One simple thing you can do to protect your long term healthMay 31, 2021
What is the one symptom that has been implicated in just about all chronic disease?
Sometimes you might hear it referred to as the "root cause" of disease...well that's not quite true because inflammation is a symptom, albeit an often invisible one, not the start of the problem.
We need to take a step back...what causes inflammation? Before we do that let me just define what inflammation is:
Acute inflammation is your immune system's normal reaction to a wound or infection. The body releases antibodies, proteins and increases blood flow into the area which we may experience as swelling and even heat.
Chronic inflammation is when this process doesn't switch off - the immune system just keeps going. This can lead to tissue and organ damage. Research is linking chronic inflammation a wide array of diseases, including autoimmune disorders, asthma and even cancer.
There are many causes of chronic inflammation and the big ones are:
1) an inflammatory diet high in sugar, processed food, wheat, dairy, refined vegetable oils and conventionally raised meat...oh dear! That's basically the Western Diet
2) un-managed stress
3) we are literally awash with synthetic chemicals in food, toiletries, cleaning products and medications
6) poor digestion and gut health
The sad thing is these are ALL behaviours we choose to participate in. In fact, in an article published in The Lancet, a medical journal, more than 70% of deaths are due to diet and lifestyle choices. That's mind-blowing, but its also good news - it means we can make better choices and live better, for longer.
Sadly, instead of embarking on making some of these diet and lifestyle changes over time, most people are trying to manage the inflammation with more synthetic medications.
But remember inflammation is a symptom not a root cause - approaching inflammation this way is like walking around with a nail in your foot and putting a bandage on it.....wouldn't it be better to remove the nail?
That's what Preventative or Lifestyle Medicine is all about.
Let look at 2 of the common drug treatments for inflammation:
1) Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) - things like ibuprofen, readily available at the supermarket, or on prescription if you are given the mega-hitters. They are well known for their long term side effects - peptic ulcers, other digestive disorders and kidney disease. Since poor gut health is closely linked with inflammation, it doesn't make sense to be using these long term - a short term gain, yes but a long term problem.
2) Steroids - another common anti-inflammatory and immune suppressant used to try and turn off the over-active immune system, which can be useful in the case of tissue damage from autoimmune disease. However, once again we see long term problems including vision problems, high blood pressure and osteoporosis from steroid use.
Remember- these are still only treating the symptom. How about we start treating the root cause?
Start by cutting out all the behaviours listed above, just one a month if that list seems overwhelming. Incidentally, this is when recruiting the services of a Health Coach can be invaluable for prioritising the changes you want to make, holding you accountable and keeping you on track to reach your health goals.
Switching to a nutrient-dense diet, high in anti-inflammatory foods such as fish, pasture-fed meats, tons of vegetable and fruits will make a huge impact - I have seen it work over and over in clients who switch to eating this way.
If all you can commit to right now is to ditch the NSAIDs and steroids then I have a powerful natural suggestion - one I continue to use daily as a preventative, even though my autoimmune disease is now at bay:
4 essential oils in a capsule every day. I chose these for:
- their immune regulating properties
- their stress reducing properties (at a cellular level) and
- their anti-inflammatory properties
You can also apply them topically to areas of pain for effective, soothing relief. The oils are:
- On Guard - the protective blend
With natural anti-inflammatories there are no side effects - giving relief AND allowing your digestive system space to heal so the problem of inflammation doesn't get worse over the long term.
Send me an email ([email protected]) for more information on these and I can also help you to get them for a discount.
To learn more about the natural way I reversed my autoimmune disease by focusing on inflammation and gut health, check out my FREE mini-course: Get your FREE mini-course here
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