The immune system: we hear about it all the time, especially this time of year as cold and flu season is in full swing.
But there’s a lot more to it than just your susceptibility to a runny nose. 50 million people suffer from immunologic diseases, ranging from an overactive immune system (autoimmunity) to an underactive one (immunodeficiency), and many stages in between. The field of immunology is much more expansive than you might think, spreading into neurology, gastroenterology, epigenetics, psychosocial health, and even mindfulness and gratitude.
My guest on this week’s episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy, Dr. Leonard Calabrese, is an expert in immunology and rheumatology.
In fact, he is a Professor of Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University and Vice Chair of the Department of Rheumatic and Immunologic Diseases. Dr. Calabrese is the director of the RJ Fasenmyer Center for Clinical Immunology at the Cleveland Clinic and holds joint appointments in the Department of Infectious Diseases and the Wellness Institute. Dr. Calabrese has made significant contributions to science in the fields of chronic viral infections and autoimmunity and vascular inflammatory diseases of the brain. He has received numerous awards and honors for his contributions to the advancements of immunology and wellness.
Right off the bat, it’s clear that Dr. Calabrese truly loves what he does. He strives to combine targeted immunologic therapies with the emerging science of wellness practices to provide patients with the most robust and innovative care. There is not a single patient who doesn’t ask, “What else can I do?” Dr. Calabrese recognized this early on and feels the incorporation of wellness principles—like exercise, diet, sleep, and mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques—are empowered ways to support self-care.
One of the topics I get most excited about in this episode is the immunology of joy and gratitude and how the right practices to support these areas of life actually improve the immune system. This is also where stress ties in, and science continues to reveal the dramatic impacts of stress on the immune system. Dr. Calabrese shares fascinating clinical results on addressing stress and practicing immunologic strength training.
We dive into all this and so much more, like inflammation, meditation, and modifying genetic predispositions, on this week’s episode.
I hope you’ll tune in.
Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD