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Understanding the Immune System...
Author: Bob RowlandTitle: Understanding the Immune System
Date: 2002-09-08 21:29:08Uploaded by: webmaster
The immune system seems very complex until we learn some of the basics. After a little knowledge, we soon learn how to maneuver WITH the system and also what is important!

How many times have we heard the statement from some flyer that they are "jacking up the immune system"? This sounds correct to most but in reality, it is exactly opposite of what we are doing when we use antibiotics, or wormers, or other things with the thought that we are elevating the immune system.

When we are sick our immune system goes into overdrive in an attempt to defeat the bug or problem we have encountered. Take for example, the signs our body gives us when we get something such as the flu or common cold or any of a number of similar health problems. The immune system begins to work hard but immediately you become tired and sluggish and, in general, one becomes weak and listless and searches for a place to get a restful sleep to help our system use all it's resources to fight the problem.

When we are given drugs from the doctor to fight these problems, what the drugs do is SUPPRESS OUR IMMUNE SYSTEM and the drug has virtually masked the problem so the immune system does not set up for battle. It is after we withdraw from drugs or have a health problem that the immune system accelerates forward into a high state or level. This is what is known by some as the sling shot effect. First you suppress the immune system and then upon stopping the use of drugs or SUPPRESSERS, then the immune system bounds to a high state of being.

To make this a little clearer we need to understand a few things about the immune system: So, beginning with the diet we eat, if all the essential AMINO ACIDS are present, then these supply the immune system with the various requirements.

The first thing we should understand is that the immune system has what are known as NK CELLS. The NK stands for NATURAL KILLERS and their purpose is to eliminate virus' and other pathogens which attempt to invade our bodies. If the immune system does not have all the required AMINO ACIDS present, then some of the NK Cells may not be as effective as they need to be. A big example of this is cancer cells that are within our bodies but if our immune system keeps them at check or destroys them, then we stay free of these problems. However, the wrong use of our body can elevate the opportunity for certain pathogens to overtake our immune system.

The next thing we need to understand is that there are "B" CELL LYMPHOCYTES and their responsibility is to produce antibodies such as IgA, Igm, IgG 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. The problem with these "B" Cells is that they have a relatively short life and must be constantly renewed or you become vulnerable.

The next group are "T" LYMPHOCYTES and they are programmed by specific transfer factors to engulf Pathogens, Viruses, Bacteria, and Fungi. To understand transfer factors, this is as simple as associating this with immunities that a child or new born animal gets through the first milk after being born. If the parents have a natural immunity to certain problems, they also have antibodies to these same problems and they give this to their offspring. GENETICS ALSO PLAYS A KEY PART INTO THE ABILITY TO BE FREE OF CERTAIN BACTERIA OR PROTOZOA.

Then we finally get to the "MACROPHAGES" WHICH HAVE A HUNGRY APPETITE AND THEY ATTEMPT TO EAT UP THE PATHOGENS THAT MAY BE PRESENT.

Now please understand that the greater the pathogen load, the nutritional requirements of your pigeons will increase in an attempt to do battle with the pathogens. This is one of the big reasons why pigeons in poor health gorge their self with food and can NOT attain the level of NATURAL BUOYANCY.

Now does this sound like something that we should be altering to attempt to get that super race? Well, it is done all the time but again, those doing this are SUPPRESSING THE IMMUNE SYSTEM and ARE NOT ELEVATING THE IMMUNE SYSTEM.

The suppression of the system allows us to do things we would not be able to do if our immune system is trying to fight bacteria. I have had much experience with the effects of prednizone ON MY BODY and I can tell you this: When I can't breathe, I take some prednizone and within a day or so I think I have found a wonder drug. I can breathe easier than before but UNDERSTAND THAT FOR EVERY EFFECT, THERE IS A REACTION.

My personal experiences with prednizone robbed my system of calcium and ultimately left me with thinned bones and specific problems at all the joint connections. When they become soft, we end up with what is called COMPRESSION FRACTURES. This means that a simple task such as putting on your shoes could cause pressure on the joint and it can slip out of position pinching nerves and POSSIBLY doing permanent damage. Now was the exchange for the benefit worth the side effects.

In all countries there are rules against using performance enhancing drugs in competitions as the results achieved may be better than without but it is certainly not a natural result created by top genetics and excellent management procedures and conditioning.

The use of drugs has been known for a period of time in such things as professional athletic events and should someone be found to be under the influence of performance enhancers, they are stripped of their honors and medals and more importantly is their self esteem. We hear about this in such events as the Olympics and even in many of the major professional sporting events. When new records are made, the question is always present as to whether the athlete did it legally and through natural gifts and systems.

In conclusion, the best way to have our self or our pigeons in top physical shape is to have a superior health regime which allows the immune system to be at rest and storing energy for the next time it needs it to fight the future battles. Should one have poor health, the immune system is in the alert and the result is the ELEVATED IMMUNE SYSTEM WHICH WILL TIRE THE BODY OUT. To keep the immune system at rest is as simple as maintaining top health on our body or our pigeons systems and much of this can be done with proper hygiene, proper diet, and a strong set of genes that have a history of being able to keep common problems at bay. If we have to constantly be in conflict with the basic laws of nature, we will come out the loser. REMEMBER, NATURE IS MILLIONS OF YEARS OLD AND MAY LULL YOU TO SLEEP BUT THEN A NEW AND MORE POWERFUL PROBLEM WILL ARISE. There will be many more of these types of articles as I am just one ofseveral people involved with the Racing Pigeon Society and our objective is to educate and promote the sport of pigeon racing.

On September 7, 2002 until Tuesday, September 10, I will be in Tucson, Arizona and we will be doing additional research and learning on the following:

          -Immunotoxicity
          -Immunology
          -Disease management
          -Nutrition
          -Genetics- Inbreeding Coefficient calculations, Genetic drift, Gene flow,

and inbreeding vs hetrozygocity. Hybrid vigor and its advantages to the immune system and LandMark navigation and Thermoregulation. Training & Flying and other related topics of interest.

All of these will become great fields of information to help the novice and champion alike in becoming more alert and aware of the pigeon sport.

Should anyone be interested in meeting there with myself and some other people, respond by email to my address for additional information.


HOPE THIS HELPS SOMEONE!!

Bob Rowland



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