It’s become pretty clear to scientists that low level chronic inflammation is at the root of several chronic diseases. In fact, these diseases are the major epidemics of the 21st century.
What’s a chronic disease? It’s a diagnosis for something you live with and try to manage—until it kills you. You don’t cure it. You’ try to stay ahead of it. Maybe you have one of the most common 21st century chronic diseases: cardio-vascular disease including high blood pressure, colorectal cancer, type 2 diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Alzheimer’s, or thyroid diseases.
What’s inflammation? It’s a physical response initiated by the immune system. Normally, that‘s a good thing. If you twist your ankle, the body sends an inflammatory response first to protect and then to begin healing. But when the alarm response becomes chronic, ie. repetitive, the body never gets past the inflammatory response and on to the healing phase. That’s where the problems begin.
For example, smoking creates inflammation, not only in your lungs and throat, but also in your circulatory system> It responds to nicotine as an invader. Every time a nicotine molecule bangs into an arterial wall, your immune system responds and sends inflammatory compounds to protect the site. Problem is, if you keep smoking, you inflame your system every time you light up because you keep banging on the vessel walls.
Your body responds to stress and toxins the same way. How much stress are you under? Is it constant? Your body can’t tell the difference between the stress of being attacked by wild dogs and the stress of dealing with a cranky boss or an incredible workload for 8+ hours. It sends out the same cascade of hormones to prepare you to fight or to flee. But when you’re stuck in a chair, you never get to move past that cascade into the healing phase. And you’re inflamed. While we can’t say exactly where your inflammation is, we know it’s there creating damage.
What’s the good news? This is reversible! But not with drugs. Drugs and medication do not reverse chronic inflammation in the body—they simple manage your symptoms. You will take these drugs, and probably more as your inflammation increases, for the rest of your life while you live with the escalating symptoms and limitations of the disease.
So how do we reverse chronic inflammation in the body? Not by eating gogi berries. We reverse it by stategically combining 2 things: supportive nutrition and exercise. Study after study shows that exercise makes you healthier and it creates younger cells. Yes, younger cells. “Exercise is an effective means of reducing systemic low-level inflammation. Moreover, there is evidence that exercise can also reduce acute inflammation.” ((NCL Volume 24, Issue 3; Woods, Vieira, Keylock)
So what are you waiting for? Get out there! If you need a plan or help getting started, call us. That’s what we do.
Next, Inflamation, Part 2: What Exactly Does Stress Do to Us?