Reducing Inflammation and Improving Quality of Life
WHAT IS INFLAMMATION?
Inflammation is a normal and beneficial process that occurs when your body’s white blood cells and chemicals protect you from foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses.
Chronic vs Acute Inflammation
If you have an injury or infection, inflammation is necessary to help protect and heal your body. This is termed acute inflammation. Most people don’t realize that you need some level of inflammation in your body to stay healthy, however it’s also possible, and increasingly common for the inflammatory response to get out of hand and become chronic. In such cases there are often no symptoms until a loss of function occurs. This is because chronic inflammation is low-grade and systemic, often silently damaging your tissues. This process can go on for years without you noticing, until a disease such as heart disease, cancer or autoimmune diseases like Multiple Sclerosis, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s disease or Rheumatoid Arthritis develop.
WHAT CAUSES CHRONIC INFLAMMATION?
Chronic inflammation can be the result of a malfunctioning, over reactive immune system, or it may be due to an underlying problem that your body is attempting to fight off. Many of these “problems” are actually due to an unhealthy lifestyle such as eating a poor diet, smoking, a sedentary lifestyle, stress etc.
NATURAL WAYS TO REDUCE INFLAMMATION?
- Focus on eating a healthy diet. This includes avoiding proinflammatory foods like trans–fats, fried foods, sugar and grains, foods cooked at high temperatures and oxidized cholesterol
- Get plenty of animal• animal–based omega-3 fats by taking a high quality fish oil that are chock full of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fat are precursors to mediators of inflammation called prostaglandins. (In fact, that is how anti-inflammatory painkillers work, they manipulate prostaglandins.)
- Increase Vitamin D levels by getting regular, appropriate sun exposure, or supplement with Vitamin D3. Most people are not aware that vitamin D can have a profoundly dramatic impact on inflammation as well as our overall health.
- Reduce grain and sugar intake from your diet. Elevated insulin levels are one of the most important reasons why inflammatory prostaglandins are produced.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise is a great way to lower inflammation without any of the side effects associated with medications.
- Have healthy outlets for stress and other negative emotions. High levels of stress hormones can lead to the release of excess inflammatory chemicals, so be sure you use tools such as meditation to help deal with your current stress and resolve past emotional challenges as well.