Dr. Kassam 5 simple ways To Reduce Inflammation
5 simple ways for an Anti-inflammatory lifestyle
Written by: Dr. Saira Kassam, ND
Inflammation has become known as the 21st century silent killer. There are two types of inflammation: acute and chronic. Scraping of the elbow from falling off a bicycle will result in redness, pain, swelling, itching and heat around the damaged area – this is known as acute inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to protect against injury or infection (virus, bacteria, fungus, toxin) and promote healing. Once the threat ceases, inflammation should arrest. Without this phase, the body cannot repair damage and restore to its normal physiological function. Inflammation can become chronic when the offender is continuous and the body has to work harder to continuously fight it off. When the body can no longer shut inflammation off, it is in a constant stressed state, which compromises the immune system and puts us at risk for more chronic diseases.
Chronic inflammation can go unnoticed through subtle signs and symptoms leading to chronic disease. It begins with an infection, autoimmune reaction or allergy. Generally, inflammation is denoted with the suffix “itis” in conditions like, arthritis, colitis, bursitis, tendinitis etc. Culprits include: poor diet, lack of exercise, stress, chronic infections (bacteria, fungus, viruses) environmental toxins (mold, pesticides, pollution, heavy metals), excessive alcohol intake, being overweight and smoking. Chronic inflammation and increased stress on the body can lead to the following diseases: Alzheimer’s, atherosclerosis, arthritis, asthma/allergies, cancer, Type II diabetes, heart disease, stroke, inflammatory bowel disease and obesity. There is now an association between inflammation and heart disease. Chronic inflammation in the circulatory system or heart is being recognized as a major factor in heart attacks and strokes.
Traditional medicine involves alleviating the symptoms of pain while taking analgesics and NSAID’s. These help with symptoms in the short-term but fail to address the underlying cause of inflammation and thus negatively impacts long-term health. Many people have turned to complementary and alternative medicine to treat inflammatory conditions while also investigating the root cause. Treatment of inflammation revolves around dietary changes and supplementation. Below are 5 steps to living an anti-inflammatory life:
Consult a Naturopathic Doctor prior to starting these supplements to ensure no interactions exist between existing medications and natural supplements and to take the recommended amounts of each.
Be sure to get enough sleep - roughly 7 hours a night and manage stress levels to the best of your abilities. Chronic inflammation can be worsened by stress, lack of sleep, environmental toxins and/or dietary sensitivity. Speak to a Naturopathic Doctor to investigate the causes of your chronic inflammation so an appropriate treatment protocol can be set in place for you.
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