Many chronic illnesses are caused by something going wrong with a person’s immune system. Knowing how the immune system is supposed to work and what happens when it doesn’t can help you understand what’s happening in your body — as well as how to help manage your condition.
How a Healthy Immune System Works
The human body is a complex set of systems that work hard to stay in balance, and the immune system is one very important part. Put in very simple terms, it’s the job of the immune system to identify invaders, corral them, and eliminate them. There are three main tasks:
- Neutralizing and/or removing pathogens (like viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungi)
- Recognizing and neutralizing harmful substances
- Fighting the body’s own cells that have been changed due to illness (e.g., cancerous cells)
A big part of those tasks is the immune system’s ability to recognize cells that are a normal part of the body and those that are not.
Autoimmune Disorders: When the Immune System Gets Confused
Many chronic illnesses fall under the category of autoimmune disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, inflammatory bowel disease (including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease), multiple sclerosis and psoriasis.
Essentially, what happens is that the immune system responds to an unknown trigger which results in it producing antibodies that attack the body’s own tissues instead of fighting infections. These autoimmune disorders are typically treated by reducing immune system activity, as specifically as possible.
How to Help Your Immune System When You Have an Autoimmune Disorder
There are a number of things you can do to help your body’s immune system even with an autoimmune disorder. Your No. 1 goal is to reduce inflammation, and there are a number of ways you can do that.
- Get your doctor’s help diagnosing and treating secondary infections.
- Get tested for food allergies, including Celiac disease.
- Use supplements like fish oil, vitamins and probiotics, with your doctor’s approval.
- Exercise and stick to a health diet appropriate for your condition.
- Find ways to manage your stress.
Helping your immune system function better can help reduce symptoms and make treatments more effective.
Treatment for Autoimmune Disorders and Chronic Illness at IVX Health
Whether you’re managing a chronic illness or simply looking to give your health an extra boost with a Myers’ Cocktail, IVX Health offers the best of all worlds in outpatient IV therapy. With the warmth of a spa-like setting and the comforts of home without having to entertain medical professionals, you can receive your IV treatment while catching up on your favorite TV shows on our HDTVs, digging into the latest hit novel on our eReaders, or by simply hanging out with friends or family in your own private room. We’ll even provide refreshments.
We also understand the demands of a busy schedule, so we offer appointments during days, evenings and on weekends at two convenient locations on either side of the state line in both Lee’s Summit and Overland Park. If you’re ready to experience the difference IVX Health can make in your life, give us a call at either one of our locations.