Do you have pain that seems to be everywhere and just won't go away? Sometimes it's sharp, sudden. Other times its dull, throbbing. All times it is constant. How can you be positive and healthy when you feel 'down' all the time?
Even worse, your doctors don’t know what’s wrong. But YOU know something is wrong.
If this describes you, you are not alone. Like millions worldwide, you may be suffering from Chronic inflammation.
What is Chronic Inflammation and Why is it Dangerous?
Inflammation can be positive: it fights infection and repairs damage.
But, when either or both the immune and prostaglandin systems stop functioning properly, inflammation becomes chronic rather than transitory. Inflammatory cytokines (destructive cell-signaling chemicals) such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a), interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin 1b [IL-1(b)], and/or interleukin-8 (IL-8) work silently to make you sick.
An investigation by the TIME magazine proved how chronic inflammation may be the engine that drives many of the most feared illnesses of middle and old age: Cancer, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Diabetes, Stroke, Heart disease and other chronic diseases like arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus, and even depression.
Many specialists now agree that seeing inflammation as the core of much chronic illness suggests a new and possibly much simpler way of warding off disease. Rather than focusing on different treatments for, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, colon cancer etc., focus instead on addressing the causes of inflammation.
What Causes this Chronic Inflammatory Process?
The Chronic Inflammatory process is heavily influenced by a combination of factors such as toxins, oxidative stress, free radicals, injury, infections, lack of exercise, heredity and especially diet. Diet is particularly critical because it appears to be a trigger for so many of these other inflammatory factors.
Indeed, a poor diet can increase and prolong inflammation while a good diet can stop it. For example:
Characteristics of an Inflammatory Diet...
- The excess consumption of simple carbohydrates, sugars (especially high-fructose corn syrup), and refined grains leads to raised blood sugar levels, insulin spikes, high levels of free radicals and lipid peroxidation products. All of these can result in Diabetes
- An imbalance of fatty acids and oils, with focus on Omega 6 rather than Omega 3 leads to the metabolization of chemicals that cause chronic inflammation. Our prehistoric ancestors ate a diet with an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 1:1. Our current ratio is anywhere between 10:1 and 25:1.
- Common allergens like casein and gluten (proteins found in dairy and wheat) spark the inflammatory cascade.
- Excessive alcohol causes inflammation of the stomach, pancreas, and intestines which impairs the digestion of food and absorption into blood. Alcohol also depletes the glutathione in the liver and causes excessive fat accumulation in the liver. This leads to the inflammation of liver cells and eventual cirrhosis.
- Prolonged smoking also leads to inflammation by shutting off a key enzyme in airways that regulate the body's response to inflammation.
Characteristics of an Inflammation Managing Diet
In contrast, an inflammation managing diet helps to support healthy inflammation by focusing on fresh, preferably organic fruits, vegetables, wild seafood, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices, protein from free range cattle, eggs, and the right balance of fats.
The following inflammation managing supplements are also advised: curcumin, quercetin, ellagic acid, resveratrol, boswelia, garlic, magnesium, pine bark extract. Vitamin E (containing gamma-tocopherol and tocotrienols) and Vitamin K (to reduce levels of IL-6, a pro-inflammatory messenger. Vitamin K also helps in the treatment of osteoporosis by regulating calcium and promoting bone calcification. If you are taking Coumadin or other anticoagulant medicine, consult your physician before taking vitamin K.)
All these and more can be found in our recommended protocol for inflammation which combines
- The Total Balance product suited for you
- Omega 3 QH / Ultra at 2-4 daily ()
- Green Lipped Mussel Powder at 3 - 6 daily
- Not Just Joints at 6 tablets per day (2 x 3) for 2 months then reduced to 3 daily
Remember that because these supplements are natural products they do not give instant results. They provide the nutrients to help your own body repair damage.
This is very different to the way conventional medications work (or not!) for inflammation...
Do Statins and other Medications 'Cure' Inflammation?
No. Not long term. Conventional methods to treat inflammation are high in risk.
These include anti-inflammatory medications like COX-2 inhibitors, which have been highlighted in the media lately because of their link to heart problems.
The Statin Crestor, however, has been shown to reduce CRP (C-Reactive Protein -CRP. CRP is the test used to measure the levels of inflammation in the blood). However, the findings have been questioned in the light of serious side effects.
Why take the risk of such medications when there are clearly cheaper and safer natural alternatives as detailed above?
If You Think You Are 'Inflamed'...
To determine the level of inflammation in your body, please ask your doctor to take at least 2 of the following:
- A C-reactive protein (CRP) blood test establishes the level of inflammation in the arteries. A CRP level under 5.0 milligrams per litre of blood is considered ‘normal but in reality it is really far too high. As a point of interest Warren our Chairman has an exceptionally low level at just 0.5. Even our basic form of Omega 3 DHA/Fish oil will help tremendously with bringing your CRP into line.
- The cytokine profile blood test. This method tests for inflammatory markers in the human body.
- A fasting blood insulin level. This test is used to screen for diabetes and heart disease, but it's also a marker for inflammation. The higher your insulin levels are, the more inflammation your body is producing,
- A homocysteine blood test. Homocysteine is a predictor of arterial health and inflammation. Keeping homocysteine levels down helps promote normal levels of inflammation, which helps promote the health of your blood vessels. A healthy level of homocysteine in the blood is below 15 micro mol/litre, but some doctors recommend levels below 7.
If the results indicate that you are indeed ‘inflamed’, please change your lifestyle to include the anti inflammatory diet and supplementation as described above. Also helpful are at least 7 hours of good quality sleep daily, regular exercise, reduced stress and exposure to toxins.
There is a fine balance between healthy inflammation (to reduce temporary pain and swelling) and chronic inflammation (persistent pain and disability). You are responsible for managing that balance through a healthy lifestyle which promotes normal inflammatory levels naturally.