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Saturday, June 25, 2011

How To Avoid or Heal Out-of-Control Inflammation

Chronic inflammation (the out-of-control kind) is the immune response that changes biology from normal to simmering disease incubation.  Chronic inflammation is the body's attempt to heal insults to its biology.  Get a bee sting?  Your immune response walls off the poison with swelling, keeping it localized.  It gets red, hot and painful while the body heals the insult.  Get cut and the same response occurs.  If you are invaded by noxious viruses, your sinuses swell, become inflamed, your nose runs and you might run a fever.  Normal immune response.  Serves us well.

But when your body receives an insult that human biology didn't have to deal with in earliest  development, like something slightly toxic--not enough to kill you, but enough for the immune system to respond, it doesn't have an immune response pre-programmed in.  So your body does the best it knows how.  It causes inflammation just like it would for a bee sting or cut or virus.  Only the response is body wide because the insult isn't localized.  Every cell, now, not just a local area, gets a dose of those inflammatory chemicals the immune system uses for insult repair.

Over time, with enough chronic insult to your biology, inflammation begins damaging the body instead of repairing it.  The damage (as in the last post here) might be low thyroid or depression or the aches and pains of arthritis (or any other itis) or exhaustion.  Chronic inflammation is at the root of all of our wellness woes, large and small.  To the degree you are not vibrant, energetic, pain free, disease free, you have allow this normal repair process to go awry.


There are three main ways chronic inflammation becomes part of your experience.

   1.  Eating or being exposed to things you are allergic to or that are toxic.  Smoking, alcohol, pesticides, smog, food allergies (known and unknown) industrial chemicals, air fresheners. 

   2.  Eating things that raise blood sugar and insulin.  High blood sugar is toxic and the insulin your body releases to deal with it is inflammatory.  A double whammy.  What raises blood sugar?  Most of the foods that are a) expensive and b) advertised endlessly!  Sugar, wheat, flour, oats, barley, rice, corn--and anything made from any of those like bread, pasta, deserts, ice cream, soda, cake, cookies, corn meal, hamburger buns, lemonade, sweet tea, crackers, chips, candy, fruit drinks, dipping sauces--well, you get the idea.  If it has sugar and or flour in it it's going to raise your blood sugar and cause inflammation.

   3.  Omega fatty acids out of balance.  Omega 3 fatty acids metabolize into anti-inflammatory chemicals.  Omega 6 fatty acids metabolize into pro-inflammatory chemicals.  If they are balanced, your body works beautifully.  About 30 or 40 years ago you were sold a bill of goods about animal fat ("dangerous" saturated fat equals heart disease)  and told to use vegetable oils instead.  But animal fat is high is Omega 3's vegetable fat is high in Omega 6's.  Hydrogenated vegetable oil is a highly toxic frankenfood!  By time a few brave souls challenged the whole saturated fat and vegetable oil bad-science-hypothesis, America was badly inflamed and sick as dogs and the medical industries dealing with that were entrenched. 

No one has a vested interest in telling you this stuff.  There's no money to be made in telling you you have total control of your wellness.  If no one bought fast food or junk food and things made from wheat, what would happen to the Gross National Product.  If no one got diabetes or cancer or arthritis, what would haven to hospitals, oncologists and endocrinologists and orthopedic surgeons???  What a financial disaster that would be!  But the alternative is that it's a disaster for how people feel, age, and their health.

You have control.  Your wellness is in your own hands.  I won't tell you that it's particularly easy to swim upstream from the conventional wisdom that "everyone knows."  I will tell you that it matters to your life and your aging and when and what you die of.  Best wishes!

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