Thursday, March 17, 2011
How Did You Feel the Last Time You Had a Fever?
Do you recall that really awful feeling when you had the flu or an infection of some kind? Once your temp goes up to about 100 degrees or so, you were experiencing the effects of inflammation--your body's immune system fighting off invaders, either bacterial or viral.
Even minor fevers feel pretty darn awful. There is lethargy and tiredness that puts you right down, usually literally into bed or flat on the couch. The all-over achy feeling sometimes morphs into pain every time you move. Your head feels hot, then you have chills, as temperature regulation is all over the place. Your brain gets fuzzy, and it’s hard to track the simplest ideas or sequences. That extra heat that we call fever, is designed to make your body inhospitable to the invaders. And it feels crappy to the max.
Inflammation is part of your body’s remarkably beautiful adaptation that keeps you healthy. It came about during millions of years of development so you would outlive bacteria that wanted to make a meal of you. During that development—right along with it in fact—your diet consisted of the things that small family groups managed to hunt and gather--leaves, berries, roots, small birds and reptiles, bugs, and the game they killed. Those things were ‘factored’ into the system of inflammation.
Along comes “civilization” and agriculture. Now you hunt a loaf of bread and gather a Big Mac and coke. Oops, the system was not developed with these things factored in. A biology that’s designed with low calorie, low glucose, high animal products and animal fat plus plenty of exercise now is trying to deal with high calories, masses of glucose and oil from plants rather than animals plus remote control. What’s a biology to do?
The short answer is that your biology says, “We’re under attack! Let’s raise a fever and kill off the invaders.” But this attack is not quite the same as bacteria so your body does the best it knows how—it causes an all-over, system wide inflammation that we now know as chronic inflammation. Every cell in your body is now inflammed—simmering.
So when you have chronic inflammation, you are more tired than you should be. You might be foggy. Or you have aches and pains that you didn’t used to have. You want a nap, or your knees hurt, or you can’t think straight, or you go to the doctor and he calls it “arthritis” or “you’re just getting older” or “high stress.” Or someone makes up a new name so they can sell you medication, like “restless leg syndrome,” or “chronic dry eye” or “light bladder leakage.”
Your birthright as a human animal is vibrant, vigorous good health and feeling good. Not tired, not achy, not foggy, not anxious, depressed or diseased. The trick to feeling good, not feverish, is to eat a low calorie, low glucose, high animal product diet and quit making your body think you’re under attack!
Chronic inflammation not only makes you feel crappy, eventually it damages organs, tissues and other things inside you. Now you have honest to goodness disease to deal with. But it all stems from departure from what your biology was designed to deal with. What this blog/newsletter is about is figuring out how to get back to what we’re adapted for because there’s a huge payoff in how we’re going to feel.
I'd love to hear your story! I'll be telling my own!