When a patient comes into my office with multi-system complaints — for example, they have gastrointestinal distress and poor recovery from exercise, or they have headaches and joint pains — one of the prime suspects is chronic inflammation.
“Inflammation” has become a buzzword recently, appearing in articles with trendy titles like “Eat These Top 10 Anti-Inflammatory Foods” or “Take This Supplement for its Anti-Inflammatory Properties.” But there’s still plenty of confusion about the term “inflammation.” Is it good? Is it bad? Why all this fuss over it?
Let’s clear all of that up.
Inflammation, simply defined, is a response your body has to any insult or injury.
A perfect example: the processes that result from injuring your ankle when you’re jogging. It’s a great morning, you’re feeling good jogging around the block, and suddenly you trip over a bump on the sidewalk and twist your ankle. The area gets red, it heats up, it gets swollen, and it hurts. This is acute inflammation; the injury is followed immediately by your body’s response with special substances that act as chemical mediators to initiate the healing process. This is a necessary response, and critical so that your body heals. So in this sense, inflammation is a good thing.
But what happens when those chemical mediators are being triggered all the time, even without an obvious injury? Here’s where the real problems can start.
Just a few decades ago, researchers discovered that there’s another kind of low-level, often overlooked inflammation going on all the time in your body. This is what is now known as chronic inflammation.
Chronic inflammation can occur from low-lying and ignored infections; low back pain, shoulder pain, and other muscular-skeletal problems; stressful lifestyle; poor diet; lack of sleep; and more.
The problem with chronic inflammation is that it demands a constant recruiting of your body’s natural chemical mediators, which, over time, ends up doing damage to tissues and depleting vitality and health. As a result, chronic inflammation is connected with virtually every chronic degenerative disease of aging: heart disease, stroke, loss of eyesight, Alzheimer’s Disease, obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, osteoporosis, cancer, and others.
That’s why everything we recommend to our patients — hormones, exercise, diet and lifestyle changes — is geared toward keeping chronic inflammation as low as possible.
A key factor is optimizing hormone levels. Hormones are by nature anti-inflammatory. All the major hormones, including testosterone, DHEA, estrogen, progesterone, HGH, and thyroid, reduce the presence of the chemical mediators and markers of inflammation. Therefore, by optimizing hormone levels, you can stave off the degeneration and accelerated aging that chronic inflammation causes.
To optimize your hormone levels and start reducing chronic inflammation today, come in for an evaluation: email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (323) 874-9355. We care for patients from all over the world, so you do not need to be living in Southern California for us to help.