Small Steps, Sensible Choices, Superior Health.
This page on inflammation is a little long but it's so important that I want to share as much with you as I can.
We'll talk about:
The inflammatory process is your body's way of telling you there is something wrong.
When you were young, you may have smashed your finger and it
immediately swelled up.
Or you got stung and the surrounding
area became red, swollen and warm to the touch. These are examples of an acute injury.
Here is the body's normal protocol when an acute injury or infection is present in any organ or tissue.
Your immune system makes a 911 call to report an injury. The paramedics, your white blood cells, rush to the scene of the injury where the damaged cells have released various chemicals.
These chemicals, plasma and protein allow massive amounts of fluid to flood the tissue spaces otherwise known as swelling, heat and redness. This flooding causes the cells to start drowning.
The oxygen deprived cells put out a distress call that we notice as pain and you say "ouch".
Normally you would receive some type of treatment for the injury and in a short time you heal and are back to normal.
This process is a bit more complicated. Sometimes the "paramedics" of the immune system may not perform properly and healing doesn't occur. Or maybe the body can't ever heal because of repeated injury as a result of something you are doing, consuming or being exposed to.
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:
According to the health experts one of the biggest contributors of this condition is our diet. Other factors play a role, such as emotions and lifestyle , smoking and 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:
Be aware, you could be feeding the problem depending upon what you eat.
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:
In striving for an anti-inflammatory lifestyle try to eat a diet rich in:
Home made soup made from chicken, turkey, beef or fish stock (made from bones) is a very healthy choice. The prolonged boiling draws the glucosamine, chondroitin and minerals out of the bones and cartilage and into the soup.
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 antioxidant even if you need to take a supplement.
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.
is extremely high in antioxidants. Try to find one of those tasty juice blends that contain this berry.
There are some 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
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.
If you already have chronic symptoms, the following may be helpful:
Since we live and work in closed environments with recirculated air instead of fresh air, it's wise to limit your toxin exposure as much as possible.
While you may not realize the amount of toxins that you come in contact with, they are everywhere in your daily living:
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.
When you mention heart disease, many think of clogged blood vessels due to a plaque build up in the vessel walls. To prevent this from happening, people are prescribed cholesterol lowering drugs. But that's not really the answer, you need to find out why the excess plaque is forming.
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 sometimes they are responsible for further plaque build up and/or the rupturing of plaque which could result in a blood clot leading to heart attack or stroke.
Controlling your inflammation 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 contributes to:
That's quite a list!
Thank you for reading down to the bottom of the page. I hope you found this information helpful.
Below you will find a section with Additional Resources that you may find helpful. You can also sign up for my "e-zine" to get more information by e-mail.
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