Fight Inflammation

Inflammation

Inflammation is a double-edged sword that can be either good or bad for you and your body. In small doses it helps start the healing process when an acute injury occurs. Long-term inflammation lingering in the body is a chronic systemic condition that needs to be taken care of properly. Chronic, long-term inflammation can happen when there is continued stress on the body and you do not recover properly. These stressors can be a bad diet, lack of exercise, minor repetitive injuries, and even toxins in the environment. These stressors add up over time, and although they may not be noticed at first, they can lead to problems over time.

Over time, chronic inflammation can lead to a decreased immune system and damage to our cells. It is linked to heart disease, some cancers, gout, and Alzheimer’s. The good news is that by living a healthy lifestyle you can avoid, or at the very least decrease, damage.

Tips to decrease chronic inflammation:

  • Eat a healthy balanced diet such as the Mediterranean diet (anti-inflammatory). This diet is high in veggies and fruits, healthy fats (olive oil), and has less sugar and processed foods than the standard American diet.
  • Have fun! This can decrease build up of stress hormones that are pro-inflammatory.
  • Sleep: Be sure you are getting regular, quality sleep.
  • Exercise: Excess fat can lead to a state of inflammation. Obesity is a risk factor for many diseases. Try to get exercise daily and obtain a healthier weight (body fat %).
  • Quit Smoking!

Anti-inflammatories:

  • Fish oil: highly concentrated supplements containing omega-3s (anti-inflammatory) may be able to help decrease a pro-inflammatory state in the body. Also try to eat fish 2-5 times per week. Look for salmon, pacific cod, sardines, and smaller fish that are wild caught.
  • Whole grains: brown rice, quinoa, barley, and other “ancient grains” can be more anti-inflammatory than even whole wheat. Stay away from pro-inflammatory grains like refined flour, rice, and pasta.
  • Spices: Give your food a kick with some anti-inflammatory spice. Turmeric, cinnamon, garlic, and ginger have many health benefits and taste great!
  • Fruits & Veggies: Get a wide variety of seasonal, local, and organic food whenever possible.
  • Proteins: Be smart about where you are getting your proteins. Beans, lentils, soy, nuts, seeds, and even quinoa are full of quality protein and contain less fat then traditional protein sources (beef, pork, chicken).
  • Proper Movement: Be sure your body is humming along and everything is getting proper movement and motion. A decrease in motion can lead to a buildup of inflammation in a local area that may eventually lead to pain. See your chiropractor & acupuncturist to be sure you are working in top form!

 inflame

Other Health Topics:

Mediterranean Diet

Diet Fads

Supplement Q & A

Back to school health tips

Daily Supplements

Stretches

Remember that this information is for educational purposes only. Seek the advice of a health specialist before making any changes to your healthcare.

REF:

LA Times “Inflammaging”- Paula Spencer Scott

4 thoughts on “Fight Inflammation

    1. That is a great question! There are some different ways to track the amount of possible inflammation in your body.

      One way to gauge inflammation is to just do a lifestyle evaluation (exercise, diet, other habits) to see if you are doing things that promote inflammation, or decrease it. Look at the things you are eating, how much of the day you are spending in sedentary habits, if you are a smoker, your current body fat percentage, and even quality of sleep. This can tell you if you are promoting an inflammatory state in your body.

      If you are having symptoms of inflammation (redness, swelling, pain) then you are probably suffering from either acute or chronic inflammation. This is when most people seek help because the inflammatory state is easily seen/felt.

      The final way to track inflammation is through regular blood tests. There are certain markers that may suggest the presence or movement towards a state of inflammation. One of the markers to look at is the C-reactive Protein (CRP) level. If this protein is present at high levels in the blood it indicates increased inflammation in the body. You can also look at white blood cell count. A long term elevation of white blood cells in the blood may mean infection, trauma, inflammation, or other problems. Some other tests that may detect inflammation in the body are Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR) and Plasma Viscosity (PV).

      I hope this helps!

      Be well!

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