Do you want to look and feel younger?
Do you want to significantly reduce your risk of chronic diseases such as acid reflux, acne, ADD/ADHD, allergies, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, asthma, autoimmune diseases, cancer, candidiasis, cataracts, colitis, diabetes, diverticulitis, heart disease, high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, infertility, macular degeneration, metabolic syndrome, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s, stroke, and weight gain?
Solid scientific research has identified chronic inflammation as the number one culprit behind these degenerative diseases and premature aging.
What is inflammation?
Inflammation is your body’s response to stress, whether it’s from your diet, lifestyle, or environment. Inflammation can be both good and bad.
Say when you catch a cold, you may experience acute inflammation in the form of a fever as your body heats up to eradicate the effects of the invading virus. This kind of inflammation is good; it fights infection, heals wounds, repairs your body, and helps to get you back to a state of health.
But when your body is constantly dealing with a low-grade inflammation, it leads to a progressive deterioration of the cells at the site of inflammation. Chronic inflammation is a silent killer and the cornerstone of premature aging and degenerative diseases.
So what causes inflammation and what can you do to prevent and may be even reverse damages caused by inflammation?
Common Causes Of Inflammation
1. Wrong Diet
Excessive sugar intake
Most people know that diabetes is a chronic disease in which a person has high blood sugar. It is a condition that occurs after years of excessive sugar and starch intake. It is also well known that diabetics age prematurely and die about 10 years earlier than non-diabetics.
One reason for this is a process called glycation, in which sugars attach to proteins and/or fats in the body to form nonfunctioning tissues that become tough and inflexible called Aged Glycation End-products (AGEs). AGEs are extremely harmful:
- They are particularly high in diabetics.
- They damage organs like the heart, kidneys, brain, eyes, and pancreas, where flexibility is vital.
- They produce large numbers of damaging free radicals, kicking up inflammation in the body.
In the last 50 years, we have started eating a huge amount of new fats that were never part of the traditional diets in human history. Studies show that they distort the fatty acid metabolism in the body and may manifest as anything from irregular heartbeat and skin disorders to heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. They include:
- All hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils.
- Industrially processed liquid oils such as soy, corn, safflower, sunflower, cottonseed, and canola.
- Fats and oils (especially vegetable oils) heated to very high temperatures in processing and frying.
Undetected food sensitivities
Food sensitivities can play a role in many common health complaints such as ADD/ADHD, arthritis, asthma, autism, depression, digestive problems, fibromyalgia, headaches and migraines, joint and muscle pain, and fatigue. These symptoms are caused by our immune system’s reaction to foods, additives, or other substances in our diet, and the release of toxic chemicals in our bodies.
Sometimes the reactive food is easy to identify, like milk. Other times, it is a food chemical like solanine and it is anything but easy to determine. The problem is, any food or food additive, such as MSG and artificial colorings, can be reactive. Even foods which are considered “healthy,” like chicken, fish, broccoli, or garlic can cause symptoms.
Often, one may have many reactive foods or chemicals, not just one or two. In addition, reactions can be delayed and/or dose-dependent. This means you may not feel the effects of a reaction until many hours or days after you have eaten the reactive foods, or unless you eat enough of the reactive food.
If you have some of the above mentioned symptoms, the only way to identify your specific food sensitivities is a blood test. One of the most comprehensive and accurate tests is MRT or Mediator Release Test, the others include ALCAT, ELISA IgG, and LRA by ELISA-Act. Once you have identified your sensitive foods, you should avoid them for 3-6 months before re-introducing them one by one into your diet. (Please contact me for the MRT.)
(Note: Food allergies are different from food sensitivities; the former can produce an anaphylactic shock within seconds or minutes that is life threatening. Common allergic foods include peanuts, other nuts, shellfish, and foods containing sulfites.)
Undetected Food intolerances
Food intolerance can produce some digestive symptoms that are similar to food sensitivity but it doesn’t involve the immune system. Instead, when the food in question is consumed, it is not properly digested and begins to ferment inside the gut. Overtime, it causes severe destruction to the lining of the small intestine, resulting in maldigestion and malabsorption.
The best example of food intolerance is lactose intolerance. This condition is characterized by bloating, loose stools or diarrhea, and gas. Lactose intolerance is caused by an inability of the body to produce enough of the enzyme lactase, which breaks down lactose, the primary sugar found in milk. Avoiding milk products or supplementing the diet with lactase enzyme is the best way for a person with lactose intolerance to overcome the problem.
Another example is gluten intolerance whereby your body is unable to digest the protein composite found in grass-related grains such as wheat, rye, barley, spelt, and kamut. The only treatment is to abstain from all foods that contain gluten.
2. Gut infections
Gut infections are low-grade bacterial, viral, parasitic, or fungal infections in the stomach and gastrointestinal tract. They contribute to inflammation of the gut lining and are generally caused by overuse of prescription drugs and antibiotics (including meats from factory-farmed animals) which kill off healthy bacteria in the gut.
A common bacteria is H. Pylori, which is estimated to be present in 20% of adults under the age of 40 and 50% of adults over 60 years old. H. Pylori is usually present in people with gastric ulcers and is linked to the development of stomach cancer. Over 80% the people infected with H. Pylori show hardly any symptoms.
Another common infection is Candida Albicans or yeast overgrowth. Many people consume far too much sugar, fruits, juices, and starches that “feed” the yeast in the intestines. The yeasts secrete extremely poisonous chemicals in our bodies and cause a wide range of health conditions from chronic fatigue and depression to headaches, bloating, joint pain, heartburn, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Gut infections can be detected through a stool sample and eliminated using medications or a more natural approach with medicinal herbs. (Please contact me for a stool test and natural gut healing protocol.)
3. Environmental toxicity
Today, we are exposed to numerous dangerous man-made toxins including radiation, EMF, BPA from plastics and cans, phthalates from personal care products, hydrocarbons, heavy metals such as mercury, lead, and arsenic, medications, fluoride, preservatives, aspartame, MSG, pesticides, hormones and antibiotics from the meats we eat, and many more.
- These toxic chemicals act by displacing important minerals in critical metabolic processes within the body.
- They disrupt DNA replication, leading to the growth of aberrant cells and ultimately cancer.
- They wreak havoc on the body’s defenses against free radicals and overburden the detoxification systems, setting the stage for a variety of degenerative diseases.
While most of us cannot avoid all the ills of civilization, we can greatly reduce our exposure by steering clear of chemicals in our personal care products, household cleaners, and most importantly, toxins from conventionally raised meats, pesticide-laden fruits and vegetables, as well as preservatives and artificial ingredients in processed foods.
Additionally, drinking plenty of clean filtered water, exercising, and sweating in a sauna are the simplest ways to help the body detoxify.
4. Emotional stress
Chronic emotional stress causes activation of specific physiological pathways that are very damaging to health. It may lead to insomnia, depression, cognitive dysfunction, digestive disorders, weight gain, and muscle and joint pain. It also suppresses the immune system and plays an important role in chronic inflammation.
Learn to de-stress by adopting a positive attitude. Engage in physical and mental activities, such as yoga, qigong, and meditation, to help relieve stress. If you feel that your life is out of balance and the stress is getting to you physically and emotionally, seek professional help from a life coach or therapist.
It is sad to say that we are now living in a very toxic world, which accelerates aging and fuels chronic inflammation that is at the root of nearly every modern disease. While medical advances have kept us living longer, our quality of life is not necessarily better due to premature aging. Fortunately, there is still so much we can do to substantially reduce inflammation and prevent disease. Here are eight simple steps that you can implement right away to improve your health:
- Eat real food. Avoid artificial, processed, packaged, nutritionally-devoid, and chemically-laden foods. Instead, choose high quality, organically grown produce, grass-fed meats, and wild-caught fish.
- Avoid sugar and bad fats as much as possible. Don’t over consume grains (including whole grains), fruits, and starchy foods as they tend to spike your blood sugar. Avoid deep fried foods. If you drink alcohol, do it in moderation.
- Avoid chemicals and toxins in your environment. Replace dangerous household cleaners and personal care items with natural, chemical-free ones. If you smoke, find a way and commit to quitting.
- If you have any digestive complaints (such as gas, bloating, reflux, diarrhea, and constipation) check for food sensitivities, intolerances, and gut infections.
- Boost your immune system. Eat more naturally fermented foods like kimchee, sauerkraut, and yogurt (unsweetened), or consider taking a probiotic supplement to improve gut health.
- Get a good night’s sleep. Most people need 7-8 hours of sleep every night. This is the time when your body does its repair, restore, and detox work.
- Exercise but don’t overdo it. Too much exercise (like marathon running) exerts tremendous stress on the body which becomes counterproductive and inflammatory. If you are overweight, commit to shedding some pounds as fat cells make inflammatory substances that circulate throughout the body. So the more fat cells you have, the more inflammation you are brewing inside.
- Reduce stress. Mental and emotional stress increases the production of pro-inflammatory hormones and compromises your immune system.