Thursday, 06 October 2016 16:44

Could you be suffering from Inflammation? My guess is you are.

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What is inflammation?

Inflammation is an immune system response. Inflammation is the body's first response to an injury or disease. It tells you in no uncertain terms "Houston, we have a problem." Inflammation informs you that you need to pay attention to an injured or diseased area so that you don't continue to use it and worsen the problem.

Inflammation occurs when white blood cells migrate out of blood vessels into the infected area, where they act as phagocytes (destroyers of foreign matter). The white cells can also wall off the infected area, preventing its spread to other parts of the body.

A secondary aspect of inflammation involves the movement of protein containing fluids to the affected area. The dilation of upstream and constriction of downstream blood vessels to the infected area results in a loss of blood plasma at the site, which leads to swelling. Pain results from the compression of nerve endings that the swelling causes.

Inflammation can also bring on general flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, fatigue, loss of energy and headaches. Inflammation progresses through four stages:

Acute Inflammation:

Acute inflammation is short term. You injure your shoulder. You feel pain, it swells and might turn red. You rest it, ice and when it heals, you should be good as new. The problem with inflammation is that it can self-perpetuate. Systemic enzymes and other natural anti-inflammatories can prevent this or interrupt the process once it starts.

It is initially beneficial when your shoulder needs protection and care. But it can become self-perpetuating. The body creates more inflammation in response to the existing inflammation. Sometimes the immune system goes haywire and triggers an inflammatory response when there is no injury or disease process present. This is an autoimmune disease.

Chronic Inflammation:

The trouble occurs when the defense system - inflammation runs out of control and is chronically activated. When inflammation becomes chronic and systemic, your body identifies your own tissues as enemy invaders and begins attacking your organs and tissues. As a result, you may end up in an endless cycle where one part of your chemistry is trying to rebuild your body while another part of your chemistry is tearing it down.

What’s worse, as the body begins rebuilding and tearing itself apart this way it tends to become even more inflamed. Your immune system is desperately using the only means it knows to protect you against a foreign invader that isn’t really foreign. Your tissues become progressively more and more inflamed, and the cycle starts spinning out of control.

Usually chronic inflammation of this nature doesn’t have the same outward signs that acute inflammation does. You don’t experience it as swelling and heat in a particular area. As a result, you may not even realize that inflammation is a problem for you.

A study of an apparently healthy elderly population found that those with the highest levels of C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 (two markers of systemic inflammation) were 260 percent more likely to die during the next four years than were those with lower levels of these markers. The increase in deaths was due to both cardiovascular and other causes.

The Bottom Line: lnflammation has been linked to heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer's disease, and muscle loss with aging. Research has found that the typical anti-inflammatory foods may not reduce inflammatory markers, but the anti-inflammatory diets do help to reduce weight. The only proven method to reducing inflammation is WEIGHT LOSS.

Ready to take back your health?!

Deanna Trask RHN

Registered Holistic Nutritionist