Fighting Inflammation the Natural Way
Inflammation is your body’s way to protect itself from injury, infections, and other pathogens. While inflammation can be beneficial when it comes to acute injuries and illness, if it turns chronic, it can also become harmful to your health. Chronic inflammation can last for months or years. It is the underlying reason for almost every major health condition and disease.
While acute inflammation is necessary and beneficial for your health and recovery, chronic inflammation may have a harmful impact on your health. Chronic inflammation can play a role in a variety of health conditions, including metabolic syndrome, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, asthma, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart disease.
When your body is under sustained stress due to an inflammatory diet, chronic emotional stress, the burden of chemical toxins, medications and poor sleep, it feels constantly under attack. It cannot differentiate a poor diet or an ongoing emotional battle from the distress caused by a bug bite or banged toe. All it wants to do is to protect you which results in a constant physical response of chronic inflammation.
Causes of Inflammation
Leaky gut is a condition characterized by damaged cells lining the intestines that cannot regulate what goes in and out. Naturally, your gut is a semi-permeable organ that allows micronutrients to pass through into the bloodstream to help you absorb nutrients from your food. However, inflammatory foods, toxins, infections, and stress can lead to holes in your intestinal wall resulting in leaky gut.
Once your gut becomes leaky, larger particles, including undigested food particles, toxins, and microbes can get through and escape into your bloodstream. Your immune system will recognize them as foreign invaders and pathogens. As an attempt to protect you, it releases an immune response which leads to long-term inflammation. Leaky gut is often characterized by gas, bloating, constipation, indigestion, and other digestion problems. However, it can also lead to more serious health issues, including autoimmune diseases.
One of the best lines of defense you can provide for your gut, to either treat or prevent Leaky Gut, is Gut Be Calm™. A naturally derived supplement I formulated for my patients, to help heal the interstitial cells of the gut wall lining. It’s fortified with healing herbs and amino acids to combat every day inflammatory effects from diet, stress, toxins and medications.
Environmental toxins are all around you. They can be found in the air you breathe, the food you eat, the water your drink, and the products you use. Air pollution, smoke, heavy metals, and mold exposure are all examples of environmental toxins you may be subjected to. Conventional cleaning and body care products, medications, and even processed foods are filled with ingredients that are unnatural and toxic to your body.
Long-term exposure to environmental toxins can become overwhelming to your immune system and result in increased chronic inflammation which may increase your risk of disease. In my Practice, I offer two different tests that screen for heavy metals and every day toxins to determine your body’s toxic burdern. While it is important to lower your toxic load by buying organic and natural products and avoiding exposure to toxins as much as possible, it is impossible to completely eliminate them. This is why paying attention to other factors, such as your diet and overall lifestyle is incredibly important.
Blood Sugar Imbalances
High blood sugar, insulin resistance, and chronic inflammation have all been linked to chronic health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure.
Eating an inflammatory diet and too much sugar can lead to blood sugar imbalances that cause inflammation and the overproduction of inflammatory cytokines. Inflammatory cytokines can lead to increased insulin resistance and elevated blood sugar that only feeds the cycle of continuous inflammation and blood sugar problems. Furthermore, chronically elevated blood sugar levels result in advanced glycation end products (AGEs) that consequently increase inflammation and produce risk of oxidative stress on the body resulting in disease.
Herbal Medicine for Inflammation
Herbs are powerful healing tools when used to help balance the body. While there are a multitude of various herbs and compounds that are known for their anti-inflammatory benefits, I wanted to focus on four of my favorites…ginger, boswellia, rutin, and quercetin.
For centuries, ginger has been recognized as a powerful anti-inflammatory plant. This is because it contains beneficial compounds that reduce inflammation while having antiviral and antibacterial properties that help to bolster the immune system’s defense against pathogens. One very particular part of the ginger root contains gingerols. This compound contains free-radical scavenging and anti-inflammatory properties that inhibit enzymes that perpetuate inflammation; as well as reducing various inflammatory pathways leading to the initiation of the inflammatory process.
Boswellia, or otherwise known as Frankincense, is a potent herbal extract that comes from the Boswellia serrata tree. It has been a popular anti-inflammatory herb used by Asian and African cultures for its medicinal properties to treat a number of health conditions, including chronic inflammatory illness. I often used it for my patients suffering from headaches to arthritis.
Rutin can be found in various vegetables and fruits, including apples, citrus, figs, green tea, black tea, and buckwheat. Rutin has powerful antioxidants that can help your body to use vitamin C better and which helps to produce collagen also. Research shows that rutin can reduce inflammation and pain in rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases substantially.
Quercetin is a flavonoid (plant pigment) that can be found in vegetables and fruits, such as leafy greens, broccoli, tomatoes, and berries. It is rich in antioxidants, full of anti-inflammatory benefits and can fight free-radical damage. I often use it for my patients suffering from allergies as it quells the inflammatory cascade caused by histamines.
Chronic, low-grade inflammation has many causes. It is a major contributor to the loss of function and risk for disease that become more prevalent as we age. In fact, almost all age-related changes and disorders can be tied to a certain degree of inflammation, from arthritis, diabetes, parkinson’s to dementia and cancer.
Taking NSAIDs is a commonly suggested approach in mainstream medicine for those who suffer from chronic inflammation and pain. The problem is that the long-term use of NSAID’s can result in stomach ulcers, kidney and liver toxicity, and leaky gut syndrome.
Thanks to Mother Nature however, there is a better and more natural way to lower inflammation in your body and to protect yourself from disease. Prevent inflammation all together, by assessing your diet and implementing long-term anti-inflammatory steps in your life. To get started, please email me, I’m here to help!