If you are reading this, chances are that your already know that inflammation is a serious problem. It is at the root of almost every health condition you can think of. It's what causes pain in a traumatic event like a broken bone or a sprained ankle. But that is short-lived and necessary for healing. Chronic inflammation can be a much bigger problem driving all kinds of disease processes. According to Harvard Medical School "Research has shown that chronic inflammation is associated with heart disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and bowel diseases like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis." (1)
I like to describe inflammation to my clients as a fire burning within your body. It drives pain, tissue damage and can set the stage for a number of imbalances in your body as it turns up the heat. The symptoms you experience, things like digestive issues, joint pain, etc. are simply warning signs from your body that you have something going on.
Unfortunately, the type of lifestyle many of us are living contributes to inflammation. Fast, convenience foods are full of ingredients that foster inflammation. A stressful lifestyle with a lack of balance doesn't help either. Trying to get by on too-little sleep is another common issue for many.
So many people are battling inflammatory conditions. It can look like Arthritis, which is the number one cause of Disability in the US or something like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Many will be tempted to take something like an anti-inflammatory or another medication to relieve the symptoms, but finding the root cause is, in my opinion, the best way to go.
So, how do we find root cause:
- We look at some inflammatory markers on a blood test. These are things like Homocysteine and C-Reactive Protein. These give us an indicator of whether there is an issue with inflammation. It doesn't dial in where the problem is, but let's us know there is one.
- Food Sensitivity testing: This can be a huge driver of inflammation. When you consume foods that create an immune reaction in your body, you will produce inflammation. By reacting your blood with a panel of foods, you will be able to see which foods stimulate the immune system and create inflammation.
- Look at the balance of Omega 3 to Omega 6 in your body. This is another type of blood test that helps you identify if you are favoring an inflammatory or anti-inflammatory environment in your body.
- Ask the right questions. Part of my initial evaluation with my clients involves a thorough history. I ask many questions that help me determine if Inflammation might be an issue for the person.
How do we deal with inflammation? I'm so glad you asked! There are some great ways to reduce inflammation.
- Eat a diet rich in non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, kale, cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables. Some fruit is also great, just watch that you focus on veggies over fruit since they have all of the benefits with less sugar.
- Eat clean meats that are not commercially raised and fed grains. These grains are often Genetically modified and drive inflammation. I perform nutrient testing on a lot of people and I can often tell what kinds of meats they are consuming (grass fed, pastured vs. commercial) by their Omega 3:6 ratio.
- Keep the Carbohydrate load low. High carbohydrate foods spike insulin levels that will drive inflammation
- Keep stress in check. Stress is another major player in almost all types of chronic disease. It can effect our sleep patterns and that will drive inflammation.
- Avoid environmental Toxins. Exposure to substances that our body has to filter out can trigger an inflammatory response in the body. It is best to stick to natural cleaning and beauty care products.
- Consider implementing intermittent fasting. During periods of fasting, your body is able to focus healing and repair. This can reduce inflammation in the body. A great way to start
is to work up to 16 hours fasted per day. At first this might seem tough, but you can gradually increase your fasted window until you hit 16 hours.
I know this is a big topic, and I hope I have shed some light on it. If you have questions or want to dive into examining the root cause of your inflammation, I would be happy to help. You can use this link to book a FREE discovery call and I'll help you determine if we are a good fit to work together!