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Back to Basics: Helping Your Body Fight Hepatitis C

Nicole Cutler L.Ac. July 22, 2009

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Instead of waiting passively for scientists to announce a cure for Hepatitis C, take an active role in fighting this virus by practicing these three, no-cost immune enhancing basics.

Approximately half of those with Hepatitis C cannot be helped by modern medicine. Of course those infected want a cure – battling chronic liver disease is not on anybody’s to-do list. As the estimated four million infected Americans put all of their hopes for wellness into a new, Hepatitis C eliminating wonder drug, many tend to forget the basics of helping the body fight viral illnesses.

Haven’t you wondered why some people are able to spontaneously heal from Hepatitis C – and why a lucky 48 percent respond to Hepatitis C combination therapy? Don’t let the complex medical terminology fool you; a virus’ lifespan is determined by the immune system it inhabits. All too often, the difference between recovering from viral hepatitis and suffering with it depends on the strength of the immune system.

Your energy level is a good indicator of immune system health. When you feel your energy level is low or weak, the immune system is probably also low and weak. Feeling sluggish is common – yet is frequently masked with products like caffeine or sugar, or by exciting distractions supplied by the technology or entertainment industries.

The Hepatitis C virus presents a greater challenge to the immune system than most viruses. Experts agree that this challenge is a result of Hepatitis C’s ability to mutate quickly in its effort to evade the immune response. This crafty pathogen offers us a clear demonstration of why the immune system must be in tiptop shape in order to take on this nasty virus.

Depending on a person’s personal beliefs and available resources, there is a sea of options capable of boosting immunity. However, some of the most powerful tools for maintaining a strong immune system are in the hands of everyone – regardless of what they can afford. While applying the basics is not intended to replace Western medical advice, practicing these three essential elements of health will better enable your immune system to fight Hepatitis C.

The First Basic = Sleep

A good night’s sleep is more important to our immune system than most people realize. Loss of sleep, even for a few short hours during the night, can prompt one’s immune system to turn against healthy tissue and organs. As published in a September 2008 issue of Biological Psychiatry, California researchers reported that losing sleep for even part of one night could trigger the key cellular pathway that produces tissue-damaging inflammation.

The immune system is activated during the deepest stage of sleep to fight disease. This is why people tend to sleep longer when they’re sick. For a greater understanding of sleep’s role in liver health, and an outline of simple tips to improve your sleep, read Conquering Insomnia.

The Second Basic = Joy

In our advanced medical society, the benefits of joy to the immune system are severely underestimated. Positive attitudes and healthy emotions are well known to strengthen immunity. A handful of peer-reviewed, respected research studies have documented that laughter, a physical harness of joy, strengthens immunity.

As published in a 1996 edition of Health and Humor, Dr. Lee Berk and Dr. Stanley Tan of Loma Linda University in California found that, after exposure to humor, the following immune effects occur:

  • The number and activity of natural killer cells (immune cells that attack viruses) increase.
  • More T lymphocytes are activated, an action that enhances immune strength.
  • There is an increase in immunoglobulin A and gamma interferon, natural immune substances that help fight infection.

The Third Basic = Scrub/Brush

Your personal hygiene routine is your own business, but too many people skip an extremely healthful aspect of starting their day. Some cultures emphasize the importance of habitual scrubbing or dry brushing.Unfortunately, a majority of Americans have never even heard of this stimulating practice.

If taking a shower, a scrubbing pouf can be utilized. Otherwise, a natural bristle brush can be used to “dry brush” the skin first thing in the morning. By vigorously brushing or scrubbing the entire surface of the skin, this ancient practice stimulates the circulatory system, activates the lymphatic system, exfoliates dead skin cells and awakens the immune system response.

You don’t need an enviable trust fund or a spouse who is an immunologist to improve your odds at fighting Hepatitis C. Upon realizing that strengthening your body’s response to this virus is within your grasp, you can begin the journey of fortifying your body’s immune system. By prioritizing the basic concepts of getting a good night’s sleep, being joyful and routine scrubbing or brushing, you can transform to a healthier state of being, regardless of the presence or absence of the Hepatitis C virus.

References:

http://ayurveda-foryou.com/health_articles/sleep_immunity.html, Poor Sleep Lowers Your Immune System, Retrieved June 7, 2009, htt:://avuverda-foryou.com, 2009.

http://www.biobran.org/overview/immune-system.html, Introduction to Strengthening the Immune System, A Paterson, Retrieved June 7, 2009, Clear Publications, 2009.

http://www.holisticonline.com/Humor_Therapy/humor_therapy_benefits.htm, Therapeutic Benefits of Laughter, Retrieved June 7, 2009, ICBS, Inc., 2009.

http://www.nativeremedies.com/ailment/types-of-viral-infections.html#question4, Viral Infection, Retrieved June 7, 2009, Native Remedies LLC, 2009.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080902075211.htm, Loss Of Sleep, Even For A Single Night, Increases Inflammation In The Body, Retrieved June 7, 2009, ScienceDaily LLC, September 2008.

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