Inflammation is the body’s attempt to heal and protect itself.  The goal is to remove damaged cells, irritants, or invading pathogens.  Inflammation does not always mean infection but infection caused by a virus, fungus, or bacterium does cause inflammation.  Acute inflammation helps wounds heal.  That’s a good thing!  Chronic inflammation is the smouldering fire that damages tissues; it results from the failure to eliminate the cause of the acute inflammation.  Understanding how chronic inflammation can impact your life is a smart first step to LIVING YOUNGER.  Here are some examples of conditions with chronic inflammation:

  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Obesity
  • Heart Disease
  • Periodontal Disease
  • Chronic Sinusitis
  • Migraine Headaches
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Asthma
  • Many more!

The level of chronic inflammation can be measured several ways.  Here are three numbers to know:  

  • hsCRP:  This is “high sensitivity C-Reactive Protein” and is typically used to assess the risk of a cardiovascular event – either heart attack or stroke.  It is a blood test and though it can tell the doctor that there is inflammation, it cannot tell where the inflammation is precisely.  Chronic Gum Disease can cause an elevated hsCRP.
  • SED Rate:  The Sedimentation Blood Test is a measure of how fast red blood cells settle in a test tube over a given amount of time.  It helps doctors monitor the progression of an inflammatory disease.  Like hsCRP, it can’t pinpoint the cause.  
  • Elevated Blood Glucose:  High blood glucose increases chronic inflammation and chronic inflammation elevates blood glucose.  It’s a vicious cycle but it can be modified by lifestyle!

Local physicians refer patients to me who have persistent high inflammatory indexes.  Periodontal disease is an all-too-common chronic inflammatory disease that can increase the body’s total inflammatory load.  Failing root canals and cysts in the jaw also contribute to this dangerous chronic inflammatory load.  The solution is often much simpler than we ever could have imagined!

START SOMEWHERE today incorporating anti-inflammatory strategies into your life.  Eventually, chronic inflammation will rob you of freedom, time, and pain-free movement.  The prescription drugs that are routinely used to treat inflammatory lifestyle conditions have their own set of side effects that can also steal joy from your life.  Simple changes can yield big results.  LIVE YOUNGER starting today by changing just one thing:

  1. Start moving!  We were designed for movement.  Studies show that people who are physically active have fewer aches and pains.  It enhances energy and mental ability.  
  2. Have a sleep strategy.  Sleep loss increases inflammation.  Click here for a common sense list of START SOMEWHERE strategies that you can incorporate today.  
  3. Decrease sugar.  It doesn’t mean you can never again have your favorite dessert.  But, sugar is hiding in most processed foods and absolutely will rob you of vitality.
  4. Intentionally eat raw vegetables.  It sounds boring until you actually start doing it and see the amazing results.  I now crave raw veggies!  That would have sounded crazy to me a few years ago.  Cut up two cups of your favorite vegetables each morning (or the night before) and commit to eating them before 3:00.  Give it two weeks, and let me know how you feel!
  5. Take a multi-strain, pharmaceutical-grade digestive probiotic.  Remember, health starts in the gut — physical and mental health. That’s where the majority of your immunity originates and the site of much of the serotonin (the mood hormone) production.  
  6. Open wide.  Find a prevention-oriented dentist who will help you address bleeding gums, failing root canals and any other oral problems that can pull you down.

There are many more strategies for dealing with chronic inflammation. I’ve really just skimmed the surface.  Understanding chronic inflammation is essential if you want to live your life to the fullest.  Today is the best day to START SOMEWHERE!   

Understanding Chronic Inflammation

Understanding Chronic Inflammation