Inflammation – why is it important to the body?
Last Update: February 20, 2019 at 11:07 am
Date: February 20, 2019
Source: News for the Soul
Inflammation – why is it important to the body?
by Dr Holly, heard Wednesdays at Noon Pacific time on News for the Soul
TODAY: Inflammation & Why It’s Important to the Body…
Wednesdays at NOON PST / 3PM EST – The Whole Health Initiative with Dr Holly – An NFTS Global Luminary broadcasting from Canada since March 2014 – Dr Holly is a Doctor of Natural Medicine, a scientist, a professional speaker, an author of Cancer: Why what you don’t know about your treatment could harm you and 12 other books and a practitioner. As a Doctor of Natural Medicine with 7 degrees & 3 designations in a wide range of healing modalities and 20 years experience, she can assist you in identifying and understanding your path to health. She can identify your underlying life themes, coping mechanisms, value systems and defense mechanisms to understanding the physiology and biochemistry and energy patterns of your body. She has a mobile health clinic that comes to your door and can assess 1000s of variables in front of you AND create a protocol unique to you. In addition, she provides consultation for physicians and clients around the world.
Like with so many issues that concern our health, people go overboard in generalizations. For instance, at one point the medical sciences claimed that all fats were bad – but as in REAL medicine, we have said all long, there are good fats and there are bad fats.
When it comes to cholesterol, Western Conventional Medicine, said that high levels of cholesterol was bad for us. At first it was just the LDLs, then it became the ratios, now we know that some of the quote “bad” cholesterols are more important to our health than some of the quote “good” cholesterols. And in fact some of the “good” cholesterols are very bad for us. And we also now know that the cholesterols are the firemen attending the fire – NOT creating the fire!!
We have to be careful when we say that all free radicals are bad – they are not. Some of them kill off the pathogenic guys we need to eliminate. It is when we have an over abundance of free radicals, and insufficient anti-oxidants, that we have a problem.
We could go on, but you get the drift. When it comes to inflammation, we have a similar same issue. Our bodies need inflammation. The inflammatory process is the predecessor to the anti-inflammatory process. It is all part of the complicated system known as the Immune System.
The initial inflammatory process causes symptoms like swelling and redness, usually warmth and if significant, pain. It is the body’s response to injury or trauma or infection. It is a process that involves sending out messengers or mediators, like cytokines or chemokines, throughout the body saying we need help.
These messengers tell the body to send in the required troops for healing. This inflammaotry process requires opening up blood vessels so that the troops can deliver the nutrients, compounds and cells that are required to do the healing. This is a very intricate process requiring numerous steps. The steps are different depending on what is causing the issue. For instance, it would be a very different process if the inflammation was caused by an infection versus if it was caused by an injury.
Let’s make a note here. Even just laying down on your bed and breathing, causes breakages in the smallest of the arteries, called the arterioles. The body has to go through the inflammatory process and then the anti-inflammatory process to heal or repair that arteriole. Now imagine, you are up and moving about going through your daily routine, how many more breakages are you incurring. The body is designed to deal with these breakages on an ongoing basis.
When we get a significant call to the immune system to deal with an infection or an injury, we are just adding another layer, if you will, to the body’s demands.
So back to our story. Now, the anti-inflammatory process kicks in. It is involved in cleaning out the pathogenic material and debris or by-products from the or healing process. Depending on the amount of blood leakage and excess healing by-product, we will see resulting bruising, until the body is able to clean away all the excess. We will also now need a number of different types of anti-oxidants to clean out the excess free radicals.
So, if inflammation is such an important part of healing why all the uproar about inflammation being the silent killer or the cause of so many diseases, dysfunctions, etc.
Well, the answer is simple. If the healing process doesn’t finish or come to completion effectively, then we end up with chronic inflammation.
Let’s tell another story about the body, so we can get the drift. Let’s use the adrenals as an analogy to this. We want the adrenals, our stress glands if you will, to respond when we are in stress. That’s a very good thing. We start with the hyper adrenal activity, pumping out the cortisol and other compounds to deal with the stress. A good response to stress. However, when the stress process is prolonged or chronic the adrenals like it is in our general society today, then we end up with various issues. It affects the production of hormones; the production of neurotransmitters; the ability for the liver to convert the thyroid T4 into T3; the ability to regulate blood sugar levels; etc. etc.
Eventually the adrenals give out and say, “enough is enough”. Now we have hypo-adrenal or adrenal fatigue. This new dysfunction then compromises even more systems in the body as the body struggles to continue on.
Another analogy could be the pancreas and insulin issues. When we eat an excess of sugars or, foods that the body turns into sugars, we start with gut issues, then liver issues, then adrenal issues. As this process continues, the pancreas continues to pump out more and more insulin; then the insulin receptors stop responding; the pancreas pumps out even more to compensate. Then the pancreas gives up and says, ‘no more’ and we now have type 2 diabetes.
In each case, the body struggles to do what it needs to do; systems are compromised; nutrients are depleted; until the body just can’t do it anymore and another system(s) gets compromised. The same occurs when the body struggles to complete the healing or inflammatory process. When it cannot complete the job, either any component of the inflammatory process or any component of the anti-inflammatory process due to excess toxicity, or lack of nutrient, or we keep pushing the body rather than allowing it to heal, i.e., going back to work or working out or even just walking, before the healing is done; we set the body up for chronic inflammatory issues.
When we have chronic inflammation, whether it be recognized or subclinical, which we are usually not aware of, then the body has to keep pumping out messengers, sending in more inflammatory and anti-inflammatory troops, continue to remove the ongoing excess by-products, etc. This wears down the body as more and more systems continue to be compromised. If there is pain associated with it, it is even more wearing to us. However, even when the inflammation is subclinical and you are not aware of it, it is damaging to the body and the systems eventually wear down and give up.
Along the way, we have compromised nutrients, organs and systems and may not even be aware of it.
What is the solution?
Make sure your diet has a good supply of Omega 3s – the anti-oxidant compounds. Again like any other category of nutrient, there are a variety of different Omega 3s, the three main categories are:
- Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) – essential, meaning we have to get it from our food
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (DNA)
So, you want to get a broad spectrum. Eating foods like:
- Cold water fatty fish – trout, mackerel, herring, oysters, sardines, no longer suggest salmon
- Dark chocolate
- Fish oils – cod liver oil, krill
- Kidney beans
- Nuts and seeds – flaxseed, hemp seed, chia seed, walnuts, almonds
- Plant oils – avocado oil, coconut oil, hemp oil and cod liver oil
- Seaweed and algae
Also, it is good to note, Omega 3 fatty acids are not just used for the anti-inflammatory processes, they are incredibly important to brain function (70% of the brain is made up fats); cardiovascular system (heart and blood vessels), eyes, lungs, hormonal system, immune system (preventing autoimmune diseases), metabolic system (preventing diabetes and other issues), neurological system (mood disorders, dementias, cognitive disorders), respiratory system (from wheezing to asthma to shortness of breath).
So as always, choose to eat a healthy diet. As we all know, preventative medicine is a lot cheaper and easier than reactive medicine.