The Women's Journal


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By D
r. Cynthia Crosser  

Inflammation is our body’s innate mechanism to defend itself against negative stimuli such as pathogens, trauma, environmental toxins, and damaged cells. It is a physical response to emotional stress as well. The Latin terminology handed down from Celsus described the key features as: rubor (redness), calor (heat), tumor (swelling), and dolor (pain). All of these, except pain, describe the role of the vasculature. There is increased blood flow, vasodilatation, and increased vascular permeability.

Inflammation can be acute such as with a laceration. Or it can become a systemic, chronic condition with a domino effect of chemical, hormonal, emotional and/or physical triggers. These could be found in foods, the environment, and even stress. When this inflammation continues, the immune system will start to attack healthy tissue resulting in illness and disease. Symptoms could be anything from gut issues, headaches, joint pain, to fatigue and weight gain. In joints it causes arthritis, in the inner blood vessels, heart disease and stroke. For the thyroid, inflammation can cause Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. As the immune system becomes weakened, cancer cells can become undetected and grow. Inflammation is the key in the rising epidemic of autoimmune disease, depression, and asthma.

Testing would involve hs-CRP (C-reactive protein) which is produced in the liver in response to infections and inflammation. IL-6 (interleukin 6) and ESR are other indicators of inflammation. Toxic metal testing, comprehensive stool analysis and organic acid testing will also detect systemic inflammation. Genetic testing can determine potential links to systemic inflammation. Even if you have normal CRP and then only sleep 4-5 hours a night for a few weeks, your level will elevate. If you are diabetic, due to the glycating effect of blood sugar, you will experience the effects of systemic inflammation. Candida overgrowth will cause inflammation as well as a stressful lifestyle.  

NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and aspirin are not ideal. A recent study of 440,000 people found that these would increase the risk of heart attack and stroke deaths by 35 percent. What NOT to eat: forget the white starchy stuff, keep whole organic grains to a minimum, and avoid gluten. Eat a variety of vegetables (non-GMO and organic). Eat a moderate amount of fruit, especially berries, high-quality fats and fatty fruits such as avocados, nuts and seeds, and high-quality proteins like fish, grass-fed beef, and organic poultry.

There are many supplements and herbs that can assist such as essential fatty acids, green tea, curcumin, and resveratrol, but finding the cause and reducing the inflammation by way of lifestyle is even more important to recovery and good health.

Removing the source of the fire, and using appropriate nutrients to assist and rebuilding with healthier choices, will assist in staving off the epidemic of chronic disease that is erroneously considered the aging process. Even a good detoxification program involving the liver will help (which will be my next article)!!!  I also do a simple weight loss program which will help reduce inflammation. Put out the fire and get healthy!

Wellness within reach!


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