The Mysterious Weapon Inside You (Understanding Your Immune System)
Imagine it’s the year 2050… and through a series of events, you’ve been put in charge of one of the most sophisticated defense systems in the universe…
A force like something we’ve never seen before – capable of immense offensive firepower, intricate defense networks, and even a self-destruction mode.
Some are calling it the most dangerous and powerful technology of its kind.
Many are scared of its ability to develop weapons for enemies that don’t even exist yet… adapting on the fly to discover its weak spot and destroy it, unleashing whatever firepower it takes.
This technology could be used for good and protect humans from unimaginable threats, insuring we survive for lifetimes…
Or it could fall into the wrong hands and be used for evil…
And no one will be able to stop it.
It’s up to you, what happens next. With that kind of power at your fingertips, what will you do?
Will you use this tool for the good of the human race?
Or will you make different choices… unleashing the power of this weapon for evil, and destroy everything in its path?
You’re in Charge of the Most Powerful Weapon in the Universe
This story isn’t fiction.
In fact, it’s way more real than you might know. The truth is you’re already in control of one of the most sophisticated weapons known to man.
It’s an adaptive technology unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.
Its powerful ability to protect and kill is something we still don’t fully understand.
And the most chilling thing of all… it’s active inside your body right now.
This futuristic weapon is your immune system… and you’re already in control of it. During this article, I’m going to show you how this weapon works, so you can decide how to use it going forward.
See, your immune system is a sophisticated army with an innate ability to adapt and protect you from an outstanding number of possible infectious agents. There are specialized cells that can not only take down foreign pathogens but remember them for future exposures. They can clean up cuts, repair broken tissues, kill selected targets, and communicate harmoniously while doing it.
Not only is this incredible army ready to defeat any foreign invaders, but it also has the power to destroy your own body from the inside out… if you use it wrong.
It’s time to learn how this amazing army inside you works, and choose how to use it going forward. Think of this like a user’s manual for your immune system… the one you never knew you needed before.
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It starts with the two parts that make up your immune system.
Your Immune System Has Two Heads
Peeling back the layers of the immune system is a fascinating adventure. It has two main parts: the Innate and Adaptive immune responses.
These are the two main military branches of your body… ready to fight at a moment’s notice. Think of it like the army and the navy.
Each branch has its specific functions – each can play offense and defense. And the deeper we go, the more specialized and intricate the weapons get.
The body works by what some might call defense in layers. This is typically talked about in computer security circles. All you need to do is think of a funnel (the kind you pour gas into a tank) with layer after layer of more specific defensive actions your body will take, the closer that the invader gets to the target (many times it’s to take over your body).
The body is like all things, it wants to achieve the best resistance with the least amount of resources. So, in the beginning, the defenses are nonspecific, not super-skilled and working ‘round the clock. As an invasion takes shape, however, the defenses become more and more specialized and powerful – to the point in which self-destruction (autoimmunity) can happen.
The innate response is the first line of defense and has two levels of keeping you safe.
Defense Level 1: Booby Traps and Giant Walls
The first level is like a bunch of booby traps and protective barriers. In fact, the largest protective barrier is your skin.
It keeps you in and the pathogens out. Even the oils on your skin act as protection – these acidic sebaceous gland secretions are hostile to foreign inducing agents. If the little buggers make it past your skin, the innate immune system has even more booby traps ready.
For example, the invaders may just take a dive into your stomach and die in its extremely acidic ocean or try to scurry up your nose only to find themselves caught in the secretions of the mucus membranes.
But eventually the first level gets penetrated.
So, the bad guys have busted through the first level of the innate immune system and are now ravaging and pillaging inside your body.
Defense Level 2: INFLAMMATION
The innate immune system sends mast cells and waves of blood carrying fighters (cells) to the site of attack. The battle begins. Fluid and byproducts from this cellular war cause tissues to become “inflamed.”
And this inflammation stuff is not just swelling and redness. Inflammation is your body’s response to harm (trauma, pathogens, etc) by sending immune cells and antimicrobial proteins to the rescue to either rebuild stressed and damaged tissue or fight the threat.
Histamine cells live in your connective tissues and once ruptured they send out chemicals that increase blood flow to the damaged area bringing phagocytes that gobble up any pathogens they come in contact with… like calling in for backup.
There are three prominent types of backup soldiers that come to help (all phagocytes):
- And dendritic cells (dendritic cells don’t actually have anything to do with the nervous system and are most important in signaling the adaptive response)
These cells actually digest what they consume, breaking apart its structure into polypeptides (little proteins) and then attach those pieces of pathogen to signaling proteins which pop up like little flags on the cell saying, “LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME!!”
These flags signal more powerful players in the immune system to come help with the fight.
It also allows other cells of specific/adaptive immunity to check out the flag to see if they know what pathogen it belongs to. In other words, these small pieces of pathogen now act as communication to the rest of the body that (1) a fight is happening, come join and (2) does anyone remember this?
Once the pathogen piece is recognized, the body starts to bring in the specific weapons built to destroy it.
Now, It’s Time for the Special Weapons
The adaptive immune response is like calling in the special forces.
The adaptive immune response (also known as the Specific immune response) can recognize and destroy specific pathogens through an army of incredibly elite soldier cells. Unlike the phagocytes of the innate immune response, the T and B lymphocytes (T and B cells) are designed in such a way they cannot only recognize specific pathogens but they can remember them as well.
There are two levels to the adaptive immune system, too: the humoral response and the cell mediated response.
Remember the defense in layers of depth idea. Each layer we go deeper, the most sophisticated and resource intensive the action becomes.
Defense Level 3: Defending the Cells
The humoral response happens in the fluids of the body, attacking pathogens that have not infiltrated cells of the body. This is your navy, literally happening in the waters of your body.
The cell mediated response is responsible for destroying body cells already infected by the pathogens. This is like your navy seal snipers – they work in close quarters, with very specific targets and will do whatever it takes to get the job done.
Here’s how to think about it:
Imagine your cells are all little boats floating in a vast sea and the enemy ship sails into your ocean, you start to fire at it to take it down – you begin fighting your enemy before it has gotten hold of your ships, firing guns and cannons. That’s a rough idea of how your humoral immune system functions.
But once the enemy starts hijacking ships, you have to fight them a different way. Using hand to hand combat, the elite special forces work to neutralize the enemy – that’s the job of the cell mediated response.
Defense Level 4: Destroying the Enemy with Special Forces
If you think your body is pretty cool, wait till you learn how the cell mediated response works.
Each B and T cell has a specific code system on the outside of it that makes it absolutely specialized. They have receptors on the outside of them that act like a key and lock system. Think of the receptors as specific locks and pathogens are all potential keys.
Each B and T cell has tons of tiny locks (about 100,000) on their outside surface, but here’s the cool part… all the locks are the same for each type of cell. And so each cell is only looking for one kind of key. But from one type of cell to the next, the type of lock changes.
Only one key will fit only one particular B or T cell’s locks, so only particular pathogens will trigger the cells to respond (this is very different from the innate immune cells, which destroy anything in sight). This variability allows your body to defend against ANY pathogen it might come in contact with.
Okay so that was a lot, let’s put it all together in an example so you can watch it work.
The War Going on Inside Your Body
Imagine a radical, new virus has just entered your body.
The new virus snuck through your first line of defense ( innate immune system), but it left a trail of evidence in order to do it (antigens – protein molecules that the body recognizes as foreign).
Your body is discovering this breaking and entering and begins to raise the flag and sound the alarms.
Very soon, the war is in full swing – immune cells are being dispatched like crazy.
The “new virus” activated T helper cells and the B cells are making clones with identical receptor sites (made just to catch the virus). These new cloned cells designed to stop this invader begin to split into 2 groups. Some turn into memory cells and some of them become effector B cells.
Effector B cells are little factories that start pumping out antibodies (same as the receptors on the B cell’s surface that caught the antigen), only now they’re free-floating missiles seeking out the virus to flag it down for destruction.
Meanwhile, the virus is still running around trying to take over your body.
It’s trying to dodge your soldiers, by entering into a nearby body cell.
Up until this point, all activity has taken place outside of the body’s cells (the humoral response). Now, the virus has plunged into a body cell, and the cell-mediated response is coming into action.
Once inside, the virus takes hold of the cell’s machinery and starts replicating itself – building an army of it’s own.
But before it gets out of hand, the host cell realizes what has happened and takes pieces of the virus, or things they’ve secreted, and turns them into flags. This is responsible for flagging down cytotoxic T cells. So, once your host cell waves its flag, a specific cytotoxic T cell will bind to the antigen complex and give the signal for the body cell to self destruct. This, in turn, wipes out the cell and the virus’s ability to use the cell to propagate itself.
In the aftermath of battle, the body is left with an army of memory T and B lymphocytes that will recognize if the same virus enters the body and hopefully prevent you from ever experiencing symptoms of the virus – it will stop it dead in its tracks.
The immune system has done its job and the new threat is over…
Which is great. The body is truly a work of art, but the scary question is what happens if the immune system gets triggered to believe that your own cells are the enemy?
Every Choice Contributes to Health or Promotes Disease
So far, we’ve been talking about how the immune system can be used for good… keeping you safe from invading forces and defeating them with it’s futuristic weapons.
However, we’ve also been warning about how the immune system can be used for evil… using it’s powerful weapons to harm the body, eventually turning into Chronic Inflammation and Autoimmune Disease.
I believe that each choice we make on a moment by moment basis either promotes disease or wellness.
We can make choices that turn on autoimmunity, a deadly situation when our body is attacking the healthy tissue from the inside out. We can make choices that create chronic inflammation, which is correlated with just about every disease known to man. (1)
For example, every food we choose to eat, every pill we take, the time we decide to go to bed, the city we choose to live in, the job we choose to have… each one contributes to choosing good or evil with our immune system.
Years and years of these choices can end up killing us… all using the very same weapons that were designed to keep us safe.
But the truth is, you have a choice. You get to choose how you use your immune system.
For years, I chose evil… and my autoimmune disease almost killed me. Once I chose something different, my immune system stopped attacking my healthy tissues and started helping me again, using it’s power for good.
I chose to eat different food. I chose to sleep more. I chose to take healing supplements.
And over time, everything changed. I was able to stop dying, to start living, and to feel like a human again.
You have a choice, too. And the choices you make each day have consequences that trigger your immune system towards good or evil. You’re in charge of the most powerful weapon we’ve ever seen. It’s up to you to decide what you’ll do with it.
Now that you know more about how amazing your body is and how it works… are you wondering how to use your immune system for good? Or how to prevent or reverse autoimmune disease?
If so, we can help.
When You’re Ready to Use Your Immune System for Good…
If you’re struggling with chronic inflammation or autoimmunity right now, that means this incredible weapon inside your body is pointed at you, destroying healthy tissue and going down the path of disease… and eventually death.
But what if there was a way to begin to turn off the immune response? What if there was a way to stop the damage and start using this tool for good again?
This is the core of our work… and we’d love to help you do it.
We’re hosting a free online presentation, called “How to Turn Off Your Autoimmunity — and Restore a Healthy Immune System.”
It’s completely free, and in it we dive deep into your gut health and how to begin to stop the immune system from attacking itself.
You could spend years trying to figure out how to “fix” your immune system… or you could register for this free, one-hour webinar and we’ll show you how we did it.
As someone who suffered with autoimmune disease for years and almost gave up hope, I know your struggle. I hope you join us for the webinar to learn more about how I turned off my autoimmune response and restored my health.
I’m so grateful to support you in health.
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