-cells will continue to kill healthy cells.
The Third Line of Defense (Our Adaptive or Humoral Immunity)
Adaptive immunity refers to antigen-specific immune response. The adaptive immune response is more complex. The antigen first must be processed and recognized. Once an antigen has been recognized, B-Cells produce antibodies. Antibodies also have a “memory” that makes future responses against a specific antigen more efficient.
B cells produce antibodies that seek out and attach to antigens until macrophages can clean them out. B cells live longer and remember antigens. Then, when antigens continue to invade, antibody production for the specific antigens are ready.
Modern medicine addresses our adaptive immunity. Vaccinations introduce a small amount of the antigen into the body. The body can then produce antibodies that “remember” the antigen for future destruction. We see this used in childhood vaccinations for diseases such as measles.
Allergens are also addressed with adaptive immunity. When an allergist conducts skin testing for pollens, ragweed, pet dander, molds, etc., they can use that information to create custom vaccines to lessen a patient’s allergic response to a particular antigen.
Why This Matters To Those Who Sufferer from Mold Sensitivity
First and Foremost, mold is an antigen and an allergen. In fact, it is a year-round invader, because mold spores are everywhere. It only takes moisture combined with food (virtually all man-made materials that are cellulose) for mold to proliferate. Mold can trigger both a histamine response, like allergens, and an immune system response, like bacteria or a virus.
The sinuses are a perfect breeding place for mold to thrive. They are warm, dark, moist, and mucous production provides food to foster infection. They are also very close to the brain and the pituitary gland. This creates potential for neurological symptoms (brain fog, memory problems, pain). In addition, pituitary function can be compromised, which affects the body’s entire metabolism. However, when mold infects the body, there also exists the risk for mycotoxin poisoning and systemic symptoms and disease.
Sinus Defense is a homeopathic sublingual supplement that leverages the T-Cell response. It utilizes Transfer Factor which seeks out mold antigens and tags them, similar to how a vaccine tags specific antigens, only it works immediately. This way, the body’s innate immune system or T-Cells and natural killer T-Cells can recognize and attack the antigens the moment it is used.
Our body’s humeral immunity takes days for a relatively small antibody response. Future exposures will produce an adequate antibody response to address the infection in appropriate numbers. It is only after the body produces the antibodies in large enough numbers when they begin to target antigens in a way that can effectively eliminate them. Divergently, Sinus Defense begins to work almost immediately once a patient starts and continues taking it.
Another helpful homeopathic supplement to address illness brought on by mold antigens is CellTropin. CellTropin directly addresses the immune system. Because infections, especially in the
sinuses, can impact pituitary function, there are many metabolic consequences that the body must endure. The pituitary is responsible for regulating many of the hormones that the body requires for optimal functioning. This includes the all important adrenal and thyroid glands. Pituitary damage can also hinder the body’s ability to heal. CellTropin provides endocrine support for the pituitary and supports cellular healing. With increased endocrine support, cell reproduction is more efficient, and the immune system can function at the highest level to do its job.