Inflammation and Detox
Have you ever considered detoxing to reduce inflammation? A good detox program’s main goal will be to reduce inflammation. When I was doing the research for my own program, I found that inflammation was the driving force before behind every condition before we got to the organs or systems affected. In fact, the very first protocol in my program is to reduce inflammation and the drivers that are behind it.
Now detox may get a bad rap, but inflammation does not get a bad enough one. The word inflammation is often thrown about as a bit of a side issue, but this little word has an enormous impact on your health. It is often the driver behind so many different conditions that you may be surprised.
Conditions such as:
Pain and Joint stiffness – inflammation increases the inflammatory response pathways, leading to fluid build-up, redness and swelling causing pain and stiffness.
Cardiovascular health – inflammation is a driver of atherosclerosis and impacts on your ability to produce Nitric Oxide. (Needed for stable blood pressure).
Hormonal Health – inflammation can affect your reproductive hormones and interfere with fertility and sperm quality.
Endocrine Health – inflammation can affect your thyroid hormones which can lead to metabolism dysregulation or even autoimmune conditions of the thyroid.
Auto-Immune Health – it is well known the inflammation is one of the key drivers behind auto immune conditions.
Digestive Health – inflammation is often the causal reason behind gut conditions like leaky gut or dysbiosis. It can also impact on food sensitivities.
I could keep listing all the conditions which just about covers every organ and system in the body including the bowels, kidneys, skin, hayfever, chemical sensitivities, migraines, headaches, anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, asthma, allergies and so on.
But what actually is inflammation?
It is a response from the body to fight off illness and to limit further damage or harm. It is a necessary response as it is part of the healing process. This response will activate when the tissues are exposed to viruses, bacteria’s, chemicals, toxins, trauma, heat, and many other causes. When this damage happens, the cells release a range of chemical messengers including histamine, bradykinin and prostaglandins. These guys are inflammatory, and they rush to help fight off the intruder or heal the damage.
So why does inflammation keep happening even though you are not sick?
Well, you may see the word toxins above and that is a huge word. We are constantly exposed to so many different toxins from so many different areas and this constant exposure keeps that inflammatory response going. When the body cannot keep up with its natural ability to detox then it becomes exhausted and inflammation takes over.
So, what needs to be done about inflammation?
Good question, but first you need to find the drivers that affect you personally. Each person will have different reasons for increased inflammation and those drivers are what needs to be addressed first. This is where a holistic approach to health care can be of great benefit because we do not just treat your symptoms (of inflammation), we look for the reason or the root cause of these drivers of inflammation and try to reduce them.
What can I do to help reduce inflammation?
There are are a number of ways to help yourself to reduce inflammation and these include:
- Reduce your stress levels – practice mindfulness, yoga or meditation
- Get adequate sleep and good quality sleep
- Do some gentle exercise or just get out into nature
- Reduce weight if you need to.
- Get adequate hydration (water helps to flush out the toxins)
- Eat a well balanced diet that has plenty of antioxidants in the form of vegetables and fruits. (see below)
Here are 4 Dietary things you can do to help reduce inflammation:
- Polyphenols – Polyphenols may help to control oxidative stress and the inflammatory response .Polyphenols are found in dark chocolate, berries, apples, grapes, and oats. Curcumin is effective in treating chronic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.
- Fiber – Fiber lowers C-reactive protein (CRP), a substance in the blood that indicates inflammation. It modulates the gut microbiome to create a healthy intestinal environment, which helps to prevent inflammation. Fiber should be consumed daily from fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. Soluble fiber in oats, sweet potato, Brussels sprouts, and oranges generates short-chain fatty acids which have anti-inflammatory effects.
- Antioxidants – Essential fat-soluble antioxidants like vitamin A and vitamin E support various cellular functions of our immune system, reduce oxidative stress in cells, and are useful in the treatment of inflammatory diseases. Vitamin A sources are sweet potato, carrots, and salmon, and Vitamin E sources come from healthy oils, nuts, and seeds.
- Omega-3 Fats – Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the production of inflammatory mediators. Omega-3 metabolites act as strong anti-inflammatory agents. Omega-3 fats are found in salmon, oily fish, nuts, and seeds.
So if you are in need of help with inflammation and need to identify your drivers, book in for a discovery call to see if I can help.
This article was authored by Jan Caton BHSc-Nat. Naturopath and Owner of Magnolia Apothecary and Owner of The Conscious Spender. Jan practices in both Mt Evelyn and Kilsyth South.