Inflammation is a considered to be a corrective, protective, adaptive and coordinated response triggered by an injury or infection. Typically it is beneficial when it’s well controlled and self resolving, we sprain an ankle it swells up, bruises and clears up in a few days to weeks. However problems arises when inflammation is triggered continuously, never resolving. This Chronic inflammation causes a cascade of pathological nightmares leading to several of illnesses such as heart disease, various cancers, joint diseases, Diabetes type II, Osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s and Autoimmune conditions. Inflammation even speeds up the aging process!
A great deal of research has gone into understanding the process of inflammation, we are now starting to look at the chronic or pathological inflammatory, particularly systemic inflammation. The current approach to chronic and acute inflammation has been the same, to suppress it with several medications that “turn it off”.
Research is indicating that we need a more appropriate goal to support the healthy acute inflammation with its resolution while reducing the FACTORS that stimulate a more chronic systemic inflammatory picture. It is not usually possible to link chronic inflammation to one cause. There are many factors that can contribute to systemic inflammation. Lifestyle patterns, particularly nutritional choices, physical activity, stress levels, chemical exposure and your thoughts/ emotions all have a tremendous impact on how your genetics are turned on and off also affecting your immune/inflammatory system. Chronic inflammation needs a multi-faceted approach, and considering triggers is the first step.
Common inflammatory triggers are:
• Radiation: cells phones, airplanes, x-rays
• Injury, trauma
• Bacterial, viral or fungal infection
• Digestive problems (Dysbiosis, leaky gut)
• Food Allergies, Food Sensitivities
• Environmental Allergies
• Poor Diet: increase in sugar, bad fats, red meat/pork; LACK of FRUITS and VEGETABLES (malnutrition)
We need to consider all of these possible triggers when working with inflammation. There is no silver bullet. From a Functional Medicine perspective, we have to look at all of the possible root causes in order to achieve a resolution of symptoms. If you have a great diet but never sleep, or you buy all the best supplements but have undiscovered food sensitivities, you will have a hard time resolving inflammation. Consider seeing your Naturopathic Doctor so that you can arrive at a plan that works.