What You Need To Know About Inflammation
Do you have pain that seems to be everywhere and just won't go away? Sometimes it's sharp, sudden. Other times its dull, throbbing. All times it is constant. How can you be positive and healthy when you feel 'down' all the time?
Even worse, your doctors don’t know what’s wrong. But YOU know something is wrong.
If this describes you, you are not alone. Like millions worldwide, you may be suffering from Chronic inflammation.
What is Chronic Inflammation and Why is it Dangerous?
Inflammation can be positive. In fact, it’s a necessary natural process that is managed by the immune system to fights infection and repair damage.
But, when either or both the immune and prostaglandin systems stop functioning properly and the natural healthy process of inflammation is interrupted or becomes unbalanced, the result is chronic inflammation.
Inflammatory cytokines (destructive cell-signaling chemicals) such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a), interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin 1b [IL-1(b)], and/or interleukin-8 (IL-8) work silently to make you sick.
An investigation by the TIME magazine proved how chronic inflammation may be the engine that drives many of the most feared illnesses of middle and old age.
Many specialists now agree that seeing chronic inflammation as the core of many ailments suggests a new and possibly much simpler way of staying healthy. Rather than focusing on different treatments focus instead on addressing the causes of chronic inflammation.
What Causes this Chronic Inflammatory Process?
The Chronic Inflammatory process is heavily influenced by a combination of factors such as toxins, oxidative stress, free radicals, injury, infections, lack of exercise, heredity and especially diet. Diet is particularly critical because it appears to be a trigger for so many of these other inflammatory factors.
Indeed, a poor diet can increase and prolong inflammation while a good diet can stop it. For example:
Characteristics of a diet that may lead to chronic inflammation...
- The excess consumption of simple carbohydrates, sugars (especially high-fructose corn syrup), and refined grains leads to raised blood sugar levels, insulin spikes, high levels of free radicals and lipid peroxidation products. All of these can result in Diabetes
- An imbalance of fatty acids and oils, with focus on Omega 6 rather than Omega 3 leads to the metabolization of chemicals that cause chronic inflammation. Our prehistoric ancestors ate a diet with an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 1:1. Our current ratio is anywhere between 10:1 and 25:1.
- Common allergens like casein and gluten (proteins found in dairy and wheat) spark the inflammatory cascade.
- Excessive alcohol causes inflammation of the stomach, pancreas, and intestines which impairs the digestion of food and absorption into blood. Alcohol also depletes the glutathione in the liver and causes excessive fat accumulation in the liver. This leads to the inflammation of liver cells and eventual cirrhosis.
- Prolonged smoking also leads to inflammation by shutting off a key enzyme in airways that regulate the body's response to inflammation.
Characteristics of a diet to help support healthy inflammation management
In contrast, a diet can help support healthy inflammation management by focusing on fresh, preferably organic fruits, vegetables, wild seafood, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices, protein from free range cattle, eggs, and the right balance of fats.
The following ingredients are also recommended to help support healthy inflammation management: curcumin, quercetin, ellagic acid, resveratrol, boswelia, garlic, magnesium, pine bark extract. Vitamin E (containing gamma-tocopherol and tocotrienols) and Vitamin K.
All these and more can be found in our recommended supplements…
- The Total Balance product suited for you
- Omega 3 QH / Ultra at 2-4 daily
- Green Lipped Mussel Powder at 3 - 6 daily
- Not Just Joints at 6 tablets per day (2 x 3) for 2 months then reduced to 3 daily
Do Statins and other Medications 'Cure' Inflammation?
No. Not long term. Conventional methods to treat inflammation are high in risk.
These include anti-inflammatory medications like COX-2 inhibitors, which have been highlighted in the media lately because of their link to heart problems.
The Statin Crestor, however, has been shown to reduce CRP (C-Reactive Protein -CRP. CRP is the test used to measure the levels of inflammation in the blood). However, the findings have been questioned in the light of serious side effects.
Why take the risk of such medications when all they do is interrupt the normal inflammation process? Remember, healthy inflammation is a natural necessary process…the last thing you want to do is prevent it altogether. If that were the case, your wounds would never heal, infections would never go away and many other health issues would occur.
Do I Have Chronic Inflammation?
To determine the level of inflammation in your body, please ask your doctor to take at least 2 of the following:
- A C-reactive protein (CRP) blood test establishes the level of inflammation in the arteries. A CRP level under 5.0 milligrams per litre of blood is considered ‘normal but in reality it is really far too high. As a point of interest Warren our Chairman has an exceptionally low level at just 0.5. Even our basic form of Omega 3 DHA/Fish oil will help tremendously with bringing your CRP into line.
- The cytokine profile blood test. This method tests for inflammatory markers in the human body.
- A fasting blood insulin level. This test is used to screen for diabetes and heart disease, but it's also a marker for inflammation. The higher your insulin levels are, the more inflammation your body is producing,
- A homocysteine blood test. Homocysteine is a predictor of arterial health and inflammation. Keeping homocysteine levels down helps promote normal levels of inflammation, which helps promote the health of your blood vessels. A healthy level of homocysteine in the blood is below 15 micro mol/litre, but some doctors recommend levels below 7.
If the results indicate that you are indeed ‘inflamed’, please change your lifestyle to include the anti inflammatory diet and supplementation as described above. Also helpful are at least 7 hours of good quality sleep daily, regular exercise, reduced stress and exposure to toxins.
There is a fine balance between healthy inflammation (to reduce temporary pain and swelling) and chronic inflammation (persistent pain and disability). You are responsible for managing that balance through a healthy lifestyle which promotes normal inflammatory levels naturally.