Chronic inflammation could be described as today’s plague. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has acknowledged that chronic diseases are by far the leading cause of mortality in the world – and the best way to address the health risks of chronic disease is to reduce chronic inflammation.
This silent ‘killer’ isn’t always obvious because often people don’t even know they’re suffering from inflammation.
Increasingly high stress levels, over-medicated lifestyles, poor gut health and an over-reliance on processed, chemically enhanced foods are some of the contributors to chronic inflammation. It can go undetected for years before manifesting as a chronic disease or condition. Heart disease, Peripheral Neuropathy, Diabetes, Cancer, Alzheimer’s, Thyroid issues, Strokes, Auto Immune conditions, premature aging, extreme fatigue and dental issues are all attributed to inflammation and could be not only prevented but also cured through health optimizing.
The majority of inflammatory disease starts in the gut with an immune reaction which then progresses into systematic inflammation. Gut health is often overlooked but is such an integral part of the puzzle. New research is revealing that the health of the brain is, to an extraordinary degree, dictated by the state of the microbiome in the gut.
Effective management of any disease requires focusing on the core of the issue and where it started. With inflammation, astoundingly, this often can go back as far as 20-40 years.
Chronic inflammation triggers and how to combat them
Diet and food
The typical Western diet is the number one cause of premature death and it is also the number one cause of disability and dysfunction.
Sugar in the diet – especially added sucrose, fructose and glucose – can lead to increased levels of inflammation. The incidence of Insulin Resistance and Diabetes has increased as sugar has often been added to the prepared foods we buy. The safest way to avoid excess sugar is to prepare, from scratch, most of the food you eat. If it is pre-made, your food probably contains preservatives, bad fats or sugar to make it taste good. It’s important to read all food labels and also to at least drastically cut down if not remove all sugar (refined sugar, honey and agave) from one’s diet.
Dairy – Contains A1 Casein which, when not broken down correctly has the ability to cross the blood brain barrier and in certain individuals leads to fogginess, mood changes and even depression. Dairy also has naturally occurring growth hormones needed to assist in the growth of, for example, baby cows. It is important to avoid dairy as much as possible.
Gluten: a small percentage of people have a gluten allergy known as Coeliac Disease.
Many people are gluten sensitive owing to the high percentage of people who have gut lining problems which can lead to gluten intolerance. This is a major cause of chronic inflammation. To counteract this, it’s important to remove gluten (rye, barley, wheat) from the diet.
In terms of fats in the diet, it’s important to avoid all trans fats, seed oils and animal fat that does not come from pasture-reared animals. Meanwhile, one should increase the good fats (avocado, coconut oil, raw nuts and seeds, fatty wild fish and pasture-reared animal fat).
Certain foods help combat inflammation and therefore it is important to increase consumption of these foods: olive oil, ginger, rosemary, cloves, turmeric and organic apple cider vinegar
Red meat, especially if it is not pasture-reared, is inflammatory. Animals that are fattened in a food lot are fed grains, and this, in turn, increases the amount of omega 6 fat in their muscles. If the ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 is too high in our bodies, the result is inflammation. Early man had a ratio of 1:2 omega 3:6, but now the ratio is often higher than 1:26. As a result, the incidence of chronic inflammatory diseases like eczema, asthma, allergic rhinitis, osteoarthritis, auto-immune diseases and cancer has ski-rocketed.
Your BMI should be below 25. Fat is known to store toxins and xenoestrogens which have been shown to be particularly bad in some cancers. Insulin resistance leads to increased levels of inflammation, which underpins most of our chronic diseases.
Try and get to at least 10 000 steps a day in order to help keep fit and improve circulation and take extra anti-oxidants if you are doing more than 45 min of exercise daily.
The hormones that are produced when we are stressed are detrimental to our health if they are chronically elevated.
High levels of adrenal hormones like cortisol in the early stages of stress, can lead to abnormalities in sugar metabolism which may eventually lead to insulin resistance. Increased adrenalin can switch on clotting factors and inflammatory cytokines that in the short term can save your life (fight or flight) but if the stress persists, these hormones can be detrimental to your health. It is therefore important to find ways to address the stress levels in your life and to ensure that you get enough sleep in order to help prevent stress hormones from becoming elevated.
If you are not able to purify or filter your water, make sure you boil it to kill the organisms that are in the water. Check the source of bottled water, especially if it has been bottled at a source where a lot of pesticides are sprayed. Only drink bottled water in glass bottles, not plastic. Be aware that most bottled water is preserved with IPA (isopropylalcohol) which is a direct toxin to breast tissue.
At Santé Wellness Retreat and Spa, you can be tested and assessed for chronic inflammation in our Health Optimizing Royal Retreat, which involves the use of cutting edge TechScience. Treatment is given through non-invasive technology in order to bring any dysfunctional Biological Systems back to healthy balance.