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Inflammation. That itchy swelling of redness and warmth around a wound as it starts to heal. No big deal, right? WRONG! Many scientists now believe that most, or even all chronic disease may have chronic inflammation as a trigger. This fiery process has been linked to multiple ailments including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and more.
What is Inflammation?
Whether you scrape your knee, twist your ankle, or succumb to strep throat, the body's reaction is the same: The immune system sends in an army of white blood cells to destroy bacteria and repair the tissue. This healing process, called the inflammatory response, is one of the body's most basic survival instincts. Inflammation is a reaction to stress, whether that stress stems from
Chronic inflammation is when the immune system overreacts and continues in sort of a “friendly fire” attack. Chronic inflammation is long-term, and can last for several months or even years. Perhaps the most dangerous aspect of chronic inflammation is its stealthy nature; people often don't know they have it. Unless you have a painful inflammatory disease like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, you may not have any symptoms at all.
#1 Warning Sign of Chronic Inflammation
Simple Ways to Fight Inflammation
- Eliminate Sugar. Sugar feeds the inflammatory process. Easy on the carbs as well, since they process into sugar.
- Avoid gluten, trans fats, and nightshade vegetables (eggplant, peppers, potatoes)
- Spice it up. Many spices have strong anti-inflammatory effects – in particular turmeric, ginger, rosemary, garlic, and onion.
- Add natural probiotic foods. Our bodies need a healthy level of good bacteria and enzymes to heal, support the immune system, and create energy. Fermented foods like kombucha, kefir, sauerkrauts and kimchi are super doses of good bacteria! Yogurts can be good too, just make sure you watch the sugar content. (Get plain yogurt and add your own fruit.)
- Stagnation of the lymph is a precursor for inflammation. Unlike blood, which is pumped by the heart, lymph has no internal pump of its own. Regular, consistent physical activity will move the lymph through the body.
- Don’t exercise now? Start small - 30 minutes of aerobic exercise – brisk walking, jogging, swimming, even vigorous gardening 4-5 times a week will do the trick. Doing more is great, but avoid Crossfit or “weekend warrior” type exercise because working out too hard may boost inflammation levels rather than reduce them.
Calm it Down
- 30 minutes of morning meditation is ideal. However, if that’s not really your thing just breathe deeply. Inhale and exhale through the nose, filling lungs completely, 10 times. You can do it wherever and whenever.
- Have an acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture is perfect to balance the “fire” that can build up and cause chronic inflammation. A series of acupuncture treatments supported by herbal supplementation goes a long way in putting out the fire.
- Epsom Salts will reduce inflammation with the bonus of pampering sore muscles and aching joints
- Boswellia blocks the chemical reactions that set the stage for inflammation.
- Turmeric contains inflammation-fighting compounds called curcuminoids. The most important is curcumin, often recommended for arthritis pain.
- It is vital that any herbal supplementation you choose be standardized to assure medical quality. Patients can inquire at the office, or order through our online store.