Its funny how things go with this blogging thing. I was over halfway done with a post and then something occurred that totally turned my attention. Recently someone that I know was diagnosed with Lupus. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the immune system attacks many areas of the body including the joints, kidneys, blood cells, skin, brain, heart, and lungs.
Lupus is a disease that can be easily misdiagnosed by a physician that has had limited exposure to the condition. Lupus has many symptoms that mimic several other conditions and also has the potential to generate overlapping diseases. At the end of the day, as horrible as lupus sounds it has one common theme with hundreds of other diseases. That would be chronic inflammation.
Researchers and physicians alike have all come to the conclusion that chronic inflammation is at the core of many of the illnesses that people face as a whole. Those of us battling an autoimmune disease know all to well about the constant struggle of keeping our body out of this constant inflamed state. In past posts I have discussed things like leaky gut, gut health, inflammation, and Immunosuppressant drugs. However, I don’t feel as if I’ve discussed how damaging chronic inflammation can be to the mind and body.
From my personal experience with Chron’s Disease, I was prescribed Humira to decrease my inflammation. Though I have to admit that it did work, Humira is not a drug that you can depend to be on for your entire life. It comes with heavy side affects and potential for other diseases to develop. I’m not saying don’t take an Immunosuppressant. However, I am saying that while you’re on the Immunosuppressant you should be researching how to naturally get your inflammation reduced.
What Is Inflammation?
On the surface level inflammation is not a bad thing. In fact it’s a sign that the body is responding normally to certain stimuli. Injuries, infections, and wounds would not have the ability to heal themselves without the inflammatory response caused by the immune system. Inflammation is the body’s way to self protect, remove a dangerous substance, and begin the process of self healing. Most noticeable inflammatory responses are visible from external trauma. For the sake of the conversation I will focus on internal inflammation.
The Leaky Gut Once Again
Everyone with an autoimmune disease should know how significant gut health is in preventing inflammation. I have discussed leaky gut and gut health to the point that my own ears are tired of hearing about it. But I will do a quick rundown to show how it relates to chronic inflammation.
When certain foods and toxins increase the permeability of the gut lining, food particles enter into the bloodstream and the immune system views these particles as foreign invaders. This triggers the immune system to attack these foreign invaders. Proteins such as gluten and casein mimic human tissue. When the immune system is in a constant state of attack it becomes confused and attacks the human tissue thinking they are foreign invaders. This constant attack from the immune system causes inflammation in tissue and organs.
The Types Of Inflammation
When it comes to inflammation there are two different forms. We have acute and chronic inflammation. Autoimmune sufferers deal with chronic inflammation but it’s important to have understanding of both forms.
Acute inflammation starts rapidly and symptoms become severe in a short period of time. Also, symptoms are commonly only present for a few days with the potential of lasting for a few weeks. Bronchitis, cuts and scrapes, appendicitis, tonsillitis, and soar throats from a cold are a few examples of acute inflammation.
Chronic inflammation is a long term inflammatory response that can last for months and sometimes several years. This inflammatory response is triggered by failure to eliminate the root cause of acute inflammation, an autoimmune disorder that attacks healthy cells, and exposure to certain environmental factors.
The Issue With Chronic Inflammation
Long term inflammation has the potential to cause damaging and life threatening consequences to your health. Inflammation is the underlying cause for over 80 different autoimmune disorders that are affecting over 700 million people globally. Out of the 80 autoimmune diseases, 14 of them are the most common. That list includes: rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 and 2 diabetes, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, lupus, Addison’s Disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Grave’s Hasimoto’s, Sjögren’s Syndrome, Vasculitis, Pernicious Gnemia, celiac disease, and Myasthenia Gravis.
According to U.S. News Health Report, chronic inflammation is also triggered by being obese, not being physically active, or having high glucose levels. The chronic inflammation that fits within this category is closely linked to all stages of atherosclerosis, a disease that underlies heart attack, stroke, and peripheral artery disease.
Cancer has also been linked to chronic inflammation. A new study performed by scientists at MIT gave a comprehensive look at how the chronic inflammation of organs provokes tissues into becoming cancerous. MIT scientists made this statement concerning inflammation:
“When the body’s immune system detects pathogens or cell damage, it activates an influx of cells called macrophages and neutrophils. These cells’ job is to engulf bacteria, dead cells and debris: proteins, nucleic acids and other molecules released by dead or damaged cells. As part of this process, the cells produce highly reactive chemicals that help degrade the bacteria”.
“In doing this, in engulfing the bacteria and dumping these reactive chemicals on them, the chemicals also diffuse out into the tissue, and that’s where the problem comes in,” Dedon says.
“If sustained over a long period, that inflammation can eventually lead to cancer. A recent study published in the journal The Lancet found that infections account for about 16 percent of new cancer cases worldwide”.
Here is the link to read more about this study if you’re interested. https://www.google.com/amp/s/scitechdaily.com/how-chronic-inflammation-of-organs-can-become-cancerous/amp/
Interestingly enough, my man Tyler released a post this morning concerning inflammation that you should check out if you’re interested in learning more. http://www.tylerwhite.blog/inflammation-book-review/#comment-68.
The book titled ” The Inflamed Mind” by Edward Bullmore, the author gives us examples used to develop the theory that inflammation causes depression. And of course the medical world will not acknowledge this theory.
I agree with Edward Bullmore for this reason. It has been proven scientifically that chronic inflammation plays a huge role in Alzheimer’s and dementia which is why dementia falls under the autoimmune umbrella. According to the Mayo Clinic here are the psychological symptoms of Alzheimer’s: DEPRESSION, hallucination, or paranoia. So, here we see that chronic inflammation not only affects the physical body, it also affects our mood and psychological functioning. To relieve ourselves of chronic inflammation we must eat an anti-inflammatory diet. First lets get an idea of foods that cause inflammation. That list includes the following:
- Refined Carbohydrates- white bread, pastas, pastries, etc.
- Processed meats- hot dogs, sausage, bologna, etc.
- Soda and other sugary drinks
- Fast food
- Fried and greasy foods
- Margarine, shortening, and lard
It’s also highly important to note that an acidic diet leads to chronic inflammation and terrible health conditions. Animal proteins are highly acidic. Therefore its important to eat more plant based for the purpose of alkalizing the body. Now here’s a list of foods that have anti-inflammatory properties.
- Olive oil
- Green, leafy vegetables
- Fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and mango
- Omega 3
- Bok Choy
- Coconut Oil
- Chia Seeds
- Green Tea
- Raw Oats
- Red Peppers
- Black Beans
Inflammation is such a huge issue that I could go on forever. The best way to combat against inflammation is with a more plant based way of eating and exercise. Here are some warning signs to pay attention to that could suggest you have chronic inflammation.
- Joint Pain
- Abdominal Pain
- Chest pain
- Sleep troubles
- High blood glucose
- Acid reflux
- Weight gain around the waist
- Depression and Anxiety
- Headaches and migraines
- Lingering and unexplained pains
- Frequent cold and illness
- Gum disease
- Allergy symptoms