Inflammation the root cause of disease affects nearly every aspect of your health. As a Functional Medicine Practitioner, inflammation is something I look closely at. Unfortunately, in modern day medicine treating the symptom is a common occurrence. Getting to the bottom of what’s causing the symptom in the first place is not always addressed and more times than not the cause is inflammation.
Before we dive further into inflammation being at the root of nearly every health condition today, let’s take a look at what inflammation is:
What is Inflammation?
When you think of inflammation, what comes to mind? For some, it may be redness, swelling, or heat. While inflammation is usually viewed as a bad thing, we actually need a certain amount of inflammation to survive.
Inflammation is simply the body’s natural defense system against things like viruses and bacteria. The inflammation targets these foreign invaders as a way to help the body heal itself.
When it comes to inflammation, there are two different kinds we need to look at.
Acute inflammation starts suddenly but then usually dissipates after a couple of days. Some examples of cases of acute inflammation include a sore throat, acute bronchitis, or acute sinusitis.
This is the type of inflammation we need to watch out for. Chronic inflammation can stick around for months and sometimes even years. This type of inflammation can occur if we don’t remove the source of the inflammation. Constantly exposing our body to what may be triggering the inflammation in the first place is one of the way’s chronic inflammation occurs. Some diseases commonly associated with chronic inflammation include asthma, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.
What Causes Inflammation?
There are a number of things that can cause inflammation. Poor dietary choices and sedentary lifestyles are often to blame for chronic cases of inflammation. When we consume foods that are packed with toxins and expose our bodies to environmental toxins, it can affect the immune system. When the body is burdened with these toxins for extended periods of time, these toxins can build up in the body and turn on an immune response that stays in a highly reactive state. (1)
Here are some of the foods that can trigger inflammation:
- Hydrogenated fats
- Refined carbohydrates
- Conventional animal products
- Conventional dairy
Environmental toxins can also cause inflammation in the body including:
- Food pollutants
- Toxic metals such as mercury
Other causes of inflammation include dysbiosis which is an imbalance of bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract, and food allergies or sensitivities and H pylori. Whenever I work with patients, I run diagnostic testing to uncover any potential gut infection or food allergy or sensitivity. These are crucial as uncovering them early is key to limiting the amount of inflammation in your body. There are a number of hidden causes of inflammation, which is why I find it critical to run thorough diagnostic testing to uncover every root cause possible.
Lifestyle can also cause inflammation:
Inflammation & Disease
So, we know that there are different types of inflammation and that there are a number of different things that can trigger this inflammation. However, understanding how inflammation is at the root of almost all disease is important. Inflammation is thought to be behind some of the most debilitating diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and even heart disease. Not treating the inflammation can cause long-lasting effects including:
- Early signs of aging
- Increased susceptibility to infection
- Acid reflux
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Urinary tract infections
- Skin conditions
As you can see inflammation can cause a number of different conditions if left untreated. It not only has the ability to affect your immune system, but it can lead to gut issues, early aging, and even cancer in the long run.
How to Reduce Inflammation?
Dietary and lifestyle changes are at the forefront of reducing the inflammation in your body. If you eliminate the foods that may be triggering an inflammatory response and uncover foods your body may be sensitive to, you allow your body to reduce that inflammatory response. However, that’s only one step. It’s also important to follow an anti-inflammatory diet and to make healthy lifestyle choices to get inflammation under control.
Here are some ways you can begin reducing the inflammation in your body today:
- Reduce stress through daily meditation and mindfulness
- Get tested for food allergies and sensitivities and remove reactive foods
- Work with a Functional Medicine Practitioner to uncover potential gut infections
- Eliminate sugar & processed foods
- Eliminate trans and hydrogenated fats
- Stick to grass-fed and organic animal products when possible
- Consume anti-inflammatory foods such as leafy green vegetables, berries, wild-caught salmon, walnuts, herbs, and spices
- Get at least 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night
- Include light to moderate exercise into your weekly routine
If you are suffering from weight gain, fatigue, hair loss and more, click here to schedule a phone call with me, so I can find out where you’ve been, where you want to get to, and how I can help you get there.
I know exactly where you are because I’ve been there myself…I remember being so tired that I could barely function. I gained 30 pounds out of nowhere and had a severe case of brain fog. I also started to get severe anxiety and panic attacks. I was driven and motivated…until I wasn’t. I didn’t know what was happening to me. All I wanted was to get my life back…
Finally, I learned about functional medicine and found a practitioner that I hoped could help me. They ran specialized tests that were far different than I had ever had before. When I got the results back, it turned out I had candida, parasites, high cortisol, the Epstein Bar Virus and many food intolerances. I also had an issue with my thyroid that no one found before because they were using the conventional medicine lab ranges which are way too broad….which I now know is one of the leading causes of hypothyroid misdiagnosis.
I went through treatment of all of these things and it completely changed my life. I immediately lost the 30 pounds I had gained plus more, I had a lot more energy, and my brain fog was gone. I felt amazing and knew that I wanted to help people find the underlying causes of their symptoms and disease.
- Axe. Inflammation at the Root of Most Diseases.
- Medical News Today. Inflammation: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment.
- Bodyecology. Inflammation: The Real Cause of All Disease and How to Reduce and Prevent It.