Inflammation in the Body

A minimal amount of inflammation can be a good thing because it protects us from foreign invaders such as germs and can aid in the healing process when we are cut, scraped or burned. Our bodies also protect us through inflammation when we have allergic reactions from pollen, pets or food. It’s the other types of inflammation that are of concern to us, the more moderate to severe types that lead to disease over time.

Types of Inflammation
Moderate to severe inflammation can be categorized by symptoms such as redness, swelling, pain and loss of function. This is common in arthritis and more severe in the autoimmune diseases such as IBS, Colitis, Crohn’s, MS, Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s and Rheumatoid Arthritis. In these diseases we see and/or feel the inflammation, especially over time as it progresses.

Prevention | Support
There are many measures that can help in prevention or support and modulate an already diagnosed disease.
Quit smoking – Smoking ups your risk and makes symptoms worse.
Diet – Avoid/reduce sugar, night shade veggies, trans-fats, caffeine, soda, dairy.
Exercise – 4-5 days per week with some enjoyable, off the couch and away from the computer, exercise will be highly beneficial in prevention and support.
Control your weight – Inflammation is prevalent in over weight people.
Reduce stress – Since eliminating stress is nearly impossible try to manage it effectively with yoga, exercise, meditation, tai chi or prayer. Vacations are said to reduce stress and anxiety as well. Book a trip or enjoy a staycation!
Up your vitamin D levels – Test your blood and aim for a result of 50-70 blood level. Supplementing is essential. Since we use sunscreen and have long winters it is hard to produce vitamin D from the sun especially in the Northeast. Low vitamin D is linked to MS and RA among other diseases.
Acupuncture – can help with pain and help with the flow of Chi in your body, the universal life force of energy. A blocked flow leads to pain and illness.

Therapeutic support
There are many foods and supplements that can help support inflammation.
Tart cherry – Either in juice form or supplement form has amazing anti-inflammation effects stemming from the skin of tart cherries. Also great for post exercise too.
Turmeric - Supplement form can be taken daily or try adding the powder (in the spice section or supplement section of grocery store) to your stir-fry, eggs, soups and marinades.
Ginger – Teas, supplements, fresh pressed juices or add fresh ginger to your recipes
Resveratrol – Available in supplement form or in red wine ingested in moderation.
Quercetin – Available in supplement form (great for seasonal allergies too!)
Fish oils – Effective in joint inflammation as well as coronary disease. Try Carlson Labs.

The most deadly form of inflammation is the silent one that can be asymptomatic as it progresses and that is cancer and heart disease. We all know that a collective effort, like above, works best in prevention or healing.

Note: Be cautious of using anti-inflammation drugs. They can have powerful side effects and long terms negative effects. Always consult your doctor and consider visiting a holistic doctor for a cohesive approach to treating your disease.