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An Introduction to Inflammation

Symptoms of chronic inflammation in the body

symptoms of inflammation

Heart disease, ADD/ADHD, Asthma, Autoimmune Disease {Crohn’s, Celiac, Hashimoto’s, Fibromyalgia etc.}, visible signs of aging {think wrinkles}, always catching “the bug” that’s going around {more susceptible to bacterial, fungal, and viral infections}, acid reflux, cancer, skin conditions {like acne, psoriasis, + rosacea}, arthritis, bronchitis, chronic pain {back? Neck? Hip? Knee? Stomach?}, diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis.

What do all of these have in common?
Inflammation image

What is inflammation

They are all caused by chronic inflammation in our body and they can all be managed and sometimes eradicate symptoms by changing your diet.

EATING “HEALTHY” IS NOT NECESSARILY “HEALTHY” EATING

My life completely changed when I started The Institute for Integrative Nutrition in 2017. I thought I ate healthy (as did everyone around me) but I didn’t feel healthy. Sure, I saw remarkable changes in my symptoms when I removed soy and gluten from my diet and switched to eating more whole foods, but I still didn’t feel 100% healthy. I still had cystic acne, brain fog, achy joints + muscles, chronic fatigue, allergies, asthma…and this chronic cough that I couldn’t shake for about 9 months. Turns out, I had chronic inflammation and I needed to make a few more tweaks to my diet (grains, sugar, alcohol) to eradicate those symptoms. These days it easy to manage as long as I stick to what I know works, but deviate from that plan and hello flare up….

So, what exactly is chronic, systemic inflammation? How do you know if you have it?

WHAT IS INFLAMMATION?

Inflammation is the body’s response to stress, whether that stress is caused by your diet, your lifestyle, or your environment. Sometimes it is a good thing (acute, local inflammation, in the case of a broken bone in which it initiates healing) but when it is constantly present in our body, this low-grade inflammation disrupts the balance in our body and destroys our health. You become more susceptible to aging and disease. In fact, it is thought that inflammation triggers the symptom of disease and/or that all disease is caused by inflammation.

So what does it feel or look like? How do you know if you suffer from chronic inflammation?  It can feel just like it sounds, inflamed. Red, burning, hot, searing pain, soreness, achy joints (do your hands hurt when you make a fist when you wake up?) Or you could have a weakened immune system and catch every cold, virus, and stomach bug known to school district. An overworked immune system can’t do its job properly. It can’t fight off bacteria and viruses, it doesn’t have the ability to do its day-to-day upkeep and repairs in the body, and it loses its ability to determine the good from the bad. This malfunction triggers food intolerances, allergies, and autoimmune conditions.

The good news

You can help rid your body of inflammation and you can start by removing a few known inflammatory foods from your diet. Wheat/gluten, processed foods, alcohol, sugar, dairy, trans and saturated fats, and charred/grilled foods.  Seems like a lot when you first think about it, but when you are ready and have had enough of your health issues, making these changes to your diet isn’t nearly as challenging as living with chronic inflammation and the pain and disease that can come along with it.

 

 

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