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, peptides, 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.
Peptides are simply short chains of amino acids. We have thousands of peptides in our bodies and they regulate and support all sorts of physiological functions. There are certain peptides that strongly influence inflammation, and taking one or more of them depending on your particular problem can be very powerful for preventing and decreasing inflammation.
A poor diet is one of the leading causes of chronic inflammation, especially diets that contain sugar, refined carbohydrates, fried foods, red meat and processed meats, soda and sweetened beverages. But there are also foods that help cool inflammation, such as: green leafy vegetables (like spinach, kale, collard greens), nuts (like almonds and walnuts), olive oil, tomatoes, fatty fish (like salmon, mackeral, tuna, and sardines), and certain fruits (strawberries, blueberries, oranges).
There are certain supplements that have strong anti-inflammatory qualities: alpha-lipoic acid, curcumin (from turmeric), fish oil, ginger and others.
To optimize your hormone levels and be prescribed a protocol to start reducing chronic inflammation today, contact us for an evaluation: email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (323) 874-9355. We can work remotely with you from anywhere in the United States, so you do not need to leave your house to become a patient.