Creative Eldering: Taking The Inflammation Bull By The Horns
If you know or think you are suffering from inflammation, have hope! In my book YOUR BODY CAN TALK, second edition, there are over 100 natural, noninvasive self-care measures on pages 324 and 325 that you could explore to assist you in overcoming inflammation. You may also want to reference chapter 7 in YOUR AGING BODY CAN TALK, since the entire chapter is devoted to the topic of inflammation.
Why would you think that you are suffering from inflammation? What are the clues?
The classic signs of inflammation are:
- Heat or warmth
These basic indicators have been known since at least 30 BCE and were described in ancient Latin texts. Inflammation is the preliminary stage for many types of disorders, health conditions, and diseases, as well as digestive disorders of every type. This includes Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, gluten intolerance, and general nonspecific abdominal discomfort.
Most of these (and in fact, the majority of inflammatory conditions) are related to a digestive disorder called Leaky Gut Syndrome. If a person has this syndrome, the delicate lining of the intestinal tract has been damaged. Instead of working like a very fine filter filtering out pathogens and irritating substances, the damaged intestinal membrane works more like a funnel, allowing a chaotic free flow of inflammatory factors to gain access to your bloodstream and then to trigger the inflammatory process. A much more complete description of this process and the relationship of leaky gut syndrome to inflammation is found in Chapter 8 of YOUR BODY CAN TALK, second edition.
Respiratory problems including asthma, sinus problems, shortness of breath, frequently clearing the throat, and frequent coughing are also inflammatory conditions.
Inflammation of the brain is implicated in cases of autism, multiple sclerosis, confusion, dementia, depression, headaches, anxiety, insomnia, and even schizophrenia. Direct effects of inflammation on your skin. This can be in the form of acne, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, dry skin patches, various rashes, rosacea, and even hair loss.
Most autoimmune diseases can be traced back to chronic inflammation. If you or someone you know has any of the following disorders, be assured that they have a significant state of inflammation in their body: asthma, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes type II, fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, multiple sclerosis, multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS), osteoarthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis.
Did the inflammation cause the disorder, or did the disorder cause the inflammation? These are reasonable questions. The quagmire here is that the answer is yes and yes to both questions. The inflammation predicates the disorder and the disorder contributes to long-term inflammation.
If you want or need to diminish inflammation in your body the first consideration is to only feed and nourish your body with the highest-quality natural and organic, non-GMO pure foods, beverages, nutrients, and herbs that you can acquire. Avoiding all processed foods is a must. These foods often contain highly-processed- nutrient- poor ingredients. When you read a food label and it has either an acronym or a multi-syllable word rest assured that that is neither a natural nor a healthy component.
Milled flour, especially gluten-containing flower is also highly inflammatory for many people. Corn, whether whole corn or flour, is typically inflammatory and may be genetically modified
Typically, vegetable oils are heat processed and often refined with chemical solvents that may remain in the finished product. Regardless of that fact, the heat processing destroyed most of the nutritional value. This renders typical vegetable and cooking oils as toxins your body needs to eliminate rather than nutrients your body would like to absorb.
Alcohol, caffeine, all processed sugars, sodas, sweet sugary beverages, and food additives are all toxic, inflammatory, and hard for your body to manage. Leaving these out of your diet immediately relieves your body of inflammatory stressors.
When you redesign your shopping list please add an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, hopefully organic. When you include a variety of nature’s bounty on a rotating basis in your diet you will be pampering your body and diminishing the potential of increased inflammation.
Believe it or not, raw and natural nuts and seeds are anti-inflammatory. This can include walnuts, cashews, and almonds. On the other hand, roasted nuts are often packaged in a can or a bag and are very inflammatory since they contain some type of vegetable oil or other highly processed or heated fat laced with excessive salt and preservatives.
Amaranth and quinoa are small seeds that can be cooked like rice and are gluten-free and typically not inflammatory. Sesame seeds and flax seeds are wonderful anti-inflammatory condiments. You can soak them for several hours and then add them to smoothies, salads or main dishes. Or simply sprinkle them on top of many dishes.
The next step is to add as many varieties of fruits and vegetables as you possibly can. Remember to look for organic and non-GMO designations. These will be the highest-quality and the least potential for inflammation. Pesticides and herbicides are toxic chemicals meant to kill living beings and your body will find them to be both toxic and inflammatory. Remember to have a very colorful diet from the blue of your blueberries to the green of your kale and Swiss chard to the orange of your carrots, citrus and certain melons and squash. Each color carries specific phytonutrients that are quite nourishing and often help to quell inflammation.
In the kitchen you can add anti-inflammatory turmeric to many recipes. You may also want to check with your natural healthcare practitioner about specific herbs to incorporate into your health regimen as well as vitamins, minerals, other nutrients, and even essential oils. When you refer to page 324 in YOUR BODY CAN TALK, second edition you’ll find many specific anti-inflammation recommendations.
Do not be held prisoner by inflammation, you can find ways to overcome it! If you have an in-depth problem or actually have been diagnosed with one of the disorders mentioned above or another disorder that is of an inflammatory nature, you will be well advised to check in with your natural healthcare practitioner for guidance and to be sure that you are making choices that are compatible with your situation.
Best wishes for being more comfortable as you learn how to help diminish inflammation.