Before we dive into inflammation, I want to invite you to participate in a wonderful event on Sat, Sept 23rd from 12-2pm: the Park Avenue Fitness 2nd Annual Health Fair! I will be there in person offering health discovery sessions and many amazing, local health practitioners will be there as well including personal trainers, chiropractic care, body workers, physical therapists and more. Such a great opportunity to build your health support team! Also, whether you live locally or not, there is a raffle with great prizes and all proceeds go to Second Harvest Food Bank to help feed people in need in the community. Click here for more info on the fair or to buy raffle tickets. I hope to see you there!
Now back to inflammation. As you may already know, inflammation is your body’s normal response to infection, injury, or damage. When there is infection, trauma, or injury on a certain part of the body, the immune system sends its inflammatory cells to promote healing the injured tissues and/or attacking what it thinks is causing the harm.
Acute vs. Chronic Inflammation
With acute inflammation, there is often redness, swelling, pain or tenderness, increased heat, and loss of function. With chronic inflammation, it’s a different story.
Signs of chronic inflammation can be the following:
- Skin rash
- Mouth sores
- Joint pain
- Chest pain
- Abdominal pain and/or digestive issues
- Frequent infections
- Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
- Mood swings
But first, what causes chronic inflammation?
Chronic inflammation is the immune system’s response to some sort of ongoing, continuous damage/harm…when your cells keep getting damaged and the body keeps attempting to repair this damage. Examples of what can contribute to chronic inflammation include a lot of lifestyle factors:
- Poor diet (eating foods that trigger inflammation such as sugar-rich, processed, and fried foods).
- Inadequate sleep
- Overuse of medications such as NSAIDs (non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs)
- Heavy drinking or other substance abuse
Risks of Chronic Inflammation
If you want to be healthy, highly functional, and enjoy living your best life, then it is imperative that you know how to avoid or reduce chronic inflammation.
Chronic inflammation has been linked to different chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, chronic kidney disease, autoimmune diseases, and inflammatory bowel diseases.
6 Effective Ways to Stop/Reduce Chronic Inflammation
- Start with the proper diet. Regularly consume anti-inflammatory foods and regularly avoid inflammation-causing foods such as:
- Sugar-rich foods and drinks including candy, desserts, many baked goods, sodas, syrup sweetened drinks/coffees, sodas, sweetened juices vs. fresh juices
- Fried foods and vegetable oils – they are rich in trans fats
- Processed foods – packaged foods that have ingredients a mile long with things you can’t pronounce or have no idea what the heck they are! Common examples are many cereals, freezer meals, chips, crackers, flavor packets, sauce packets, many salad dressings
- Refined carbohydrates like rice, bread, and white pasta–opt for whole grains, beans/legumes, and gluten-alternative grains (since gluten is such a big protein in wheat/rye/barley and damages the cells of the gut)…the fiber naturally present in many of these carb rich foods will prevent your blood sugar from spiking (blood sugar spikes damage your blood vessels and increase inflammation)
- Poor quality and processed meats–animals who are fed high omega-6 grains (corn, soy) will produce high omega-6 meat. Too many omega 6’s increase inflammation so it is really important to eat omega 3 rich foods to balance them out: wild salmon, grass fed beef, pastured poultry. And if you are eating deli meats, read the ingredients and choose high quality options (organic, uncured)
Instead, eat a healthy and diverse diet that includes foods that combat inflammation. These foods contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, polyphenols, and antioxidants. These can be found in green leafy vegetables, colorful veggies, fatty fish, nuts and seeds, olive oil, green and black teas, and curcumin/turmeric.
- Stop smoking – create a quit plan and get support.
- Limit alcohol intake – Any beverage that contains alcohol is inflammatory.
- Keep weight in a healthy range.
- Exercise regularly – There are many benefits of regular exercise, and that includes decreasing stress, improving digestion, and maintaining a healthy weight.
- Get adequate sleep (7-8 hrs/night) – Wake up and go to bed around the same time every day. It’s a way to train your body’s circadian rhythm and also for you to get enough sleep.
A conscious effort to improve in these areas of your lifestyle will support you to have healthy, balanced inflammation and improved quality of life. If chronic inflammation is a concern to you, discuss it with your health practitioner or get some targeted support.
It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.
If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. http://bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).
Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!