Our immune system is a complex and amazing network of organs, glands, proteins, and cells that defend the body against bacteria, viruses, parasites, and allergens. There are many parts of the immune system that allow it to be so diverse in its actions.
When our immune system is run down, we are prone to viral and bacterial infections.
When our immune system is overactive, we are prone to allergies.
When our immune system is confused, the body attacks itself and we suffer from autoimmune diseases.
But today I would like to talk about the largest part of the entire immune system which is rarely spoken about: our mucosal immune system.
The mucosal immune system is comprised of a thin layer of skin that lines the inside surface of parts of the body such as the nose, mouth, sinuses, throat, and lungs.
The mucosal lining also lines our bowels and digestive system.
The mucosal immune system has so many functions, but these 4 are the main ones:
- To protect us from potentially dangerous bugs entering our system.
- To protect us from the uptake of airborne allergens, irritants, bacteria, and viruses.
- To protect us from absorbing harmful proteins from undigested food.
- To make us less prone to allergic reactions.
The mucosal lining can be quite easily damaged because it is only a few cells thick. All the usual suspects such as chronic stress, poor diet, and excess alcohol will damage this protective lining.
But more specifically, there are more threatening causes such as bowel infections, overuse of antibiotics, food poisoning, yeast infections, long-term use of acid-reducing medications, and chronic food intolerances.
Often when one looks back in time there was a trigger that caused the damage. This is often described as a “never well since” event.
A holistic approach to healing the mucosal lining will consist of removing irritants, and allergens, eliminating unhealthy bugs and encouraging the recolonization of health bugs which are critical for a healthy immune system.
There are also a number of natural medicines that will proactively stimulate the growth of new mucosal tissue.
So, if you suffer from any of the before mentioned problems, improving the integrity of your mucosal lining might just be the answer to restoring your health.