Put Out the Fire with an All-Natural Approach
If you’ve ever stubbed your toe or suffered a minor paper cut, then you’re familiar with the effects of inflammation. The heat, redness, and swelling you experienced following that minor injury was the result of acute inflammation, which is part of your immune system’s natural response to trauma.
But there’s another kind of inflammation with which you may not be aware. Unlike acute inflammation, which usually involves pain and is short lived, chronic inflammation can be a “silent fire” and last for weeks or even years.
In fact, most people don’t even realize they’re “on fire” until they’re diagnosed with a serious disease. This may be why chronic inflammation has been identified as a factor in such diverse disorders as:
Autoimmune diseases (e.g., inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease, type II Diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
So, what is chronic inflammation? And more importantly, what can you do if you are suffering from it?
The Connection Between Inflammation and Your Immune System
Inflammation is an integral part of your body’s natural defenses. When threatened by harmful substances, such as a bacteria or viruses, your immune system sends wave after wave of white blood cells and chemicals to seek and destroy the offending organisms. This “inflammatory cascade” produces the heat, redness, and swelling which characterize acute inflammation. Once the offenders are destroyed the inflammatory cascade stops and healing begins.
During chronic inflammation, however, the inflammatory response is continual. Any number of factors can cause chronic inflammation.
Hereditary and environmental factors. Both may have a causal effect on autoimmune disease, such as inflammatory bowel disease or rheumatoid arthritis. In an autoimmune disease, your immune system mistakes its own tissues as “foreign,” unleashing the inflammatory response.
Typical Western lifestyle. Excess bad fats, the products of sedentary lifestyles and diets rich in sugars, fats, and food additives, may promote the production of inflammatory chemicals. See Anti-Inflammatory Foods and Inflammation Causing Foods
Inflammation’s Role in Weight Gain – Has inflammation caused you difficulty? Chronic inflammation can be a bit of a downer resulting in discomfort and pain.
Did you know inflammation is actually a function of your immune system and has a function? It does, and it’s actually a vital function at that! Perhaps most surprisingly and unexpectedly, inflammation, as much good as it does, also can lead to weight gain and make it difficult to lose weight. All of which positions inflammation as a double-edged sword in that it is vital to healing but can be both painful and weight unfriendly.
Inflammation is a function of the immune system, and it is designed to actually protect an affected area of the body. So, you can see where reducing inflammation itself kind of interferes with the overall healing of the problem the inflammation is protecting.
But the pain, discomfort and, yes, weight gain can present another problem altogether.
What most people don’t realize is that the injured or unwell areas of the body that the inflammation is “protecting” have a cause. The inflammation is a secondary reaction. Primary would be the cause of the entire problem itself.
What is the most common issue? Not to oversimplify but, deficiency of basic nutrition (caused by malnourishment or depletion) is a popular, fundamental cause. It’s hard to believe in this day and age that people can be suffering from malnourishment, but when you consider the quality of today’s foods sources you understand that while most of us have plenty to eat, the nutritional quality of the food is lacking.
The replacement of the missing nutrients can, all by itself, have some pretty miraculous effects by comparison, especially when it comes to inflammation.
So, not only can this type of approach handle the inflammation (reducing it and making it unnecessary), but it can also then reduce pain and allow for weight loss to actually start working where it had been halted prior.
That’s why weight loss programs and approaches that reduce pain by addressing inflammation work so well and why many “diets” fail. It also explains why weight loss programs work for some and not for others.
What can you do? Well, it’s simple…Provide nutrition to your body through supplementation focused on providing nutrients that are essential to prevent inflammation-triggered conditions from occurring.
Factually, deficiencies of certain vital nutrients can add up to inflammation. And that adds up to weight gain for many!
Weight is one of the most common issues related to this yet is one of the most hidden causes, debarring people from losing.
For many people this has been a solution to lessen their chronic inflammation and associated discomfort, pain and weight issues. Perhaps it could be for you, too.
The “Fire” in Your Belly
Most people aren’t aware of the major role our gastrointestinal (GI) tract plays in our immune health. Besides digestion, our GI tract is home to nearly seventy percent of our immune system. It is a major source of lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that plays a large role in defending the body against disease, and mast cells, which release histamines and other chemicals as part of an allergic response.
Calming the Flames—A Natural Approach
As home base for the majority of your immune system, your GI tract plays a vital role in your inflammatory response. By paying attention to your gut, you can minimize the effects of inflammation naturally. The following natural approaches can help:
1. Omega Essential Fatty Acids such as EPA and DHA may help decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease and support a healthy immune response. Although the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids are oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, non-fish food options include flaxseed, flaxseed oil, walnuts, canola oil.
2. Ginger and rosemary have been shown to support the healthy metabolism of inflammatory chemicals.
3. Turmeric extract inhibits the activities of a wide range of enzymes implicated in pain and inflammation.
4. Rice protein has been shown to have a lower allergy potential than other protein sources, making it a safer alternative.
You can also minimize chronic inflammation by eating a healthier diet and getting regular, moderate exercise. Both will reduce the amount of fat in your body, which research suggests may incite the inflammatory response.
By Cindy Clayton-Sudalnik, D.C.
The Most Powerful Natural Antioxidant
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