Inflammation is a common factor in most every disease that afflicts us. Yes, cancer is considered inflammatory as well as allergies, arthritis, alzheimer's, diabetes, colitis, heart disease, infections, vaginitis, etc, etc, etc. Problems really begin to surface when the inflammation becomes chronic, in other words, constant.
I actually experienced chronic inflammation first hand a few years ago. I had been suffering from severe ankle pain which I was told by the mainstream medical community was arthritis. I was in my early 50's and couldn't believe that I had arthritis. The thought of having to take anti-inflammatory medicine and pain killers for the rest of my life wasn't something I was looking forward to. Heck, the way I was feeling, I would be wheel chair bound by the time I was 60 so my future was looking rather bleak. As my doctor told me "welcome to old age", I knew at that moment that aging for me was not going to be taken lightly.
Being the bull-headed detective that I am, I went on my usual quest for answers. That is when I discovered Caroline Sutherland, best selling author of the book "The Body Knows". It was Caroline who diagnosed me with my allergy to wheat. It was at that point in my life that I also realized how much trouble I was really in and it didn't have anything to do with arthritis.
That's right. My arthritic problem had nothing to do with aging as I was led to believe and everything to do with a wheat allergy. Can you imagine the disbelief when I woke up three days after ceasing my consumption of wheat, pain free. I was shocked and yes, I knew I was in really big trouble because I knew at that point that my days of dealing with mainstream medicine in the United States of America were over.
It turns out that inflammation is our body's response to injury. I wondered how wheat could be injurious to my system. It didn't make any sense. I later learned that it is the good old American diet that causes most of the inflammation because wheat (in my case) is used as a filler in so many products that my system became overloaded. Wheat is so processed that the nutritional content of the wheat I was consuming was null and void, zero, zip, zilch, non-existent. The wheat I was consuming was slowly killing me.
Oh sure, I can become inflamed if I am stung by a bee but that is short lived. The chronic inflammation that I was learning about that was causing my arthritis was the result of the American diet that is full of processed sugar and white flour and severely lacking in nutrient rich foods. You know the one's I am referring to, those refined carbohydrates that everyone tries to sell you no matter where you turn.
Boy did I get an education. I found out that those refined carbs are poisonous to our systems and have an inflammatory effect on our body. I was stunned to find out that American's consume more than 160 pounds of sugar a year and approximately 200 pounds of white flour a year. Can you imagine that. OMG, this was big. Turns out that sugar and processed white flour increase our blood sugar which in turn generates pro-inflammatory chemicals in our body. No wonder I was in such pain. I was eating refined carbs on a daily basis. What did I know. I thought bread and pasta were good for you.
I kept investigating and found out that:
1. sugars react to proteins in an inflammatory way and that is not a good thing.
2. processed foods as well as dairy products and most meats keep our systems very acidic which further adds to a chronic inflammatory state.
3. many fats and oils are inflammatory because they are high in omega 6 fatty acids which are pro-inflammatory.
4. Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory but we are consuming 20 to 30 times more Omega-6's so we are totally out of balance and highly inflammatory as a result.
5. it is guesstimated that 50% of the population is allergic to dairy products, hence more inflammation. Why didn't anyone tell us that milk was intended for baby cows?
6. colds and infections contribute to inflammation as they trigger an inflammatory process necessary to destroy the intruders. Experiencing one cold after the other can therefore be considered chronic inflammation.
7. fat cells are a contributor to chronic inflammation. Fat cells produce a lot of inflammation, hence the reason why over weight individuals are more likely to experience chronic illness.
8. stress and lack of sleep also contribute to chronic inflammation by producing inflammatory chemicals in our systems.
My days of chronic inflammation are behind me. I have lost weight using hCG (a story for another day). I have had my hormones balanced. I have taken charge of the food that I put in my mouth and mostly purchase only organic foods. I have started going to bed at 9:30pm and getting up @ 5:30am. By the time 7:00am rolls around, I have exercised and meditated and I'm ready to begin my day. I feel fantastic.
By Donna Appel Health Style Counselor / Coach
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