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Wednesday
Jan082014

Inflammation

Inflammation is rampantly out of control in most people because of lifestyle, diet, infections, allergies, and, increasingly, autoimmunity.  Some of the causes are poor intake of anti-oxidants (vegetables) and high intake of inflammatory foods like those in the typical American diet.  Foods high in refined carbohydrates like breads, pastas and pastries, and those high in cheap vegetable oils like French fries are typical fire starters.

Camp Fire

Inflammation is a chemical fire burning with oxidative chemicals.  These free radicals are very dangerous to the body and can damage all types of tissues, including DNA.  Symptoms of inflammation are pain, injuries, bloating, weight gain, mental fog, low energy, and declining brain function.  Free radicals keep burning until they are quenched by the body’s extensive antioxidant system, or not.

 

 

 

Consider how bad you feel when you are sick.  This is because your immune system makes inflammation in response to injury, infection and allergies.  Immune response must be carefully controlled or it can destroy DNA, cell walls, proteins, and even kill you with a “cytokine storm” of inflammation.

Infections and allergies; even ones you are not aware of, are major causes of inflammation.  Chronic stuffy nose or indigestion can be signs.  Inflammation is initiated in the body by antigens like bacterial LPS (lipopolysaccharides), leaking through the gut barrier.  These can be potent stimulators of heart disease, plaque formation, and obesity.   Yes, obesity is an inflammatory condition. 

Exercise is also an oxidative stressor.  Fires in our cells’ mitochondria burn oxygen to power movement. Too much exercise leads to too much inflammation and actual damage to the mitochondria (overtraining/burnout).

Stress causes inflammation.  Having a fight with your lover can raise your inflammatory cytokines (chemicals of inflammation) for days.  Our stressful lifestyle, inflammatory foods, medications, pollution, and impaired immune systems insure that most of us are “on fire” and not in a good way.

Garden Veggies 15 Most of your immune activity is in the gut.  Fire in the gut causes fire in the brain and the brain is even harder to put out.  This leads to neurodegeneration and outcomes like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

I recommend that you take steps each day to decrease inflammation in your body and mind.  Preparing foods rich in fresh vegetables for antioxidants and fiber each day is fundamental.  Avoiding alcohol, medications, high glycemic foods, and omega 6 oils will go a long way to cool things off. 

Daily meditation, breath work and movement are recommended to reduce your stress response, improve insulin resistance, and balance hormones and brain activity.  

Finding and effectively treating chronic infections or allergies in your body is critical.  For diagnosing these I use symptom questionnaires and blood testing along with physical exam.  Natural treatments are recommended because antibiotics will disturb the natural gut flora and thereby promote inflammation.

If you are inflamed then your antioxidant system is depleted.  Taking daily supplements can be essential, especially antioxidants like glutathione, SOD, bioflavonoids, magnesium, turmeric and resveratrol. 

An elimination diet, like the Clearvite or Repairvite diet and supplements, can repair a leaky gut lining (your primary immune barrier).  This will stop antigens like LPS and food proteins from raining into the immune system (see Gut blogs). 

Immune system balance is the key to cooling inflammatory conditions that continue to erode your health.  Because inflammation destroys tissue, things get worse and more complicated over time. 

 

Big Tree

Today is your opportunity to begin cooling down by getting to the underlying causes of your inflammations.  Take the symptom assessments in my "new patient forms" and get blood tests to understand which tissues are comprimised.

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