How Your Digestive Health Affects Your Immune System

Eat Healthy – Live Healthy

What is your immune system?  Where is it?  It is not an organ that can be seen on an X-Ray or CAT scan, but it is as important as any organ in the body.  Think of your immune system as your body’s military defense.  It defends the organs and tissues from infections and, when those tissues are attacked, mounts a defense to fight the invaders. In short, the immune system is not somewhere in the body, it is EVERYWHERE – deployed throughout the body to preserve, protect and defend it.

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While you can’t pinpoint WHERE it is in your body, we can identify where it begins.  “A huge proportion of your immune system is actually in your GI (gastrointestinal, in other words: digestive) tract.” says Dan Peterson.  Dr. Peterson is the assistant professor of pathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.   Some cells in the lining of the gut do nothing but release antibodies (immunoglobulin) into the gut – these antibodies are used by the immune system to neutralize pathogens such as bacteria and viruses.

What can you do to improve digestive health?

Medical Care

You should be seeing your doctor at least once a year for a regular medical screening that includes tests on your immune health and other tests appropriate for your age.


This is pretty simple:  If you smoke: quit.  If you don’t smoke: don’t start smoking.  Also, you should avoid areas where second-hand smoke is customary.

I used to live with 3-4 smokers and suffered from at least one bout of bronchitis every year.  After my father developed throat cancer had his voice box removed, no more smoking was allowed in the house.  Since then (been over 20 years), I have not had a single bronchial infection.

Get adequate sleep

If you sleep through the night but still wake up tired, see your doctor.  There are several conditions that can affect the quality of your sleep and cause you to not get a good night sleep.  I, personally, suffer from sleep apnea.  Since I have been treated and sleeping well through the night, I have seen several problems I thought were just “normal part of getting older” disappear such as migraines, acid reflux & muscle spasms.

Take normal precautions to avoid infection

You should be washing your hands frequently to avoid pickin up infections or passing them on to others.  When preparing your meats and vegitbales for eating, you should be washing all surfaces and tools before and after use.  When cooking meats, you should be cooking meats thoroughly.

Diet & Exercise

You knew I’d be getting to diet and exercise sooner our later.  I definitely save the best for last.

You should be eating a diet low in saturated fat that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. This sounds pretty simple because it is – it comes down to developing healthy eating habits.  This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy life.  You can still enjoy your favorite alcoloic beverage – as a matter of fact a beer or glass of wine very day drink of alcohol a day has been shown to improve overall health.  You can still have your sugary treats and coffee but all of these should only be taken in moderation.  Excessive drinking or eating can bring a whole host of health issues.

I know the word “exercise” can cause the same symptoms of an allegoric reaction in some people.  If you are like me, you hate the concept of traditional “exercise”.   You can make easily slip into an exercise routing.  Start with a short walk or these simple health choices  – all can be done without ever visiting a gym or buying equipment.

What does diet and exercise do for you?

It will help you maintain a healthy body weight – If you eat healthy and exercise, this should come naturally.  If feel like you are doing everything right, but still can’t maintain your weight, see your doctor.  You may have a metabolic condition that is going untreated and your doctor can test for them.

It will help you control your blood pressure – Once again, exercise and diet and most will maintain a health blood pressure.  If diet and exercise aren’t adequate, you should see your doctor.  There are numerous prescription and herbal supplements that can help you maintain the health of your circulatory system.

What else can you do to improve digestive health?

Healthy Liver, Healthy Living

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More Information

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Not sure how StrongLiver can help you improve your well-being?  See our FAQs on Healthy Choices, Healthy Living & Healthy Liver.

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