Your immune system has a mind of its own. Oh, yes, it’s controlled by your hypothalamus – the master gland that controls all your hormones and neurotransmitters. Yet your immune system develops innate intelligence by interfacing with your environment.
Your immune system is made up of many organs and cells – your thymus, spleen, appendix, tonsils, lymph nodes, bone marrow and white blood cells.
Your bone marrow produces white blood cells called B-lymphocytes which are trained in the thymus and become super specialized T-cells. Think of your thymus as boot camp for your WBCs.
Your Immune System
Look at all those little dots on the figure. These represent your white blood cells, the pony express of your immune system. Your immune system produces hormones too, called cytokines. Your white blood cells carry the immune messages to all parts of your body.
When your WBC’s encounter an invader, they bring the information to your spleen which passes on the details of the invasion to your thymus. Your thymus can then program new WBCs to go after the invaders.
Under the influence of melatonin produced by the pineal gland in the crown chakra, the body shuts down normal daytime function and switches into nocturnal mode. Three hours after melatonin peaks, your hypothalamus tells your pituitary gland to produce prolactin. Prolactin puts you into a deep sedated sleep so your immune system can do it’s job.
You know when you’re under a lot of stress and you become sick? You catch a common cold virus or break out in cold sores. Stress affects the adrenal glands which, in turn, affect the immune system.
Your adrenals stop producing the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol and begin to produce metakephalins that stimulate the thymus to program the WBC’s. All hormones, all the time!
High stress means high adrenaline and cortisol production interfering with sleep and effectively turning off the immune system, making you vulnerable to infection and over a very long period of time, cancer.
Your WBCs can travel anywhere in the body, even pass the blood-brain barrier delivering messages called cytokines. Cytokines are the tiniest of the “hormones”. These minute messengers instigate the immune response, whether that’s a breakout of hives in response to an allergen or the attack of an invading virus. This amazing WBC carries on its cell membrane information about all the hormones, all the neurotransmitters, and all the cytokines in the body during its lifetime.
So what can you do prevent getting sick?
Adopt healthy-living strategies such as:
- Don’t smoke.
- Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables.
- Exercise regularly.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
- Get adequate sleep.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Try to minimize stress.
Research Reference: Interaction between the hypothalamus and the immune system, Hypothalamic integration of immune function and metabolism, Sex differences in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in patients with burning mouth syndrome.
*Statements not reviewed by the FDA.