Inflammation is at the root of almost every health condition. And when inflammation spins out of control, pain, discomfort, and almost any “itis” condition and other health challenge sets in to ruin your life. Before you hit the eleventh hour, consider reducing inflammation before it takes over and wreaks havoc with your health. The ability to heal is within all of us. Take advantage of that while it’s still easy and before you’re challenged with a major health crisis.
To combat your enemy, you need to know your enemy. According to Julie Daniluk, R.H.N., author of Meals that Heal Inflammation, there are six primary causes of inflammation:
- Nutritional Deficiency or Excess
- Emotional Trauma
Let’s take a moment and look at these a little deeper.
It is inevitable, unless you live in a bubble, that at some point in your life you will experience an injury. Unless you know how to handle injuries properly, injuries can lead to chronic problems. When an injury occurs, the body’s natural process for repairing damaged cells or tissue is inflammation, which usually means pain. It is important to take the best steps to heal the injury so that it remains temporary and doesn’t progress into something permanent. Unfortunately, because of a love for the magic bullet that “fixes” everything, the first step and standard that most people resort to are anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen, for the treatment of pain and inflammation. But at what cost are you willing to do this to yourself? For me, it’s a big fat no thank you to the magic bullet when the cost is a weakened or damaged stomach lining that increases the possibility of developing ulcers and other gut issues, not to mention that it interferes with the body’s natural and normal healing and repair processes. So what does a person do?
Understand that inflammation is not the enemy here. It is actually required to repair the damage. The purpose of inflammation in the case of injury is to expand the injured area to allow for more blood flow. More blood flow brings healing. Blood plasma heals while white blood cells help clean up debris. Anti-inflammatory drugs can interrupt this natural process and thereby interfere with the body’s normal ability to heal. As an alternative, try wholefoods and healing herbs instead. Wholefoods and herbs are loaded with nutrients and work synergistically with the body by supporting the natural process of healing.
The level and constant exposure of toxins that you come in contact with as compared to your ancestors of a few hundred years ago is dangerously high. The early 1900’s dawned the era of synthetic chemistry, something that humanity has never known before. We really have no idea the long term effects of what we’ve done. The problem is that when the body gets to a point that the toxic load is more than it can handle, the immune system gets stressed and inflammation sets in. Inflammation, in this case, is the body doing its best to heal and protect its cells from toxic overload. In an ideal situation, the body efficiently eliminates toxins. But as a person ages, combined with constant toxic overload, the capacity for tolerating and processing toxins goes down and imbalances and disease start to manifest.
Try lowering your exposure to toxins in the air you breathe, the food you eat, the water your drink (and shower/bathe in), and the stuff you put on your body so that your body is operating at its best ability for dumping toxins. When you eat wholefoods and herbs that help eliminate inflammation, not only do you flush toxins out, but you increase your capacity for flushing those toxins out.
When left untreated, infections can lead to chronic inflammation. The immune system does its best to deal with and fight infection by reacting with inflammation. Antibiotics are usually used to treat severe infection, but when they are misused or overused, imbalances start to happen within the body. When the natural balance between the yeast and bacteria within the body is off, major problems can occur. Yeast start to dig holes into the digestive tract, which is weakens and challenges your digestion. This can lead to leaky gut. When this happens, the body goes into suffering from a perpetual allergic reaction, which includes perpetual inflammation, because undigested food pass through the holes in the gut into the blood stream. Start by working on healing the gut and strengthening the immune system so that you can better deal with infection and the problems that result from it.
Simply put, an allergy is an immune response to a particular substance. Gluten (wheat) and casein (milk) are the most common food allergens. When these substances, and other food allergens, go through the digestive tract, antibodies go on red alert and start releasing histamine to handle the allergen. This causes inflammation.
The challenge we all face as we get older is our immune system becomes increasingly sensitive and our digestive juices don’t break down food as well. This leads to water retention, which is the body’s attempt to flush out the allergen. Eliminating food triggers while consuming digestive enzymes and eating an anti-inflammatory diet can be very helpful.
NUTRIENT DEFICIENCY OR EXCESS
When nutritional imbalances happen, the immune system gets challenged and chronic inflammation sets in. Nutritional deficiencies deprive the body of vital nutrients that are needed for proper repair, whereas nutritional excess causes stress on the organs and tissue. The vital nutrients the body needs are carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, fiber and water. Lifestyle is a key factor in preventing nutritional deficiencies or excess. A well-balanced wholefood diet with lots of variety and color is essential.
What happens in the mind happens in the body. A happy mind equals a happy body, and a stressed mind equals a stressed body. Let’s look at what happens when the mind is under stress. When you’re stressed out, an elevated amount of adrenaline and cortisol is released in the body. When you get stuck in this stress-excessive adrenaline and cortisol cycle, hormonal imbalances can occur along with unresolved inflammation. De-stressing activities is a must when trying to reduce inflammation in this case. Epsom salt baths, exercising, deep breathing, nature walks, wholefoods, herbs, and body work, like massage, work wonders in helping you get on top of your stress levels.
Remember, inflammation is a response that serves to protect you, but it can become extremely serious. Stop inflammation in its tracts. Learn the cause of your inflammation and what you need to do to eliminate it. An excellent place to always start is diet. Try an anti-inflammatory diet because it can put the fire out on inflammation!
By Monique C. Bilodeau-Nestmann,
Founder & Owner of Essence Vitality
Holistic Health Practitioner and Licensed John C. Maxwell Coach, Trainer, Public Speaker
Experience Life Unlimited
Meals that Heal Inflammation Embrace Healthy Living and Eliminate Pain, One Meal at a Time by Julie Daniluk, R.H.N.