So, What’s the Deal with Inflammation?
And most importantly, why should you care about it?
It seems like this topic is trendy right now…and I see lots of information on social media and interest in the topic, but how do I make this relevant for YOU, my tribe?
Here are the basics:
Inflammation is at the basis of nearly all common infections, allergens or toxins we encounter on a daily basis and helps our bodies bring essential nutrients (often times white blood cells, and other components of our immune system) to the areas impacted to support healing, so not all inflammation is necessarily bad or pathogenic. It is also part of how our body repairs cells and detoxifies itself.
However, it is when this process occurs for a lengthy period of time, or chronically, that our health is adversely impacted.
Chronic inflammation is when our immune system goes into “overdrive”, whereby when the exact chemical messengers that help heal us in acute inflammation stay activated in the presence of blood sugar issues, chronic stress, poor sleep, on-going infections or even leaky gut. This “overdriven” immune response makes us even more susceptible to further illness.
Most often this inflammation also impacts brain functioning, which has a detrimental impact on our overall health.
Inflammation also effects our bodies at the cellular level, specifically, the tiny power houses in our cells called mitochondria. So, imagine the impact this makes on our health? Kind of scary!
Do you ever notice that you are more prone to getting sick when you have been under too much stress, too little sleep or feeling overwhelmed? That’s inflammation in “overdrive”.
At the basis of chronic inflammation is oxidative stress, which creates further damage to our cells and our bodies.
So how might I know if I have chronic inflammation?
If you have a history of:
- Autoimmune issues, like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, joint pain, psoriasis
- Insulin resistance or diabetes
- Methylation issues
- Leaky Gut
- Adrenal health issues
- Brain Fog/Depression/Anxiety
If you are sensitive or deal with:
- radiation from cell phones, screens, and wifi
- Poor quality sleep
- Poor quality diets and consume too much sugar, alcohol
- Hydration and are chronically dehydrated
- Chronic infections
- Pollution and heavy metals
What tests can help support this?
- Food sensitivity testing, I use the MRT or the Mediator Release Test, in my practice, as this can help determine if the immune system is protecting a client from inflammatory foods
- Stool testing: to look for imbalances in the gut microbiome or gut flora, which is suggestive of inflammation
- Saliva testing for adrenals to look at the impact on the circadian rhythm and cortisol distribution throughout the day
- Baseline labs: thyroid panel, basic CBC, CMP and possibly iron studies. Heavy metal screening and possibly co-infections with bacteria (Lyme) or reactivated viruses, like Epstein-Barr or mono, for example; also fasting glucose.
- Consider HTMA (hair tissue mineral analysis) to help guide heavy metal levels
- Other labs: HS-CRP, or high sensitivity CRP, is helpful as it can help identify inflammation, but is not necessarily specific to a source of the inflammation
What can be done for chronic inflammation?
- Most importantly, you have to determine the root cause of the inflammation, without this information, you will never solve the issue and you will waste valuable time and effort.
- Lifestyle changes: proper sleep, including 7-8 hours/night in a cold, dark room with limited electronics; stress reduction, including limiting intense exercise and engaging in more restorative therapies, like yoga, tai-chi, pilates or meditation.
- Food changes: avoid processed foods, limit or eliminate gluten, dairy and processed sugars and consume nutrient dense foods (after proper food sensitivity testing has been performed to ensure you are not consuming foods you are sensitive to J ), like fermented veggies, Kombucha, kefir; cruciferous veggies, leafy greens, oily/fatty fish, nuts/seeds and anti-oxidant rich fruits etc.
- Consider supplements, like good quality fish oil, probiotics (either soil or spore based), adaptogenic herbs or even curcumin, which is the active form from turmeric
- Liver “Love” for detoxification, as warranted based on labs and provider evaluation, may include dry brushing, lemon water, infra-red saunas, castor oil packs and even coffee enemas
Certainly, if you are struggling with these issues or are simply interested in learning more, don’t hesitate to reach out. I offer a 30 minute complimentary consultation that you can make directly through my website: www.chtwellness.com