Inflammation is a hot topic now. But, for everyone, the term does not necessarily create an image in your head of what it means. I know it could be overwhelming and possibly a little irritating with the size of information available now – on nutrition, wellness, fitness – all things wellbeing. How can you know what it means? Where do you turn for audio information? My goal is to be that resource for you – to help you make sense of everything.
Today, I would like to help simplify this notion of inflammation. Let me first tell a story of a real person living with debilitating inflammation as well as the settlement that occurred with a change in eating. Jason is a customer that came to me because he was living with episodes of acute pain for ages. He was sick and tired of the aches and pains. He had a history of high blood pressure, had undergone over the years debilitating incidences of gout in addition to a rheumatic disease that was treated with years of prescription steroids.
He had been experiencing were processes of inflammation (more on this to come). Jason was prepared to make gradual adjustments to his diet – removing soda, substituting his usual high sugar breakfast with a meal richer in protein, and raising his vegetable and fruit intake. Shortly thereafter, a stressful work period of the year that resulted in a substantial relapse of gout finished with considerably less pain than he’d experienced the past year.
Good to know
By shifting his diet from foods producing inflammation to people who helped to reduce it reduced his symptoms also! In Jason’s story he did not even make enormous adjustments to his diet. He started small, because that was what worked for him. He did great and he got results. Even tiny changes can cause a substantial improvement in symptoms! When you continue on a path to decrease inflammation – eliminating foods bothersome to your body, including foods that are powerhouses of nourishment, recovery years of damage to the gut in the Standard American Diet or drug use – the results can continue to get better and better.
What would those results look like? Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Improved gut health reducing symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, gas, bloating, chronic digestive upset. Reduced risk of autoimmune disease. Allow me to attempt to make this easy. There are 2 distinct varieties of inflammation – acute and chronic. Acute inflammation is the body’s normal response when something harmful impacts any area on your system. Acute inflammation will cause symptoms you I’m sure, have experienced such as warmth, redness, swelling, pain or loss of work. It’s the way your body protects itself eliminates the reason for injury and begins the process of repairing harm.
The human body is remarkable! Each and every day you’re put in harm’s way and your body’s immune system protects you from getting sick. It’s generally very good at it’s job – keeping things in check to keep you healthy. Unfortunately, it is not perfect. Sometimes, this acute procedure to keep you well might go awry and might lead to a chronic reaction. This could happen for any variety of reasons – it did not do a fantastic job at eliminating what it ought to have, it makes a mistake and starts recognizing your own healthy tissue as something harmful (an autoimmune response), or maybe there’s an irritant that persists for a long time period.
Consider it like this – acute inflammation is like a storm that struck your neighborhood. Some damage occurred, there’s clean up to be done, things will get solved and you’ll proceed. Chronic inflammation is like that storm hitting your local 24 hours/day, 7 days/week, 365 days/year. There’s never an chance to clean up and proceed. Acute inflammation can cause you to get sick, however you’ll recover.
Chronic inflammation, however, has been implicated in virtually all disease states now such as autoimmune diseases, obesity, allergies, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, along with aging! What are the signs? If you or someone you love experiences any of them, you might be living with chronic inflammation. Diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder. Struggle to attain a healthy weight. Ongoing joint and muscle aches and pains. Regular constipation, diarrhea or both. Brain fog – which makes it more challenging to solve problems or complete basic tasks. Inflammation is a word that’s thrown around a lot nowadays. It is still understood as a significant element in health versus illness.