Does Your Immune System Crash After Every Event?
Have you ever wondered why so many athletes suffer with an immune crash right after training and competing in an event? Whether it’s a cold or flu that sets in, virus, or adrenal fatigue, it could result in a week or two in bed recovering.
During the hectic training weeks leading into an event, the stress hormones you produce, such as cortisol and adrenalin, are in high quantities to keep up with the demands of your training. When the time comes to rest, and the adrenalin stops pumping, this has an effect on your overall hormonal balance, causing the stress hormone cortisol to also drop. For those who suffer with a relatively low immune system, which you may not notice until this time, the adrenal fatigue can trigger an acute response, rendering you susceptible to infection.
The key is to focus on your immune system throughout your training prior to the event, developing a strong defence against the adrenal fatigue that is inevitable post race. I’m not talking about taking Echinacea or Olive Leaf Extract every day, although these are helpful. What actually controls your immune system is the balance of good to bad bacteria that are naturally occurring and inhabit your gut.
There are a number of beneficial and necessary bacteria that have an impact on your day to day health, your immune system, and your digestion. These are found in dairy, fermented foods and probiotics. There are also however, affecting approximately 90% of our population, bad, unnecessary bacteria, having an even bigger impact on how well you train, and recover from training prior to your events. These bacteria are the cause of your poor immune response during times of stress. If you are one of the 90% of the population carrying these bacteria, you may find that not only do you suffer with low immune responses post race, but you may find that your muscles ache longer than they should after training sessions, and your recovery time is slower.
The reason behind this is that these particular types of bacteria produce D-lactic acid, from the food you eat, in quantities that far outweigh the level of lactic acid that should be circulating in your system. Not only that, your body naturally produces L-lactic acid through exercise, for brain function, and for energy production. We have an enzyme that can break down the L-lactic acid once it is not needed, but we don’t have an enzyme to break down the D-lactic acid that is formed by these bacteria, so these high levels of D-lactic acid produced are not able to be removed, leading to pain and tension in muscles, fibromyalgia, fatigue, and mental health symptoms such as fogginess, insomnia, depression, anxiety, heart palpitations, nervous system problems and much more. It is these bacteria that we often pick up in third world countries, starting with a strong dose of nausea or diarrhoea, or picked up by other people here in Australia who have picked it up elsewhere and are still carriers. Once you suffer with the initial acute reaction, the bacteria can grow in your gut creating low immunity, and will stay there until it is forced out, which can take months to kill, and unfortunately, no amount of probiotics or good bacteria can overcome these bacteria.
Repairing this situation requires a treatment program using substances that kill the offending bacteria, suppressing them and then using specific nutrients to convert your gut into a healthy environment to colonise your beneficial bacteria again. This can take a few months, but the positive effects are noticed within 2 weeks. If you feel you may be suffering with this type of immune imbalance, consider getting help treating it, as it only continues to cause gut depletion of nutrients and poor immunity further over time, affecting energy production also.
For further information, contact the clinic for a free half hour consultation at Advanced Wellness & Behavioural Centre on 5443 1987. You may also wish to view the free webinar “7 Steps to Freedom from Depression and Anxiety” at www. advancedwellness.com.au which goes into detail about these bacteria and how it can affect your overall health.