What is Inflammation?
In school they teach that inflammation has four “cardinal signs”: Pain, Redness, Swelling, and Heat. This is very true and I see this in the clinic all the time. This type of inflammation is typically in response to an acute injury of some kind and is best dealt with through the classic RICE method. (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation).
However, there is a much more insidious type of inflammation that I see in the clinic, also on a daily basis. This type of inflammation is not typically felt on a conscious level but it wreaks havoc on our health and performance. We can’t feel it because it occurs on a microscopic level, at the level of the cell. Chronic low-grade systemic inflammation is super dangerous however, as it’s associated with all types of chronic degenerative diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, arthritis and more.
Seemingly unrelated diseases have a common link. People who have multiple degenerative disorders often exhibit excess levels of pro-inflammatory markers in their blood. Following is a partial list of common medical conditions that are associated with Diseases Related To Chronic Inflammation:
- Allergy Inflammatory cytokines induce autoimmune reactions.
- Alzheimer’s Chronic inflammation destroys brain cells.
- Anemia Inflammatory cytokines attack erythropoietin production.
- Aortic valve stenosis Chronic inflammation damages heart valves.
- Arthritis Inflammatory cytokines destroy joint cartilage and synovial fluid.
- Cancer Chronic inflammation causes many cancers.
- Congestive Heart Failure Chronic inflammation contributes to heart muscle wasting.
- Fibromyalgia Inflammatory cytokines are elevated.
- Fibrosis Inflammatory cytokines attack traumatized tissue.
- Heart attack Chronic inflammation contributes to coronary atherosclerosis.
- Kidney failure Inflammatory cytokines restrict circulation and damage nephrons.
- Lupus Inflammatory cytokines induce an autoimmune attack.
- Pancreatitis Inflammatory cytokines induce pancreatic cell injury.
- Psoriasis Inflammatory cytokines induce dermatitis.
- Stroke Chronic inflammation promoted thromboembolic events.
A deeper look at Inflammation and the #1 killer among Americans
Low-grade inflammation originates in a variety of unlikely places throughout the body, including excess fat. Researchers believe the internal inflammation has many possible sources with oxidation being the primary source. Fat cells churn out these inflammatory mediators, which is one of many reasons why being overweight is so bad for the heart. Adipocytes secrete a number of inflammatory signal messengers of inflammation.
In essence, white adipose tissue is a major secretory and endocrine organ involved in a range of functions beyond simple fat storage.Proc Nutr Soc. 2001; 60:329-339
So what does this mean? Fat cells, or adipocytes, are now being referred to as “endocrine organs” by researchers because of their ability to “talk” to the rest of body through inflammatory mediators, and the language they speak is one of alarm. Being overweight sets off an ongoing state of alarm throughout the body through the production of inflammatory chemicals, and they in turn can cause muscle tissue breakdown and a catabolic snowball process that leads to more inflammation, more production of fat cells, and an accelerated rate of aging and degeneration through increased oxidation.
So if you can’t feel silent inflammation, how do you know if it’s there, right? Great question. My preferred method of testing for Inflammation in most people is to order a Functional Medicine Assessment (FMA). Assessing inflammation in the body via a FMA, I utilize 4 biomarkers: nitrates, ammonia, rH2 (oxidation), and specific conductance. All of them have clinical relevance to the initiation or assessment of the inflammatory process. FMA not only measures inflammation but also ten other bio-markers of health.
After we have your individual test results then we can collaborate to design a plan that doesn’t include drugs. Using Nutricuticals, detoxification protocols, exercise and/or training program modifications, and other lifestyle habit alterations, we can have profound effects on inflammation in the body in a very short time. Contact me today to order your Functional Medicine Assessment or for a free consultation.
Yours in health!
Trackback from your site.