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  • Writer's pictureDr. Kennedy

What You Need to Know About Inflammation

What is it?

Inflammation is how the body responds to infection and injury. When infection or injury is detected by the tissues, cells start sending signals to dilate blood vessels and send immune cells to the site of the problem. (Think redness, pain, heat, and swelling around an injury.) In some cases, inflammation is helpful to get your immune system to come in and clean up the problem. But, when inflammation continues for long periods of time, it has detrimental effects on every system in the body.

What triggers inflammation?

  • Refined sugar

  • WheatFried foods

  • Food preservatives and additives

  • Cigarette smoking

  • Chronic alcohol consumption

  • Chronic stress

  • Environmental chemicals and heavy metals

How does chronic inflammation show up in the body?

Common symptoms of chronic inflammation include: vague body pains, fatigue, insomnia, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, chronic skin conditions, allergies, brain fog, mood problems, and high blood sugar.

There’s a long list of inflammatory conditions that you may already be diagnosed with, making inflammation management a HUGE necessity for you. If you have one of these conditions and it’s not managed properly, your tissues are already undergoing recurrent damage. These conditions include Chron’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis, IBS, Celiac disease, asthma, eczema, psoriasis, arthritis, and other autoimmune diseases.

How can you manage inflammation?

Diet: Eating nutrient-dense foods fuels your cells to function properly and create an inflammatory response only when necessary. Avoiding inflammatory foods is vital to reducing and preventing chronic inflammation. That means avoiding sugar, fried foods, excessive alcohol, wheat (and potentially other grains), processed food, and food additives. Eating more foods like wild caught fish, berries, avocados, chia & flax seeds, and lots of green vegetables can help reduce inflammation.

Manage Stress: Your adrenal glands are the stress-handling champions in your body. They’re responsible for making our main stress hormone, cortisol, when there’s a stressful event so we can kick into gear and run away from the tiger (the metaphorical tiger, these days). When we continue to experience high stress all the time, our poor little adrenals just can’t keep up! They’re exhausted and no longer able to make enough cortisol to keep you going. The unfortunate part (besides feeling tired) is that cortisol is also a potent anti-inflammatory hormone in the body. Without enough of it, inflammation runs rampant. Clearly, the body is all about balance.

Exercise: Regular exercise does wonders for managing blood sugar, eliminating toxins, and boosting mood, which all play a role in inflammation. After exercising, the body stimulates anti-inflammatory mechanisms to repair tissues. Bonus – exercise also improves sleep!

Sleep Well: Sleep is essential to healing and resetting inflammatory mechanisms. Our main sleep hormone, melatonin, is suppressed in people that don’t sleep enough. Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant and studies show when people that don’t get enough sleep, they tend have more problems with inflammation.

Get Tested! If you’re not sure whether or not you’re deficient in nutrients your body needs to calm down chronic inflammation, get checked by a doctor that does muscle testing. We can check nutrients and get immediate answers from your body to see what it needs, without just guessing.

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