Balance Your Inflammation

Balance Your Inflammation

by staff writer Kathie Lowry

Inflammation has become such a dirty word in the health community that it may surprise some to be reminded that it is part of a normal immune response.

Acute inflammation is part of the body’s first line of defense, when the immune system gets help—like white blood cells—to an injury site. This acute response is aimed at getting rid of whatever is causing the injury. Think acute care center, a place to manage injuries and other immediate health interruptions and quickly get the person back to everyday life.

When inflammation continues, it is a chronic condition, meaning it stays around after the injury has been dealt with. Think Thanksgiving guests that stay until New Year’s Day.

So what’s the difference and why do we care whether we are experiencing acute or chronic inflammation?

The basics are thus: our body needs acute inflammation to get well; our body is harmed by chronic inflammation as it stays long after it is wanted and may not even start with tissue trauma.

The bottom line is that we need inflammation, so eliminating it altogether is not an option.

We also need the end of inflammation, so supporting a balanced inflammatory response is what we are after.

What can we do to keep a balanced inflammatory response?

 

Activity

  • Just 20 minutes of moderate exercise can decrease inflammatory responses
  • Prayer/Meditation can dampen or deactivate genes associated with inflammation

Foods

Do Eat:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Water (Purified is great)
  • Beans & Legumes
  • Healthy Fats
  • Antioxidant-rich Herbs & Spices
  • Protein
  • Herbal Tea
  • Fresh Fruit & Veggie Juices

Do Not Eat:

  • Sugar
  • Saturated and Trans- Fats
  • High Omega 6 Oils (we’ll talk more about this later)
  • Refined Carbohydrates such as white flour
  • MSG
  • Alcohol
  • Other common triggers include:
    • Gluten
    • Casein
    • Aspartame

Supplements

    • Omega 3
      • Omega 3 is necessary for the subsiding of the inflammatory response while Omega 6 is necessary for the inducing of it. The American diet contains plenty of Omega 6, so much so that there is usually an imbalance between Omega oils in the body. Getting extra Omega 3 can help put the omega oils and the inflammatory response back into balance.
    • Curcumin
      • Especially useful in chronic pain.
      • Curcumin comes from plants in the Curcuma family, especially turmeric. Yet, turmeric has only about 5% curcumin, so if you want to take a supplement for inflammation, make sure to look for curcumin, not just turmeric.
  • Boswellia
    • Frankincense is from the resin of the boswellia tree.
    • Frankincense is especially useful for joint inflammation & pain.
    • Boswellia itself is also powerfully useful for inflammation & pain.
  • White Willow Bark with caution
    • Commonly used when pain is present.
    • Not for children as we don't know if it can cause Reyes Syndrome like aspirin, which originated as an extract of willow bark.
    • Check to see if you are in one of the categories of people who should not use willow bark.
  • Cayenne
    • A stimulant that can help move blood through tissue, recommended by Dr. Christopher for tissue trauma.

Which kind of inflammation is it?

Acute inflammation symptoms or signs:

  • pain
  • redness
  • swelling
  • immobility
  • heat (the affected area feeling warm to the touch)

Chronic inflammation symptoms or signs:

  • fatigue
  • mouth sores
  • chest pain
  • abdominal pain
  • fever
  • rash
  • joint pain

 

For the following articles and studies, I have noted which part of the information I found useful, but each article and study has much more information.
All links accessed June 15, 2022.

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/248423#causes List of symptoms, plus other information

https://draxe.com/health/inflammation-at-the-root-of-most-diseases/ Helpful for what to eat and not to eat

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19394939/  Information about omega 3 from fish oil

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0889159116305645 Inflammation & Exercise

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2137595-mindfulness-and-meditation-dampen-down-inflammation-genes/ Mindfulness and meditation and inflammation genes

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/why-people-who-pray-are-heathier_b_1197313 Collection of studies about prayer and/or meditation

https://www.herballegacy.com/Cayenne.html Dr. Christopher on Cayenne