I imagine by now you have at least heard the comment – Inflammation is the cause of all disease. Yes, it’s connected with major players – everything from asthma, allergies and arthritis as well as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. But don’t be fooled – the cause for concern is what is causing the inflammation!
Modern living has produces multitudes of causative factors – everything from the environment you live in, the job you have, the food you eat even the way you think! This is why its so important to have a health coach – a Functional Medicine practitioner to help you navigate the near thousands of possibilities for your health issues so that you can identify and combat the causes of inflammation which, in turn, once reduced will improve your health and well-being.
What is inflammation: Inflammation comes as a double edged sword – there’s a healthy kind (acute) and an unhealthy kind (chronic). Acute inflammation is the immediate reaction, short lived, that helps you to heal from a recent injury/infection/assault. Think of a splinter or a cut – your body activates inflammation to in-crease blood flow to the area for repair and cleaning (redness), nerve endings increase to signal the brain so you rest the area injured and also to activate migration of healing cells (pain). Once the process is completed, you are back to normal function and life continues. When acute inflammation is constantly triggered by factors such as unhealthy diet, lifestyle, stress, and toxic exposures, inflammation can spin out of control into a chronic inflammatory situation. Chronic inflammation is slow, long-term inflammation, lasting for prolonged periods of several months to years before you may see or feel the damage or symptoms.
Chronic inflammation is asymptomatic, self perpetuating and results in the pro-duction of inflammatory cells and molecules, such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF),interleukins (ILs), nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kB), prostaglandins, and free radicals increase which can cause damage to the tissues and organs of your body, leading to inflammation-related health issues and conditions mentioned above.
How do you diagnose inflammation? Because you cannot feel chronic inflammation laboratory examination is absolutely essential. Unfortunately many conventional medical professionals will not include these on your annual physicals so make sure you request them to find out if inflammation is the reason you have not healed from your current health issue already.
C-reactive protein (CRP): An inflammatory protein produced by the liver when elevated beyond 1.0 it indicates liver toxicity and inflammation. When elevated above 3.0 it indicates chronic inflammation. When elevated above 10.0 it indicates infection.
Homocysteine levels: An inflammatory amino acid that elevates when proteins are broken down and is a stronger indicator of heart disease than cholesterol. When above 15 it indicates chronic inflammation of the blood vessels.
Ferritin: Ferritin is an inflammatory blood protein with iron bound to it. When>100 for females and >150 for males is a strong indicator of inflammation.
Fasting Insulin: Insulin is a hormone that is rarely tested, even in those diagnosed with diabetes and its a strong indicator of chronic inflammation, which elevates cortisol. Cortisol is known to block the insulin receptor, resulting in elevated blood sugar and insulin. When fasting insulin is >20 chronic inflammation is present.
How To Reduce Chronic Inflammation: The number one source of chronic inflammation is the food you consume on a daily basis. Here’s a list of known inflammatory foods to avoid.
1. Refined carbohydrates: white rice, flour, bread, pastries, and pasta
2. Fried starch and carbohydrates: fast food, french fries, and fried rice
3. Sugar-laden foods and beverages: soda, juice, most OTC beverages
4. Conventional Red Meats: corn fed beef products
5. Processed meat/pork: hot dogs, deli products/meats, and bacon6.Processed Vegetable Oils:Margarine shortening, trans fats, and any hydrogenated oil (Canola, Corn, Wesson etc.)
Most powerful anti-inflammatory items to incorporate:
Vegetables: Spirulina, Spinach, Peppers, Mushrooms, Kale, Garlic, Cucumbers, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Asparagus
Fruits: Avocado, Pineapple, Papaya, Cherries, Berries
Seeds: Chia, Flax, Hemp, Cacao (chocolate), Walnuts
Herbs: Rosemary, Turmeric, Ginger, Cloves, Cinnamon, Green Tea
Supplements: Fish Oils, Curcumin, CBD oil, Resveratrol, Zinc, Capsaicin, Boswelia