Inflammation is a natural defense mechanism that can protect us against infection. It’s often triggered by stress, unhealthy habits or even everyday exposure to toxins. If we are experiencing chronic inflammation, though, it can lead to numerous health problems.
Inflammation is the body’s natural reaction to injuries, irritants, and infections. However, inflammation can become chronic when it occurs over a long period of time and does not disappear with time. Inflammation is the body’s response to infection, injury, and irritation. It can be an adaptive response to help heal an injured area and return it to normal function, but when inflammation persists, the body is damaged, causing pain and discomfort.
From stress to lifestyle choices to nutritional deficiencies to environmental toxins, there are many different reasons why inflammation could be affecting your health. Learn the Top causes of inflammation and how to overcome them with natural remedies.
The top causes of inflammation:
Lack of cortisol
A lack of cortisol—or the stress hormone—is often the root cause of chronic inflammation, according to Dr. Jonathan Ruben Goins, owner and CEO of chiropractic clinic. The following quote from Dr. Jonathan Ruben Goins explains how cortisol affects the body: “When you’re in a state of acute stress, the body produces large amounts of the stress hormone cortisol.
Cortisol is a powerful hormone that’s responsible for maintaining the body’s internal environment, like regulating blood pressure and the immune system. Cortisol also plays a role in building muscle and fat tissue, helping the body recover after physical exertion, and producing energy.
Inflammation can be caused by allergies. In the body, inflammation is a response to help the body heal itself. But when inflammation goes unchecked, it can cause a range of health problems. Some examples include pain, stiffness, and difficulty moving. Allergies can be the leading cause of inflammation in the Philippines, according to a recent study. Over a quarter of Filipino’s suffer from hay fever and about 7% experience food allergies.
Acute and chronic infections
The top three causes of inflammation are acute and chronic infections, autoimmune conditions, and environmental toxins, according to Dr. Jonathan Ruben Goins. The number one cause of chronic inflammation, however, is the food we eat, Dr. Jonathan Ruben Goins says.
Acute infections are typically a result of bacterial, viral, fungal, or parasitic infections.
Chronic infections, on the other hand, are the result of immune responses to substances that aren’t necessarily pathogens, such as toxins and allergens.
Gut inflammation (gut issues or inflammatory foods)
What if there were a food or beverage that could actually help reduce the amount of inflammation in your body? Well, according to Dr. Jonathan Ruben Goins the answer is yes.
The foods that actually help reduce the amount of inflammation in your body are probiotics, prebiotics, and omega 3’s. These three nutrients play a critical role in maintaining the health and wellbeing of the human gastrointestinal tract.
The good news is, you can easily add these three nutrients into your diet by incorporating fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi, pickles, and tempeh into your everyday diet.
Glucose is a sugar derived from carbohydrates, and the primary source of blood glucose is dietary carbohydrates. The brain uses glucose as its main fuel, but it also needs glucose to synthesize proteins, hormones, and neurotransmitters. Glucose is also required for the synthesis of cholesterol. Most people consume about twice the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of carbohydrates in their diet.
A growing body of research shows that inflammation plays a key role in both the onset and the progression of many chronic conditions and diseases. Inflammation affects nearly every organ system in the human body and can lead to symptoms ranging from headaches to allergies to high blood pressure.
The most common causes of inflammation are stress, too much sugar, poor diet, lack of exercise, lack of sleep, and poor hygiene. In fact, one study found that two thirds of people suffer from mild inflammation, with half of those people experiencing frequent flare-ups.
In fact, the research found that people who were overweight and obese were at greater risk for inflammation than those who were lean and thin.
Most fat cells are not dangerous. However, if a fatty tissue mass becomes inflamed, it could lead to some serious health problems. An inflamed fat cell has a greater capacity to release fatty acids into the bloodstream, which leads to an increased chance of heart disease.
Fat cells cause inflammation in two ways: 1) the fat cells store chemicals such as triglycerides, cholesterol and fatty acids, and 2) the fat cells themselves cause inflammation via chemical reactions.
Inflammation can happen when the body is attempting to repair itself. This is because inflammation causes the body to make chemicals that cause healing and remove debris.
This happens because the body is trying to prevent the spread of harmful substances through the blood stream, and when it detects an inflamed fatty tissue mass, it sends white blood cells to fight the invader. These white blood cells may cause inflammation in other organs such as the liver, pancreas, spleen, lungs, kidneys, and intestines.
Many old injuries such as sprained ankles, pulled muscles, or torn ligaments can lead to chronic inflammation if they aren’t treated properly. Inflammation often leads to pain and swelling, both of which can make it harder to move around.
There are four main causes of inflammation: injury, stress, the immune system, and the central nervous system. These four causes account for over 95% of cases of inflammation in the Philippines. While inflammation can be a normal part of healing, chronic inflammation can take weeks or even months to resolve.
Problems in the bile ducts
In the digestive system, the liver is the center of the action. Here, we’ll explore the process of bile production and what happens when things go wrong. Bile is made by hepatocytes in the liver.
It’s a brownish yellow fluid that flows into the small intestine. Most of it gets processed through the gall bladder. After being stored in the gall bladder, the bile is then secreted into the bile ducts. If something goes wrong with this process, the bile is made too quickly and in too large a volume. This results in the accumulation of toxic substances in the bloodstream, called bile acids.
Cholelithiasis is the most common problem that causes gallbladder inflammation. Gallstones are made up of cholesterol, and they can become stuck in the gallbladder. Sometimes the stones form because of high cholesterol levels in the liver. This can lead to scar tissue build-up and inflammation, which can cause pain.
Bile duct inflammation can also occur. This is a more serious condition that results in gallbladder removal. The bile ducts are small tubes through which bile travels from the gallbladder to the intestine to help digest fats. Gallstones may block the tubes and cause problems.
Low vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means it can only be absorbed through the digestive tract. A good source of vitamin D is the sun’s ultraviolet rays, but as our society spend so much time indoors, many people don’t get enough sun.
Vitamin D is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Low levels of vitamin D can lead to a number of chronic diseases including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis.
High omega-6 and low omega-3
The omega-6 fatty acids found in common oils such as corn oil and soybean oil increase inflammation in the body. The omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, however, is significantly higher than ideal (10:1).
As I mentioned, the ratio between Omega-6 and Omega-3 is what determines whether your inflammation levels are normal, high, or low. And if you want to understand why that is, you need to know the difference between them. High-Omega-6 oils cause inflammation while high-Omega-3 oils reduce it. In simple terms, Omega-6 increases your inflammation while Omega-3 reduces it.
To prevent the negative effects of inflammation, eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as walnuts, fish and seafood, leafy greens and flax seeds. Omega-3 fatty acids help prevent heart disease, asthma, allergies, arthritis, cancer and depression.
The environment we live in is full of chemicals. These environmental toxins in our air, food, water, and soil are not only damaging to our health but are also responsible for some of the most common inflammatory diseases. Some of the toxins that can cause inflammation include pesticides, heavy metals, plastic, and pollutants from manufacturing and automobile exhaust.
In my view, the number one reason for chronic inflammation is eating too many processed foods, refined grains, and high-glycemic carbohydrates like white bread, pasta,rice and sweet snacks. These foods all feed the same bad bacteria and increase your insulin levels, which leads to systemic inflammation. I think the best way to heal our gut and get rid of inflammation is to cut these inflammatory foods out of our diet.
The key to reducing inflammation is simple: stop (over) eating and include fasting where you can eat three, two or even one meal a day without snacking in between. That’s because of one of the top causes of inflammation: frequent (over) eating and snacking.
Too much iron
Some people are lucky enough to get enough iron in their diet, but many don’t. Iron is a mineral that’s essential to cell growth and function. In addition to being a key component of hemoglobin, the protein that transports oxygen throughout the body, iron is also a key part of enzymes that digest food and produce energy. However, too much iron can lead to inflammation and damage to the tissues in the body.
How to get rid of inflammation:
Get plenty of vitamin D3 and vitamin K2
These vitamins can help prevent and relieve the symptoms of inflammation by reducing the production of inflammatory markers, such as white blood cells, and by blocking their receptors. Vitamin D3, vitamin K2 and omega-3 fatty acids are all anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting. You can find them in eggs, fish, milk, cheese, meat, nuts and seeds.
They’re known to lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a protein that indicates an increased risk for heart disease and diabetes, and for promoting osteoarthritis.
Vitamin D3 helps activate the body’s inflammatory response, while vitamin K2 helps activate the production of protein (collagen) in connective tissues.
Vitamin D3 and vitamin K2 are important for many other health conditions beyond just managing inflammation, including bone health, cardiovascular health, and even cancer.
Avoid flaring up allergies
For some people, getting rid of allergies is a frustrating experience that requires many different steps. Others have found that they can get rid of their allergies almost overnight. But regardless of how long it takes, one thing is clear: Allergies can be prevented by changing how you eat. By making changes to your diet, you can reduce the inflammation that causes allergies, and you can avoid the symptoms that result from it.
Take vitamin C
This blog has some solid advice for the reader about what to eat. It mentions that the body’s natural ability to heal itself is impaired when the body has excess levels of glucose in the blood.
This is the type of blood sugar spike that occurs when you eat something high in carbohydrates, such as pasta, bread or rice, and this spike in blood sugar causes your body to produce inflammatory chemicals.
To reduce the amount of glucose in the bloodstream, people who are looking for ways to help the body heal itself should eat more fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C is one of those super foods, helping to repair the cells that get damaged by inflammation.
Take antibacterial herbs
There are many reasons why you should eliminate the use of antibiotics as a treatment for illness. One reason is that they are overprescribed and cause damage to the environment. Another reason is that many antibacterial herbs and supplements are just as effective, if not more so, than pharmaceutical products, and cause no side effects.
Antibiotic herbs, such as peppermint, chamomile, lavender, thyme, sage, oregano, rosemary, and eucalyptus can help bring down inflammation.
Take zinc l-carnosine
Zinc L-Carnosine is one of the most powerful natural anti-inflammatories on the planet. It has been used for years by pro athletes and doctors as a pain reliever. Many people experience muscle soreness and inflammation after a workout, but have no idea why. There are certain foods that have been proven to reduce inflammation in the body. One of those is L-Carnosine.
Take vitamin E (tocotrienols)
Vitamin E is a common supplement that can help reduce inflammation. It’s found in foods like nuts and whole grains, but tocotrienols, which have a more potent anti-inflammatory effect, are also available as supplements. Because inflammation can cause pain and affect your mental state, vitamin E could be a helpful addition to your daily routine. It can also improve the appearance of your skin, reducing the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
Get on a low-carb diet
In case you didn’t realize, there are many ways to eliminate inflammation naturally, but they all start with eating a healthy diet. Some of the best include the Mediterranean diet, the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, the Paleo diet, and others. What all of these diets have in common is that they are high in vegetables. They contain few processed foods and plenty of fiber.
Do intermittent fasting and periodic prolonged fasting
According to the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Department of Nutritional Sciences, “Prolonged fasting (PFL) refers to intermittent periods of fast, or non-eating for a period of time ranging from several hours to several days.” Intermittent fasting (IF), which can last anywhere from 2–12 hours, is a style of fasting that people use to reduce their weight, promote weight loss, and improve health.
The two terms are often used interchangeably. There’s been a lot of controversy over whether or not IF and PFL are even effective methods of weight loss. However, researchers have begun to confirm that fasting can be beneficial for overall health. Studies show that it has positive effects on metabolism, digestion, blood sugar levels
In addition to being a source of vitamin B, C, E, K and a host of other nutrients, turmeric, the yellow spice often found in curry dishes, is an anti-inflammatory. Inflammation can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness.
Inflammation is caused by free radicals, which cause tissue damage by oxidizing molecules that help keep the body functioning properly. Turmeric can help reduce inflammation caused by stress, environmental toxins, and even certain types of medications. Turmeric is a natural antiseptic and antioxidant.
Take stinging nettle root
The best way to heal inflammation is by using stinging nettle root. This herb has been used for thousands of years, and modern science is discovering even more amazing benefits that have been overlooked until recently.
The anti-inflammatory properties of nettles make them useful for so many different purposes. Not only is nettle tea a popular remedy for colds and flu, but it is also beneficial for wound healing, skin conditions, help to relieve inflammation, arthritis, and even joint pain.
Nettle tea can be used internally to help reduce swelling and alleviate soreness. For external use, nettle baths are used to treat psoriasis, eczema, and rashes. Nettles have been used medicinally since ancient times, but modern science is discovering the numerous uses for this humble plant.
Take purified bile salts
Bile salts are naturally found in the small intestine, and serve a vital function there. It is also released through the liver and gall bladder to help aid digestion of fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins D, E, K and A. In addition, bile salts help to absorb dietary fats into the bloodstream. They play an important role in maintaining proper cholesterol levels and helping the body to process and excrete toxins.
Increase omega-3 fatty acids and decrease omega-6 fatty acids
I found a new book recently called Inflammation Nation. It’s really interesting because it talks about how many diseases are due to inflammation. It goes into all of the medical conditions where inflammation is associated with.
I wanted to share a couple of interesting tidbits from the book. One is the fact that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and increase blood flow, while omega-6 fatty acids do the opposite. Also, omega-3s and vitamin D help your body fight off cancer and other illnesses.
Omega-3s and omega-6s are fatty acids that humans naturally produce in our bodies and which act as essential building blocks of cell membranes. Although the body produces these fatty acids, it is difficult to obtain adequate amounts of these fats from the food we eat, and so it is crucial that we supplement them.
In the modern diet, however, the ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s is typically in the range of 1:4 to 1:1. This ratio is too high and should ideally be in the range of 1:10 to 1:5. If the body is in an inflamed state, the body produces inflammatory omega-6s, and a high omega-6 to omega-3 ratio leads to many diseases.
Monitor your iron levels
It may seem strange to suggest that you monitor your iron levels (which are often low), but it is extremely beneficial. Iron levels tend to decrease as you age, and certain conditions that can affect your health (cancer, infections, diabetes, autoimmune disorders) can cause them to go down even further. It’s important to monitor your iron levels as part of your regular routine so that you can catch them when they’re lower and bring them back up, says Dr. Jonathan Ruben Goins.
Inflammation is one of the most overlooked ailments of our modern day world. Many people ignore or deny its existence, but the truth is that inflammation can be debilitating for our overall health. Inflammation is not necessarily bad, however it can take away from our immune system.
When inflammation becomes chronic, it can lead to more serious conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, asthma, depression, and even dementia.
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