Inflammation, The Root of Disease
This page on inflammation is a little long but has lots of information on it. We'll talk about: The two types of inflammation and their differences.What causes an inflammatory process and how it's linked to diseases.Knowing the foods that cause inflammation and which foods to avoid.C reactive protein inflammation test to determine your inflammation risk. Acute
The inflammatory process is actually your body telling you there is something wrong. When you were young, you may have broken an arm and it immediately swelled up, or you got a scrape or cut and the surrounding area became red, swollen and warm to the touch.
These are acute conditions where there is a rush of white blood cells that race to the rescue when an injury occurs, they are kind of like the paramedics of the body. Only in this case, the 911 call was made by your body's immune system, which is normal protocol when an injury or infection is present in any organ or tissue. Chronic
Sometimes the "paramedics" of the immune system may not perform properly and healing doesn't occur. This leads to chronic inflammation and it can last indefinitely and lead to disease. This chronic type of inflammation is getting a lot of attention from the medical community lately.
The link between arthritis and inflammation is well known. But newer research is confirming a definite connection between chronic inflammation and both physical and neurological diseases including: asthmaAlzheimer's Diseasecancerdiabetesdigestive disordersheart diseasehormone imbalancesosteoporosisCauses of Inflammation
According to the health experts one of the biggest contributors of this condition is our
Other factors play a role also, such as
emotions and lifestyle
(smoking, lack of exercise) but our food choices are the biggest factor. Healthy choices in our daily diet could have a significant impact. There are two categories when it comes to food choices. Pro-inflammatory are foods that cause inflammation. Anti-inflammatory are the good foods that help minimize inflammation risk. Be aware, you could be feeding the problem depending upon what you eat. Foods That Cause Inflammation highly processed foodssugary foodsred meats(from corn-fed cows treated with antibiotics & hormones)un-healthy saturated fatsfried foodssodaalcoholbreadtrans fats found in snack foodscrackerscandies baked goodssalad dressings
According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, in a study done in December, the authors states, "Our results suggest that TFA [trans fatty acids] are strongly associated with systemic inflammation in patients with chronic heart failure. This finding suggests a novel potential mechanism whereby TFA intake may affect the health of patients with established heart disease."
Read your food labels, even if it says "trans free", if there are hydrogenated oils listed on the label, it's not trans-free. Minute amounts are allowed and can still be labeled "trans-free".
Others causes that can increase your risk include: stressobesitygum diseaseexisting heart conditionfamily history of heart diseasesmokinglong lasting or unresolved infections
Good Foods (Anti-Inflammatory)
Other things to consider in striving for an anti-inflammatory lifestyle are a diet rich in:fruitsvegetablesespecially dark green leafy vegetableskale and other greensomega-3 foodswild caught cold water fishfish oil supplementsflax seedraw nuts like pecans, almonds and walnuts olive and grapeseed oils
Home made soup
made from chicken, turkey or beef bones is a very healthy choice because the prolonged boiling draws glucosamine and chondroitin out of the bones and cartilage and into the soup, along with other great minerals as well. The soup will not only help to reduce the inflammatory process but it will also fortify the joints in your body.
Try to increase your
antioxidants (which fight inflammation)
even if you need to take
Another excellent anti-inflammatory food is the acai berry.
Dr. Nicolas Perricone listed it as one of the Top Super Foods in his book. Oprah and many other shows have featured this amazing little berry as well. The
is extremely high in antioxidants, (an anti-inflammatory) and when combined with lots of other fruits and vegetables, you have a powerhouse of nutrients helping the body to reduce inflammation. Studies reveal that antioxidants may be helpful in fighting cardiovascular disease, cancer and other degenerative diseases.
C Reactive Protein Inflammation Test
There are several tests your doctor can perform to determine the level of the inflammatory process going on in your body. First is a test called a C-reactive protein (CRP) blood test, it may or may not be covered by insurance, but it typically is not a very expensive test. It is not a routine test but if requested it can be done right along with your cholesterol test.
The C Reactive Protein inflammation levels can be used as a marker of inflammation in the arteries. If you have an elevated level of CRP it is also a good indicator that you may be at risk for a stroke or heart attack.
Another test your doctor can perform is a fasting blood sugar test. It not only screens for diabetes and heart disease, but a higher insulin level indicates that your body is experiencing a higher inflammatory process. Managing Chronic Inflammation
If you already have chronic symptoms, the following may be helpful:
Eat lots of fruits and green vegetables (preferably non-starchy) and eat organic, it's proven to have more nutrients and be healthier for you. Eat cold water, wild caught fish 2-4 times per week or take a take a good pharmaceutical grade fish oil daily. When using oil, choose a good quality extra virgin olive oil and also try to decrease your grains. Avoid white flours and sugar, high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, milk products. Don't overeat, don't skip meals and eat meals at home and not at fast food restaurants. Take a daily vitamin/mineral supplement.
Since we live and work in closed environments with recirculated air instead of fresh air, it would be wise to limit your
While you may not realize the amount of toxins that you come in contact with, they are everywhere in your daily living:synthetic carpeting and padsdrapesfabricswall coverings paintscleaning productsair freshenersgluespesticidessealantsand many other chemicals
By living and working in closed environments with toxin exposure, people are experiencing a low level chronic inflammatory condition that is leading to all types of ailments ranging from fatigue, headaches, memory loss, skin rashes, just to name a few. So get fresh air as much as possible, open windows and doors, roll down your car windows. Even with the concerns of air pollution, you really may have more risk indoors than out.
Avoid:Smoking & chewing tobaccoalcoholexcessive caloriestight clothingover exercisingunder exercising
Limit:stressdevelop healthy relationships with encouraging and supportive people
Be aware of your current habits, start making healthy choices and take responsibility for your health.The Link To Illness and Disease
For many years heart disease was generally considered as having clogged blood vessel due to a plaque build up in the walls. When a blood vessel gets "injured" which can be from any number of reasons like, high blood pressure, smoking or an inflammatory process, our body's paramedics rush to the injured vessel and try to patch up the wound.
Unfortunately, these inflammatory cells create further damage and can sometimes they are responsible for further plaque build up and/or the rupturing of plaque which could result in a blood clot leading to
or stroke. Controlling your inflammation is a healthy choice and could minimize your risk of heart disease.
The process may vary within the differing body systems, but the scenario is basically the same. Many health care professionals now believe that inflammation may contribute to:cancerdiabetesasthmaarthritisosteoporosisAlzheimer's Diseasemigrainesfibromyalgiaperiodontal diseasethyroiditisbowel diseasedementiachronic fatigue syndromemetabolic syndrome
That's quite a list!
How Do You Manage
Your Chronic Inflammation?
Have you found a way to reverse or manage your chronic inflammation? If so, please share it.
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