If you are interested in improving your health, you have probably read about inflammation. It seems that nearly every article about health problems these days refers to inflammation. This makes sense because when you look at nearly every illness, inflammation is an initiator and driver of the disease process.
What exactly is inflammation?
Inflammation is the way our body responds to injury. We can usually tell a part of our body is inflamed when it is red, hot, swollen and we can’t move it properly. Think of a stubbed toe or a sprained ankle. Inflammation is present in all ‘itis’ conditions, such as arthritis, hepatitis, bursitis and many others. However, inflammation can also occur inside our body in a much more silent way, where we don’t even know it is happening. Fatigue and pain are classic indicators that there’s too much inflammation in your body.
Actually your body will give you several clues. It is important to pay attention to these signs because if not addressed, they may spell future health problems.
Here are 6 common symptoms of excessive inflammation
- Aches and pains. If you regularly feel achy in your muscles, joints or all over, you can bet your body is inflamed. When your immune cells or fat cells produce inflammatory chemicals called cytokines, you will experience heightened pain sensitivity and stiffness. Fibromyalgia and arthritis are classic symptoms of excess inflammation, but generalized pain when getting out of bed in the morning is another symptom. Pain in the soles of the feet (plantar fasciitis) is another classic sign of inflammation.
- Fatigue. Fatigue can be caused by many different factors but you may not realize it’s a typical sign of inflammation. When your immune cells are continually busy secreting large volumes of inflammatory chemicals or antibodies, fatigue is the natural consequence. Think about the fatigue you experience with the flu. Chronic allergies such as allergic rhinitis also typically results in some degree of fatigue. Any health condition that causes inflammation usually results in fatigue.
- Being overweight. It was once thought that the sole purpose of fat cells was to store excess calories and provide your body with a bit of warmth and padding. We now know that fat cells operate like chemical factories. Fat cells are actually able to produce many of the same chemicals your immune cells make while your immune system is trying to battle with an infection. If you have a lot of fat on your body you’ll produce a lot more of these chemicals 24 hours a day. Unfortunately those inflammatory chemicals tend to create insulin resistance, which makes losing weight extremely difficult. If you want to lose weight it’s important to follow our guidelines for reducing inflammation below.
- You suffer with red or itchy skin. Redness and itching are classic signs of inflammation. These symptoms can be caused by allergies or autoimmune disease or be due to an unhappy liver. Itchy skin is very common in people with hepatitis but can occur if the liver is inflamed for a variety of different reasons. An inflamed liver produces greater quantities of an inflammatory chemical called C reactive protein.
- A diagnosed autoimmune disease. Excessive inflammation is a feature of all autoimmune diseases and is largely responsible for the symptoms common to most autoimmune conditions – pain, fatigue and poor quality sleep. There are 81 different confirmed autoimmune diseases, with another 20 or so suspected to be autoimmune in nature. That means autoimmune disease is incredibly common. You may not realize that your health problems are autoimmune. Common examples of autoimmune conditions are psoriasis, most thyroid disorders, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. To understand the treatment of autoimmune conditions please see the book Healing Autoimmune Disease: A plan to help your immune system and reduce inflammation.
- Allergies or infections. If you suffer with allergies, you are definitely inflamed. Allergies tend to produce the most obvious symptoms of inflammation – swelling, redness, itching and pain. The symptoms are the result of your immune response to normally harmless substances such as grass, pollen or foods. Infections are a very common cause of inflammation, particularly chronic infections that linger. Some viruses and bacteria have a habit of lingering in your body for years, chronically stimulating your immune system while also releasing toxins into your bloodstream. Examples include hepatitis, Epstein barr virus, herpes viruses and parasitic gut infections. Chronic infections put an enormous strain on your immune system and liver; therefore it is very important to strengthen your immune system to improve your chances of clearing the infection. See the information in my bird flu book, which provides advice on fighting all types of infections.
Natural ways of reducing inflammation
- Diet. It all starts with your diet. This makes sense because we all need to eat, and your mouth is the main source of foreign material entering your body. The food you eat can either be nourishing or harmful. The type of food you eat will also determine the types of microbes that live in your gut. Processed foods tend to feed all the wrong bugs. The most inflammatory foods are sugar, gluten, wheat, cow’s milk, artificial additives and any food you have an allergy or sensitivity to. Therefore it is best to base your diet on vegetables, salads, protein (for example eggs, poultry, seafood, meat), healthy fats, fruit, nuts and seeds. Try to avoid eating foods that come in packets.
- Try to maintain a healthy weight. As mentioned, being overweight will result in a far greater production of inflammatory chemicals in your body. If you base your diet on the foods listed in the point above, you’ll find it much easier to lose weight. There is an easy to follow weight loss plan in my Syndrome X book.
- Clean up your bowel. The main source of toxicity entering your bloodstream is via a toxic bowel. This is especially true if you suffer with irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhoea, leaky gut syndrome or if you’re taking acid suppressing medication. The microbes living inside us and on us outnumber our human cells by 10 to 1, and the majority of these bugs live in your bowel. That means they have an enormous bearing on your health and it’s critical to look after them. If your bowel is sluggish you would benefit from Colon Detox capsules. They will help to get things moving and clean your colon of long standing residual waste. Intestinal Parasite Cleanse capsules are helpful for those people suffering with bloating, gas and burping, as they help to get rid of the bugs producing the gases.
- Try a serrapeptase supplement. Serrapeptase is an enzyme that was first discovered in the intestine of silkworms. This enzyme is necessary in order for the silkworm to dissolve the hard cocoon it is surrounded by, when it is ready to emerge as a moth. Serrapeptase is a protease enzyme; that means it has the ability to digest protein. Research has shown this remarkable enzyme can help to dissolve non-living tissue in the body such as cysts, swellings, plaque and scar tissue. It is excellent for helping to reduce pain, stiffness and swelling and for helping to speed the repair of old injuries that are lingering and continuing to produce discomfort.
- Try to get good solid sleep. Good quality sleep and adequate sleep are both critical for optimal health but they tend to be very under valued. Many people skimp on sleep, thinking they’ll catch up later. Unfortunately you never really do catch up. Sure you can sleep in on the weekend but a loss of sleep negatively impairs your immune system long term. Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night and try to be in bed by 10:30pm. If your sleep quality is poor, magnesium or melatonin may help.
Having too much Inflammation in your body is a significant risk factor for future health problems. The suggestions above will help to keep inflammation at bay.
The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or prevent any disease.