Inflammation

Consider shaking up your life a little (or a lot) ...for no reason, except to do it.
Let your life be an adventure.

- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Chronic inflammation is one of the most insidious causes of disease in modern society. Certain lifestyle factors increase inflammation and as a result our cells lose the capacity to function at peak performance. There are two types of inflammation, Acute and Chronic.

Chances are you've heard people talking about inflammation recently. But, unlike other health trends or so-called buzzwords, there's a good reason why it's on everyone's mind. On the one hand, inflammation (Acute) is your body's natural response to an injury or infection. On the other, it (Chronic) could be your body’s warning system, your dashboard red light, letting you know about a deeper-rooted health problem.The triggers for chronic inflammation are many and complex — diet, and how you eat, sleep is hugely implicated, as is stress (physical, mental or emotional), physical activity and other aspects of your health.

 

Chronic inflammation can be harmful. It happens when the immune system is flared up (usually by you) too often and for too long. It’s like constantly trying to drive at top gear when the car is clearly telling you to shift down gears. Immune activity can then become the new norm and over time more and more evidence links inflammation to diseases such as (but not limited to) arthritis, coeliac disease, depression, diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, leaky gut disease, SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.)

 

Inflammation is also thought to be the culprit behind the visible signs of aging?

Ways to reduce inflammation
Reducing inflammation
from Dr Jockers .com

About 50

of the most inflammatory foods.

How many of these could be the culprit behind your health conditions?

Inflammation is a wellness buzz-word these days, and for good reason. If you reduce inflammation in your body, you'll not only look and feel younger, but you'll significantly lower your risk for chronic disease!

 

When any part of the body is inflamed, it is either damaged and healing or damaged and deteriorating. Forget the idea that inflammation is “wrong” or “unnecessary” or that it can even get out of control. It’s not inflammation that is “out of control.” Inflammation is what brings the disease fighting cells and the extra nutrition needed to heal damage to the site. Without inflammation, we wouldn’t heal. More than likely it is your response to life, your eating habits and lifestyle that are likely to be "out of control."

 

Inflammation is your body's response to stress - whether from your diet, lifestyle or environment. Think of what happens when you catch a cold. You may experience inflammation in the form of a fever as your body heats up to eradicate the effects of the invading virus.

 

This kind of inflammation is good, but the modern epidemic of chronic, low-grade inflammation destroys the balance in your body. When your body's systems experience a constant inflammatory response, you become more susceptible to aging and disease. What diseases I hear you ask?

 

There are hundreds of autoimmune diseases, and nearly all of them have inflammation as one of the signs, examples of the more common ones include:

 

 

  1. Acid reflux

  2. Addison's disease - primarily inflammation of the adrenal glands.

  3. Ankylosing spondylitis - inflammation of the vertebrae, muscles, ligaments, and also the sacroiliac joints (where the spine and hips meet).

  4. Arthritis

  5. Behavioural changes

  6. Bronchitis

  7. Cancer

  8. Candidiasis (thrush)

  9. Celiac disease - inflammation and destruction of the inner lining of the small intestine.

  10. Chronic pain

  11. Crohn's disease - the gastrointestinal (GI) tract becomes inflamed. Inflammation is most common in the ileum (small intestine) but may occur anywhere in the GI tract, from the mouth to the anus.

  12. Diabetes type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes - inflammation in various parts of the body are likely if the condition is not well controlled.

  13. Heart disease

  14. High blood pressure

  15. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis - inflammation within the alveoli (tiny sacs within the lungs).

  16. Leaky gut

  17. Liver disease

  18. Lupus - there can be inflammation of the joints, lungs, heart, kidney, and/or skin.

  19. Neurodegenerative diseases

  20. Osteoporosis

  21. Pancreatitis

  22. Psoriasis - inflammation of the skin. In some cases, as in psoriatic arthritis, the joints and tissue surrounding the joints may also become inflamed

  23. Rheumatoid arthritis - inflammation in the joints, tissues surrounding the joints, and sometimes other organs in the body

  24. Skin conditions like psoriasis and acne

  25. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)

  26. Susceptibility to bacterial, fungal, and viral infections.

  27. Urinary tract infections

  28. Various allergies - all allergies have inflammation. Asthma has inflammation of the airways; in hay fever, the nose, ear, and throat mucous membranes become inflamed. People who are allergic to bee stings may develop serious, life-threatening inflammation that affects the whole body (anaphylaxis).

  29. Wrinkles.

 

The disorders above are just a few examples of the hundreds of autoimmune disorders that include inflammation.

 

 

What Causes Inflammation?

 

One of the main causes of inflammation is low-grade bacterial, viral, and fungal infections in the bloodstream and organs like the stomach and gastro-intestinal tract. Never underestimate how much dis-ease and illness begins in the gut.

 

H pylori is a bacteria in the stomach that contributes to inflammation and the development of ulcers. H pylori is present in 50% of adults over 60 years old and in 20% of adults under the age of 40!

 

As well as what goes on in the gut, other causes of inflammation include:

 

•An imbalance of bacteria and fungi in your gastrointestinal tract, also known as dysbiosis. This causes your immune system to overreact to bacteria in your gut and can be without notable symptoms.

•Chronic low-grade food allergies or food sensitivities that may cause few symptoms but keep on eating the same stuff in the same way and, well, is your body getting a chance to heal?

•Diet and lifestyle: too much fat, sugar, and protein in your diet, constant dehydration, consumption of too many sodas or caffeine, inactivity, and lack of sleep can all increase inflammation in your body

•Environmental toxicity from our air, food pollutants, lead, toxic metals like mercury, and water; these all contribute to inflammation and have been linked to diseases as varied as endometriosis and cancer.

•Stress! Constant psychological, emotional or physical stress raises the level of cortisol, creating inflammation and it is said most illness, around 80%, is stress caused.

Avoid These Inflammation Triggers

 

*Alcohol

*Artificial food additives

*Caffeine that comes from coffee and black tea (replace with green tea if necessary)

*Citrus fruits (excepting lemon and limes)

*Commercially produced meats fed on grains like soy beans and corn, a diet  high in inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids but low in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats - go fresh, organic

*Common cooking oils; instead use coconut and olive oil

*Personal food insensitivities

*Processed foods

*Refined grains

*Refined sugar and all food products containing it

*Saturated Fats (including cooking oils) 

*Sugars

*Tobacco 

*Trans fats -Deep fried foods, fast foods, commercially baked goods and those prepared with partially hydrogenated oil, margarine and/or vegetable shortening.

*White varieties of rice and wheat products 

In short - eat fresh, natural foods

How to Reduce Inflammation

 

Don’t expect your doctor to explore inflammation with you. The typical approach to treatment within the NHS is generally to suppress the immune response with immune suppressive drugs or sometimes steroids. Both approaches are designed to reduce inflammation but neither addresses nor stops the underlying disease processes or allows for damaged tissues to regenerate.

 

Anti-inflammatory medications

 

Acetaminophen (paracetamol, Tylenol) can reduce pain associated with inflammatory conditions without reducing inflammation. They may be ideal for those wishing to treat just the pain while allowing the inflammation to run its course.

 

Corticosteroids - these are a class of steroid hormones naturally produced in the cortex (outer portion) of the adrenal gland. They are synthesized in laboratories and added to medications.

 

There are two sets of corticosteroids:

 

Glucocorticoids - prescribed for inflammation of the joints (arthritis), temporal arthritis, dermatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, systemic lupus, hepatitis, asthma, allergic reactions, and sarcoidosis. Creams and ointments may be prescribed for inflammation of the skin, eyes, lungs, bowels, and nose.

 

Mineralocorticoids - used to treat cerebral salt wasting, and to replace missing aldosterone (a hormone) for patients with adrenal insufficiency.

 

 

Corticosteroid side effects are more likely if taken in oral form, compared with inhalers or injections. The higher the dosage and/or the longer they are taken, the greater the risk of side effects.

 

NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) - to alleviate pain caused by inflammation. NSAIDs include naproxen, ibuprofen, and aspirin. NB Do not use NSAIDs long-term without asking a doctor because there is a risk of developing stomach ulcers, which can result in severe, life-threatening bleeding. NSAIDs may also worsen asthma symptoms and cause kidney damage. NSAID medications, except aspirin, can also increase the risk of stroke and myocardial infarction (heart attack).

 

 

What you can do

 

  • Avoid inflammation triggers

  • Drink up to 8 – 12 cups of water a day; keep hydrated.

  • Increase your mineral intake, eliminate sugar and balance all of your nutrients in a                                                                           way that supports your health and vitality. Do your research on any vitamins and                                                                                                          minerals your body needs.

  • Reduce stress - which is easier said than done.

  • Restore your body's balance, go "back to basics" with both diet and lifestyle ie eat                                                                                                      wisely, avoid sugar, eat a plant based diet, move, and deal with stress.

  • Sleep! Get plenty of sleep and quality sleep.

  • Soak up the Sun - Vitamin D, available from sunlight, is an easy way to effectively                                                                   reduce inflammation. If taking Vit D3 supplements, also take Vitamin K2

  • Take time out just for you. No excuses.

  • Treat yourself – to touch, to massage, to reflexology, to anything that de-stresses you

  • Work with a good quality nutritionist if necessary

 

Using herbs to reduce inflammation

 

Use of herbal supplements should be discussed with a qualified nutritionist or naturopath.

 

  • Cannabis - contains a cannabinoid called cannabichromene, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Check for its legality in your country. (Signs are that the use of medical cannabis may soon be legalised.)

  • Ginger - has been used for eons to treat dyspepsia, constipation, colic, other gastrointestinal problems, as well as rheumatoid arthritis pain

  • Harpagophytum procumbens - also known as devil's claw, wood spider, or grapple plant

  • Hyssop Hyssopus - from the plant family Lamiaceae is mixed with other herbs, such as licorice for the treatment of some lung conditions, including inflammation. Beware of the essential oils of hyssop, as they can lead to life-threatening convulsions in laboratory animals.

  • Turmeric (Curcuma longa) - also a plant of the ginger family, often known as curcumin. Current research is looking into the possible beneficial effects of turmeric in treating arthritis, Alzheimer's disease, and some other inflammatory conditions. Curcumin, a substance found in turmeric, is under investigation for the treatment of several illnesses and disorders, including inflammation.

The metaphysical approach

 

Essentially, metaphysics in the case of inflammation is about seeing  red, inflamed thinking,  anger, resentment, and frustration about conditions you are aware of in your life but not necessarily resolving.  Metaphysics suggests you explore issues around anger and fear – we can often acknowledge fear but we seldom like to admit to anger.

Though Hippocrates was incorrect in suggesting that all disease begins in your gut, evidence shows that many chronic metabolic diseases do. There is increasing recognition of the connection of how the mind, what we think and believe, affects our body. The root word for inflammation in Latin is “inflamatio”, which literally means, “to set on fire”.  Many believe that chronic inflammation is the fuel that flames the fire of many of today’s degenerative, chronic, diseases. Conventional medicine is catching up on this idea. 

Inflammation fuels conditions such as appendicitis, arthritis, bronchitis, colitis, gastritis, laryngitis, sinusitis, and many other conditions. Notice the suffix of these diseases names the organ or site in which they occur as “itis”, meaning “inflammation of…” However, a growing number of studies reveal that hidden systemic inflammation (that which affects the entire body or a particular body system) may be the common denominator linking many other modern diseases even when the connection may not be as obvious, eg in heart disease, diabetes etc.

So instead of treating only the symptoms of a condition, consider too lifestyle changes which treat the causes of Chronic Inflammation

    

  • A critical nature … if this is you, how can you become less critical, less judgemental?

  • Abdominal visceral fat … research how to deal with abdominal visceral fat. Would intermittent fasting or a Keto diet help?

  • What will you do about any others that resonate with you?

  • ACE - Adverse Childhood Experiences ...the ACE study concluded that people who had difficult or adverse experiences in childhood had a greater risk of both physical and mental health problems during adulthood 

  • Age related tissue breakdown

  • Anger

  • Chronic emotional stress or physical trauma

  • Boundaries - are you clear as to your boundaries or do you let people break them?

  • Environmental allergens (pollens, molds, dust, etc.)

  • Environmental toxins (such as mercury and pesticides)

  • Fear

  • Food allergens – eg wheat/gluten, dairy, eggs, yeast, corn, peanuts, citrus, soy, shellfish and tree nuts.

  • Lack of exercise

  • Nutrient deficiencies (particularly B vitamins, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, zinc and omega-3 fats)

  • Poor diet (sugar, refined flour, trans and hydrogenated fats)

  • Repeated infections or chronic low grade infection

  • Sedentary lifestyle

  • Sleep deficiencies 

  • Unresolved emotional issues - unhealthy beliefs started in childhood

  • Values - do they help you

In summary, inflammation is common to people who are fearful, who see red easily, who have inflamed, critical, negative, angry thinking, who get easily annoyed and frustrated about conditions in their life, often when they feel their values and boundaries have been invaded.

 

So try completing the following sentences …

 

            I am angry at ….

            I am afraid of ….

(Name) is so irritating because ...

Then ask yourself what you are going to do with what you have discovered. Do you need help?

Links

Dr Jockers detailed information on inflammation

Look here for the metaphysical causes of any specific inflammatory disease    

Or here for the metaphysical explanation of certain dis-eases  

© 2017,2018,2019,2020 by Andrew Hunter

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