Medically, inflammation is diagnosed as a “problem” that needs to be solved. If you deal with inflammation, you might experience symptoms such as swelling pain, heat, and flushed skin. Within the allopathic (conventional) medicine community, inflammation is seen as a negative thing that requires treatment.
The allopathic belief is that “inflammation is the cause of disease” and has even stated that inflammation is the cause of major degenerative diseases like diabetes, cancer, and even Alzheimer’s.
Within the allopathic medical community, inflammation is usually treated with certain forms of medication, surgery, rest and elevation compression, and ice.
The problem here is that they are trying to do everything possible to stop inflammation, instead of getting to the bottom of why it occurs in the first place.
What is Inflammation, Actually?
To break it down simply, inflammation is how our body responds to stressor or irritants. It’s actually a sign that our body is doing the right thing at the right time.
For example- take a callus on a hand. If there is stress or extreme friction, a callus is formed because it’s our body’s way to respond.
The problem is not inflammation itself, it’s actually a symptom or a signal that the body is trying to protect itself. So, how do we get rid of this? By reducing or removing stress!
Inflammation is Not the Problem
Inflammation is the body’s way of responding to a stressor in the body. Our body is always doing the right thing at the right time and inflammation is a perfect example of this.
To treat inflammation, we must first discover what the stressor is and treat that, instead of focusing only on inflammation.
The 5 most common stressors that cause inflammation are:
- SAD (Standard American Diet)
- Lack of Exercise
- Unhealthy Mindset
- Misaligned Spine
- Toxic Exposure
What Can Chronic Inflammation Look Like?
Dealing with these stressors could be the cause of chronic inflammation. Chronic Inflammation refers to persistent and prolonged inflammation that persists in the body. Let’s look at some of the signals of chronic inflammation:
- Pain – Chronic, long-term pain
- Fatigue – Tiredness that doesn’t go away within a few days
- Insomnia – Trouble falling or staying asleep most nights
- Weight gain
- Anxiety and Depression
- GI Issues – Diarrhea, constipation, bloating, gas, etc
Stressors and How to Deal With Them
Inflammatory SAD Diet
The Standard American Diet (SAD) is one of the biggest stressors that can cause inflammation. Many Americans put much more focus on the fastest option rather than the healthiest.
Foods with added sugar and saturated fats contribute to empty calories, which results in many calories being consumed, but never feeling full or satisfied. Portion sizes are also another cause for Americans consuming more calories per day than in the past. Also, our diet is high in energy-dense foods but physical activity levels have decreased which has led to about 71% of Americans being overweight or obese.
So what can we do about all this?
Focus on consuming anti-inflammatory food that naturally reduces the stressors on our body like:
- Healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, avocados, and nuts and seeds
- Antioxidant-rich foods like berries, kale, carrots, and broccoli
- Leafy greens like collard greens, spinach, cabbage, romaine lettuce, etc.
By incorporating these kinds of foods into your diet on a regular basis, you can begin to reduce inflammation and heal your body.
Lack of Exercise
A sedentary lifestyle can play a huge role in contributing to chronic inflammation. When you live a physically inactive lifestyle, your body experiences negative effects like an increase in visceral fat. Visceral fat is the fat around the waistline and internal organs, and it’s been closely associated with chronic inflammation and fatigue.
A simple way to correct this is to participate in regular exercise to reduce stressors linked to inflammation. Increasing your daily physical activity will not only reduce inflammation but will result in overall improvement of physical and mental well-being.
Mindset stressors like anxiety and depression can be major stressors that lead to inflammation.
The solution? Instead of stress management, focus on peace management instead. Participate in activities that bring you peace like spending time with positive influences, prayer, meditation, family time, reading, etc. Try to listen to what your body needs and focus on what brings you peace for a healthier lifestyle.
Subluxation, an imbalance or misalignment of the spine, is a stressor for inflammation. Subluxation will lead to degeneration in virtually every part of the body depending on where on the spine it is occurring.
What can you do about this? Spinal alignment through chiropractic adjustments will correct subluxation, and in turn, will reduce inflammation and promote overall immune health and function.
Toxic exposure is another stressor that can result in chronic inflammation. In our world, we are constantly exposed to countless chemicals and toxins in our everyday lives. Whether it’s in our homes, the environment, or even our workplaces, toxins can be found just about anywhere.
To minimize the impact of toxins on our bodies, it’s important to be aware of their presence in our surroundings. You can take steps like opting for BPA-free plastic alternatives, choosing natural and organic personal care products, and reducing exposure to pesticides by opting for organic food options whenever you can.
Dealing with chronic inflammation can be frustrating and debilitating, but there are lots of action steps you can take to treat it. Remember that getting to the root of the problem is key.
Schedule an appointment with us today and let’s discuss your options and set you up a personalized treatment plan and get you back on track to a healthy lifestyle!