The Immune System - as a med student and Cardiologist
I remember when my interest in the immune system began. I was a medical student in 1963 at the Ohio State University Hospital out-patient GYN Clinics. A fair number of women who attended this clinic were diabetic and many would come to the clinic with what I will call "boils outside near the vagina." An excellent article appeared near then in the New England Journal of Medicine stating how the immune system of diabetics was immobilized by some factor in the serum (blood) of diabetics. The elegant way this was proven was that the infection fighting white blood cells of normal people were inhibited or immobilized when these cells were bathed in diabetic blood, and diabetic white cells fought infection normally when they were bathed in a normal patient's serum. Hence, there was something in the blood of diabetics that made the diabetic unable to fight infections
"Putting two and two together," when I began to see other non-diabetic women who had the same type of boils, I would order a glucose tolerance test to diagnose the presence or absence of diabetes. To my amazement, I found the vast majority of these women with the outside boils had abnormal glucose tolerance tests suggestive of diabetes even though these women were not previously known to be diabetic and who now clearly had a new diabetic or pre-diabetic glucose tolerance test result. This diabetic tendency was the answer to why these women had boils -- due to their reduced immune capability from being diabetic, which in every case was due to their overweight.
Soon thereafter, I found that weight reduction alone, which made these heavy women no longer diabetic, caused their vaginal boils to disappear and not recur as long as these heavy woman remained thinner and had non-diabetic glucose tolerance tests. Weight loss had cleared the blood factor that had reduced these heavy women's immunity.
Diabetes is a major contributor to heart disease as is overweight-caused high blood pressure/high cholesterol/high triglycerides/ low good (HDL) cholesterol/high uric acid/lessened exercise. And so, now you see how I "put it all together" to join immunity, prevention and health, evolving into my now being a preventive cardiologist.
While that is not the whole story, now when I see somebody who has recurrent acne, vaginitis, bronchitis or urinary tract infections, I wonder what is wrong with their immune system, what it is that they are doing that immobilizes their immune system and whether or not they have an undiagnosed diabetic condition which weight loss, exercise and better diet might clear. Recall that 95% of diabetes is due almost exclusively to being overweight caused by a highly refined/low whole foods diet plus a lack of exercise, and correctable with brown rice-vegetables-beans-fruit with fish twice a week. Nothing I say is 100%, but having a diet of mostly brown rice, vegetables, beans, fruit and fish will get you started.
But the grander answer is that people should follow this kind of diet, keep a positive attitude, do a great deal of exercise, be lean and trim or "cut" in the muscular sense, not smoke and limit alcohol to 4 drinks a week - or they risk suffering the disease consequences. Recall the radio program "Truth or Consequences"! These are the rules of immunity enhancement and general health; they are not my rules. That is the way, I believe, the human biology works. I am not the author of these rules, I am merely a translator from your biochemistry to your brain.
Hence, if you have boils, acne, immunity decline, diabetes, vaginitis, or even back aches, diverticulosis, headaches, asthma, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc., the first thing to do is to look in the mirror and ask yourself, "What am I doing to make this happen?" The answer in all reasonable probability is you have an error of
in the vast majority of cases. So, almost certainly whatever your ailment is, whether it is a decline in immunity or any other health problem, these errors are the answer. These behaviors when not correct can be changed, resulting in the reversal or clearing of your health problems in the vast majority of cases. There is no hostility here, this is a strictly business discussion of how you can enhance your immunity, get yourself well, and what the price is to accomplish that.
H. Robert Silverstein, MD