These days, we are faced with constant threats from our environment that our immune systems must be on red alert for.
As industrialization took hold, we faced new threats to our immune health such as:
- outdoor and indoor air pollution
- endocrine disruptors and environmental chemicals
- less daily activity
- nutrient-poor foods
- sleep deprivation and artificial lighting
- chronic stress
- excess omega–6 fats and not enough omega-3s
- fast foods
Our ancestors battled bacteria, viruses and parasites on a regular basis. The side effect of that constant battle was acute inflammation with the classic signs of heat, redness, swelling, pain and loss of function. These are healthy signs of inflammation caused by the immune system’s attempt to fight off the invader -whether that “invader” is a species of bacteria or a simple injury. All this fighting takes energy, so classical inflammation increases metabolism.
This type of classic inflammation last for a few days or weeks at most and modern medicine offers valuable tools that help to control this type of inflammation if it lasts too long. Antibiotics are used to kill off bacteria, vaccines can protect us from viruses and surgery can remove severely infected areas such as an appendicitis.
Acute inflammation was the only type of inflammation recognized for thousands of year. Then researchers and doctors began noticing a different type of inflammation; low-level, chronic, and systemic.
They called this new type of inflammation chronic or “cold” inflammation because it did not have the typical hallmarks of acute inflammation. There was no heat, redness, swelling, pain, or loss of function.
What’s more, this type of inflammation is linked to metabolic dysfunction. Rather than speeding up metabolism as acute inflammation does, it actually decreases it.
Acute inflammation increases inflammatory markers over a hundred-fold while chronic inflammation increases inflammatory markers two to four-fold. Instead of a short, vicious, site-specific burst of fighting as in classical inflammation, chronic inflammation involves a long, relatively mild, system grind.
The difference between the two can be explained like this: one is an explosion while the other is a smoldering fire. Chronic inflammation occurs when the body’s immune system gets fired up and stays fired up over time, attacking healthy tissue alongside unhealthy tissue.
Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, typically will not produce symptoms until actual loss of function occurs. This is because chronic inflammation is low-grade and systemic, silently damaging tissues over an extended period of time. This dangerous, hidden process can go on unnoticed for years until disease suddenly sets in.
Since chronic inflammation tends to be “silent,”how can you determine if inflammation is brewing in your body?
Clinical tests used in allopathic medicine include:
• C-Reactive Protein (CRP) test, which measures a protein found in your body that signals responses to any forms of inflammation
• ESR (sed rate) test, which checks for non-specific indicators of inflammation
You can also use your fasting blood insulin level to gauge inflammation. Although this test is typically used to screen for diabetes, it’s also a marker for inflammation. Typically the higher your fasting insulin levels are, the higher your levels of inflammation tend to be.
The enemy of chronic inflammation: is a process at the core of the body’s most basic survival instincts but is now believed to be at the heart of hundreds of deadly diseases. What’s even worse – your body may already be under fire from inflammation caused by a no proper exercise lifestyle, poor diet and stress. Inflammation can operate in stealth mode for years. When symptoms do finally become apparent, it’s usually in the form of diabetes, heart disease, cancer osteoarthritis or other inflammation related diseases.
The good news is chronic inflammation is a problem you can take action to both prevent and fix.
The number one and number two top tools to fight this villain is getting started on a proper exercise program supported by a healthy eating plan (ie not processed foods) and the easiest way to ensure your diet is as anti-inflammatory as possible is to simply eat REAL FOOD.
Avoiding processed foods, which are high in inflammatory ingredients such as refined sugars and processed fats like trans fats and vegetable oils and getting regular movement and exercise are two of the most potent ways to help normalize your insulin levels and avoid insulin resistance.
Diet accounts for about 80 percent of the health benefits you reap from a healthy lifestyle, and keeping inflammation in check is a major part of these benefits. It’s important to realize that dietary components can either trigger or prevent inflammation from taking root in your body.
Chronic inflammation is a serious condition that can cause the most serious illness -heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer.
What causes your body’s inflammatory cells to stay in attack mode is usually something small that irritates your immune system every day, but not enough to cause an immediate sickness or reaction: eating a food that you’re sensitive to, too much stress, too little (or too much) exercise, or a mild infection like a decayed tooth. And while the condition is more likely to befall sedentary people, it can also strike healthy people who eat right and go to the gym.
One thing all the experts agree on: Being sedentary cause’s inflammation. Multiple studies have shown that consistent, proper exercise decreases inflammatory chemicals.
Remember, the little things you do on a day to day basis, such as the foods you choose, can improve your health in a profound ways. Sometimes the smallest of things can result in the largest of benefits.
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Your paleo friendly, mostly raw, no sugar, no bake, no gluten source for delicious dessert and treat recipes!
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