Speaker 1: So far more than 5,700 people in Virginia have been diagnosed with Covid 19. And as those case numbers rise, there’s also a growing number of people recovering. And Dr. Erica Steele from Holistic Family Practice in Virginia Beats joins us now to tell us more about how the body’s immune system works. Dr. Steele, good to see.
Speaker 2: Hi. Good to see you too, Cheryl.
Speaker 1: We’ve heard a lot about our immune system, but what exactly does it do?
Speaker 2: So our immune system, very simply, I love the immune system, by the way. It’s one of my favorite systems. What it does is it just recognizes self from non-self. So anything that’s not self, it’s gonna attack. And anything that’s self, hopefully if there’s not an autoimmune condition on board, it will protect. So that’s pretty much simple how it.
Speaker 1: But it’s interesting though, because sometimes your body will start to attack things that are self, so to speak, but it shouldn’t be different. Yeah.
Speaker 2: That’s for our community. Yeah, that’s where autoimmunity happens. Okay. Yeah, exactly where the body, but really that happens as a result of the body being overwhelmed with things. So I want people to understand it’s not just if you, if let’s say, if you contract covid 19, it’s not just that one thing that’s gonna affect it.
It’s almost like balancing scales, right? So let’s say your body, you’re eating a lot of sugar, you’re stressing out, you’re not working. You’ve got some bacterias going, you’re not digesting well. All of those things are gonna build on the stress of the immune system, right? And so then this virus comes along and it’s one more thing.
It just can’t handle it. And so we see that a lot in autoimmune cases like Hashimoto thyroiditis. Sore rheumatoid arthritis where the body just can’t really identify self from non-self because it’s being bombarded with not only pathogens like viruses, bacteria, things like that, but also heavy metals and chemicals in our environment. So it’s not just one thing, it’s a combination of things that either is gonna build health or unfortunately build disease process.
Speaker 1: Are there certain lab tests that you can do to find out how well your immune system is? .
Speaker 2: Yeah I really an expanded cbc, a comprehensive blood count that’s gonna look at more of the expanded white blood cell count.
Obviously, if lymphocytes are high or low white blood cell counts are low. A lot of times too, if a patient’s undergoing, let’s say, chemotherapy or some immune treatment, those numbers are gonna be skewed, but working with your oncologist, they’ll advise against that. Another marker that should be of interest is a sino.
When eosinophils are actually elevated in your CBC panel, that’s an indication of food allergy. And and also parasitic infection, but more so food allergy response. So if you’re really not eating healthy, that number is definitely gonna be high on your lab report.
Speaker 1: Interesting. And I know a lot of people are buying supplements to try to support their immune system, especially with covid 19 going around vitamin C I’ve saw it was seen as sold out in so many places.
Yeah. So should we be buying things like this and taking these supplements if we can?
Speaker 2: Yes, I think it’s a good supportive measure, but nothing can replace food. Food is number one. And then from there, I really find, so we look at prevention, right? So vitamin C, making sure that you have enough, about 2000 to 4,000, milligrams, vitamin C is gonna be more of that therapeutic value.
A lot of times in the retail market, there’s not a lot of efficacy on those supplements. You never really know what’s actually in the product because they’re not regulat. Also too, the dosing are, is so low. So that’s where doctors like me were trained to be able to look at. A lot of times I’ve seen too that a lot of supplements for the immune system, they actually have sugar in ’em, like sorbitol, artificial sweeteners, things like that.
And so those, again, it’s counterintuitive like what you’re trying to do versus what you’re not trying to do, but . We also have some immune system webinars coming up where I go more in depth. What to do with your immune system, educating you about the immune system, how it works, how it doesn’t work, and really just dispelling all of that because really, like they said, knowledge is power, really.
Speaker 1: And Dr. Steele, I love how you look at the total body approach for everything. It’s not just tunnel vision. So I love what you do. Thank you so much. Great information.
Speaker 2: Thank you, Cheryl. Take care.
Speaker 1: All right, you too.