Updated: Jul 8
Have you ever experienced fatigue, joint pain, poor sleep quality, and weight fluctuation for no apparent reason? If so, there's a good chance you're dealing with chronic inflammation. Though it's not always easy to detect, chronic inflammation is a major player in the development of many diseases. Don't let chronic inflammation take control of your health - find out how to get your life back!
We hope this information will help you better understand this hidden health problem and enable you to take steps toward reversing any negative impacts it may have on your life.
Ongoing Inflammation - The Root of Disease
So, what is chronic inflammation? It’s an inappropriate, harmful immune response that can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress, diet, and the environment. Left unchecked, this long term systemic inflammation can lead to a wide range of diseases. Think about how a clogged-up plumbing system can cause serious damage to your home. Now imagine that same concept happening in your body, with inflammation being the root cause of that "clog" and subsequent damage in our systems. Bottom line is recognizing that prolonged inflammation can cause real problems in our bodies.
It is important to note that inflammation, in general, is a protective process. If we get a cut, white blood cells are going to arrive at the scene to form a clot, protect the wound and prevent any further blood loss. This inflammatory response is in our favor. A local inflammatory response is what is supposed to happen. You've got a trigger, you've got a sensory cell that sets the alarm, and then you have an upregulation of the immune system for this inflammation. However, we don't want this to continue to be a long term problem. We want our body to calm down after that initial inflammatory trigger.
Triggers could be anything:
Mechanical triggers, such as an injury or trauma. The trauma could be physical or mental.
Poor detoxification (Whether it’s through genetics or poor clearance)
Pathogenic microbes (gut bugs)
Abnormal blood sugar levels. (A dysregulation or poor management of blood sugar)
Toxins are everywhere
Oh, the toxicity!
Some chemicals that we use to make us feel clean -- whether in the air, on our skin, or in our homes -- can be toxic. People have been using different kinds of chemicals for a long time and only now are we starting to see the consequences. That's why some people are experiencing health problems like disrupted immune systems or increased rates of diabetes.
A person’s genetics may influence how susceptible they are to certain environmental factors. Meanwhile, other individuals might not notice any effect at all. Environmental factors can cause oxidative stress which can lead to DNA damage over time.
It can also be factors such as toxic relationships, or social, environmental, and lifestyle-specific toxins that can contribute to that chronic inflammation.
Maintain a Good Inflammatory Response
Fortunately, there are many things you can do promote and maintain a healthy inflammatory response and protect yourself from the negative effects of chronic inflammation. Taking supplements, maintaining a healthy diet, prioritizing sleep, and managing stress should be prioritized.
Antioxidants and Nutraceuticals
The body needs help to get rid of toxins. We can give the body help with vitamin C supplements and other antioxidants. These things are important for the body's detoxification process.
Fish oil is one of the best things you can incorporate to help your body stay healthy. Fish oils can be beneficial in many different ways, such as helping to fight inflammation or prevent heart disease.
Glutathione is a natural substance made by the liver that helps to detoxify the body and protect cells from damage. It is also important for maintaining a healthy immune system and supporting an appropriate inflammatory response. While our bodies produce glutathione on their own, levels can become depleted due to stress, poor diet, and exposure to toxins.
N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) also plays an important role when you're exposed to too many toxins. It is a precursor to the master antioxidant, glutathione.
Clean Healthy Diet
The inflammatory response is a crucial part of the immune system, but when it's constantly being triggered, it can lead to problems. One way to help keep the inflammatory response in check is to avoid trigger foods. Cheap vegetable oils like safflower, sunflower, and canola are known triggers, so it's best to steer clear of them. Instead, focus on eating anti-inflammatory foods like olive oil, fish, and leafy greens. These foods will help to keep the inflammatory response in balance, keeping you healthy and happy.
It is important to decrease the inflammatory load. If you are going into an inflammatory response with a good diet and exercise routine, it will be easier for your body to respond appropriately. Foods that interfere with a proper inflammatory response include processed carbs and sugar. Artificial sweeteners should also be avoided as they have been linked to obesity rates worldwide because they stimulate appetite so much more than natural sweeteners do.
Because we know there are toxins in our foods as a result of modern farming and processing methods, it’s important to follow The Environmental Working Group’s Clean 15 list when buying groceries.
The quality of sleep we get each night is just as important (if not more so) to our overall health as the actual number of hours spent sleeping per night. Sleep impacts every aspect of your life including mood, cognitive function, and energy levels. Making sure you’re getting enough quality sleep in a dark, cool room will help keep physical ailments at bay while also improving psychological well-being.
What are we doing to manage all of the stressors that are coming our way? It's no secret that we are under more stress than ever before. With work, family, and social obligations pulling us in a million different directions, it's important to take a step back and focus on what we can do to manage the stress in our lives. One of the best ways to do this is to take a holistic approach that includes both physical and mental relaxation techniques.
We need to be reminded from time to time the priority is focusing on taking care of yourself before taking care of anybody else.
On the physical side, practices like yoga, meditation, and deep breathing can help to lower your heart rate and blood pressure. It’s vital to find healthy coping mechanisms for when things get overwhelming. This might involve talking to a friend or therapist, journaling, or even just taking a few minutes each day to sit in silence and clear your mind. By taking care of both our bodies and our minds, we can start to effectively manage the stress in our lives.
We're all different and so our approach to health will vary based on what's going well in your life right now, but one thing that always stands out as important for us in functional medicine is identifying the things you can do yourself, or even ask of others around you (i.e. friends/family members), to help support those efforts. Toxic environmental factors play a huge role in our overall health and wellness, so it's important that we identify in our own lives what those factors are, and find ways to work at improving them.
If you’re concerned about your health and would like to find out more about how you can reduce inflammation in your body, please schedule a free discovery call with us today. We would be happy to discuss your situation and help you create an appropriate plan for reducing chronic inflammation. Thanks for reading!
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DISCLAIMER: The information in this email is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content is for general informational purposes only and does not replace a consultation with your own doctor/health professional