Why Your Immune System May Resemble an Overtaxed Fire Truck—and What You Can Do About It

(Unsplash/Gene Gallin)

What if the fire department answered a call to a fire, and just as the firemen finished putting out the blaze and were ready to head back to the fire station, another call came in?

You know the answer: They'd move on to the next fire.

But what if the calls kept coming, and the firemen had to go to the next fire, and the next, and the next and the next one after that?

That's exactly what happens to our body's immune system—our defense mechanism against infection and disease—when we overload it, naturopathic doctor Mark Sherwood tells Dr. Steve Greene on a recent episode of the Greenelines podcast on the Charisma Podcast Network.

"You want to have a very aggressive, robust inflammatory response," Sherwood says. "But what happens is it needs to come out and do its job quickly, with a vengeance. You want good inflammation, like if you get a cut or something, I want blood to go to that area quickly, I want that wound to coagulate, I want nutrients to go that rebuild that. But then it's supposed to resolve itself."

When it can't resolve because of continuous inflammation, we have the fire truck scenario, he explains. "That weakens your immune system. What I've just described is acute, good inflammation versus this low-grade, systemic inflammation that's long, that's ongoing. And that low-grade systemic inflammation is part of every single solitary disease process."

The basic answer to many of the problems we face with inflammation, Sherwood says, is adding omega-3 supplements to our diet. "The bottom line is when you start getting the cells to work, well, you're getting energy created, and you're turning down inflammatory signaling right away by getting the necessary amount of those omega-3s back in there. And I've seen people get better in a couple days from things like brain fog or stiffness ... I've seen them resolve in 48 hours."

But Sherwood says there's no blanket response, since everyone's system is different. "But I'm confident to say this, that 100% of the people out there would benefit, without question, from supplementing with the right omega-3 fatty acid."

For much more from naturopathic doctor Mark Sherwood about omega-3 supplements and the specifics of how they can help you, listen to this entire episode of Greenelines here, and subscribe to the Greenelines podcast on your favorite podcast platform for more inspiring stories like this one.

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