What Is Inflammation?
Inflammation is a normal biological process that acts to protect the body in response to an injury or pathogen. Such a response signals to the body that it needs to heal and protect the area. However, if inflammation continues over a long period of time it can be harmful to the body. Chronic inflammation can cause tissue breakdown, pain syndromes and ultimately can lead to chronic disease. Inflammation can be triggered by numerous things including infection, toxins, poor dietary choices (refined carbohydrates, trans fats from processed fast foods) and excessive alcohol consumption.
Why Does It Need To Be Stopped?
Chronic inflammation is a driver in diseases that haunt the western world. Diseases such as arthritis (anything ending in ‘itis’), obesity, cardiovascular disease and depression are often a result of long-term inflammation. Chronic inflammation is not only related to chronic diseases but it can also play a role with increasing the sensation of pain in the body and can present as muscle aches, joint stiffness and headaches. Inflammation can be a result of an overburden of toxins, intestinal dysbiosis or intolerances to certain foods. If inflammation is present within the digestive system the follow on effect will lead to nutrient deficiencies.
How Can You Detect It?
Here at the clinic we know how important it is to identify inflammation, so we have a few functional tests that we use.
- Cellular Health Analysis assess ones body composition, it tests the level of muscle tissue, fat tissue and fluid balance. Inflammation can be indicated with the presentation of fluid imbalances and poor muscle quality.
- Food intolerances can be detected at Paddington Clinic through a simple blood finger prick test called The Food Detective Test. (Read more about that here.)
In recent years a large amount of evidence has revealed how powerful turmeric is against fighting inflammation and helping to alleviate pain. Redd our full tumeric article here. Turmeric can be added into the diet and tends to work well when added to quiches, curries, smoothies and salads. Supplemental forms of turmeric are best to address acute pain and chronic inflammatory states. Here at the clinic we have it available in a tablet form and as a liquid herb.
Boswellia or frankincense as it is also know, is famous for its capacity to reduce inflammation. Here at the clinic we prescribe herbal extracts of Boswellia and it provides significant relief to patients suffering from inflammatory joint pain and other inflammatory pain disorders.
Anti-oxidants are found in all fruits & vegetables; if you are consuming a diet high in these foods then you are offering your body protection against toxins and are helping to combat chronic inflammation. However even though all fruits and vegetables provide a good source of anti-oxidants, some are contain higher amounts than others. Berries such as blueberries, goji, acai and raspberries are a powerhouse of anti-oxidants. Dark leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale and broccoli along with onion and garlic also offer an abundant amount of anti-oxidants.
4. Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Essential fatty acids help to decrease inflammatory prostaglandins. It is the prostaglandins that increase pain sensitivity, create swelling and redness of the tissues. Essential fatty acids can be found in fish particularly high in sardines, mackerel and salmon. Walnuts and Flaxseed oil are also good plant sources of Omega 3 fatty acids. Krill oil is a great animal-source omega-3, and you can read why it is better than fish oil here.
Ginger helps to down regulate inflammation, improve circulation and has an analgesic effect. Ginger can be added to stir fries, soups, and salads. We use it extensively when preparing drinks- we grate ginger up add in lemon and mint to make a refreshing ice tea during the summer months. In winter and grate it in with turmeric and Manuka honey for a soothing tea.
Call us on 3369 0045 for more information or to book a consult with one of our naturopaths, who can test your inflammation levels and give you a range of natural options to help.