Inflammation – Understanding the Real Cause

“The suffix itis, derived from Greek and Latin, means inflammation.” So arthritis is inflammation of a joint; colitis is inflammation of the colon; bronchitis is inflammation of the bronchial tubes; hepatitis is inflammation of the liver. When you see any word ending in itis, it’s describing inflammation. We tend to think of inflammation as swelling, a blister, or redness. However, it can also occur internally without symptoms and, over time, lead to painful diseases. And guess which is one of the common causes? Right, grain consumption.” from the book “No Grain No Pain” by Dr. Peter Osborne

When I get inflammation I know because I feel a number of symptoms at the same time including…

  • joint pain – joints in fingers first, then elbows, knees, and neck; my fingers feel stuck after having them on the arms of the chair flat for some time they’re hard to close and they crackle
  • stiff muscles – I feel like if I bend over I’m going to hurt something and my legs and neck are stiff and my movement is restricted
  • indigestion – I feel full or have some minor pains in my stomach area
  • brain fog – I have more trouble understanding things; my clarity is suffering

Now I have learned that certain foods will cause this to flare up including…

  • sugar of almost any kind
  • bread or most any kind of grains
  • refined carbohydrates of any kind like breads, etc.
  • pasta, gluten of any kind; some pasta is made from beans and that doesn’t seem to bother me
  • caffeine whether coffee or soda
  • trans fats – any kind of processes food, bakery goods, or the like will have trans fat as a component
  • foods cooked in regular oils – high in Omega-6 fats such as corn oil, safflower oil, cottonseed oil, and all of the others that are sold as bulk cooking oils
  • MSG – this one seems to affect everyone in my family but me for sure big time
  • Aspartame
  • Too much alcohol – any more than a glass of wine seems to result in delayed inflammation

Now I think there are two key things to take away from this short and sweat post..

  1. You need to stop calling inflammation and other ailments “old age” and “heredity” (your genes) – none of this was designed into either. Your body was built to function for longer periods than you think and if you label things incorrectly like this, then you don’t take steps to do something about it.
  2. You need to start realizing that food is medicine and is the most highly influential substance that we can put into our body. Wrong foods create wrong results and right foods create much better results.

Long term inflammation deteriorates our organs and body systems until whatever the weakest link is gives out. We go to the doctor and he or she treated the symptoms but not the root cause of the problem. And after years of living with inflammation, the damage is done because we didn’t recognize at the time that this inflammation was not something we could allow to continue.

A doctor of functional medicine treats the cause, not the symptoms. I’ve provided some links and some self-tests for food tolerance elsewhere in this website. To find out more about Dr. Peter Osborne, click here.

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Functional Medicine Doctors

For those of you who do not know what Functional Medicine or a Functional Medicine Doctor is, here is a message from the Chairman of the Institute for Functional Medicine that might help explain. I believe you need to know about this growing discipline that treats causes not symptoms.

If you want to get help finding functional medicine doctors, functional medicine practitioners, or sometimes called integrative medicine doctors, please visit this link.

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Fed Up – Dr. Robert Lustig – How to Reverse Obesity

Dr. Lustig has done some important work to educate us on why obesity is a disease and not a lifestyle choice or poor judgement or poor discipline. I think that anyone facing obesity, diabetes or metabolic syndrome should review his work – he has a book Fat Chance, and was featured in the movie Fed Up.

I believe he does a very good job of putting obesity in perspective and providing the information we need to reverse obesity and avoid progression to diabetes naturally.

This is an excellent interview with Dr. Lustig.

And as you would suspect, it is more about what you eliminate from your diet than what you add or what drugs you take.

 

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Diabetes and Your Gut

640px-Burger_King_Whopper_ComboScientists and doctors sometimes refer to your intestinal track as “your gut” and it generally refers to all of the bacteria and micro-organisms residing in your colon, your lower intestines, and youstomach. These are really the bacteria that digest your food into molecules small enough to become nutrients for your blood and hormones for your body.

Recent discoveries have shed more light on the Gut or more scientifically the Micro-Biome. It appears that perhaps 70% of your immune system resides in your Gut. And the hormones that activate your pancreas, liver, and more are produced in your Gut. And therefore it would appear that what you eat has everything to do with the signals (hormones) you send to your other organs – you heart, pancreas, brain, liver, and more.pizza-1317699_1280

One such signal or “pathway” is when you feed your gut a whole lot of sugar (fruit, bread – yes, baked goods turn to sugar in your blood faster than sugar, soda pop, etc.) – more than it needs or can use. Once it begins work on digesting that, it can’t handle it all and it moves it into your blood stream causing your pancreas to send out insulin in order to dispose of it. The body definitely needs to get sugar or glucose out of your bloodstream because the longer it remains there the more damage it does to the walls of your blood vessels and that in turns puts out the call for more cholesterol – the body’s repair mechanism for damaged blood vessels. If you’re running a marathon insulin brings glucose to the muscles where it is burned for energy. If you are sitting in front of the TV or your desk, the muscles don’t need it so it begins to deposit it into your fat cells.

Of course the real “science” behind these discoveries is saying that the next level down is that what you eat activates your genes and depending on what you eat will determine how your body reacts to the genes that activated – we generally think that diseases like obesity or diabetes are passed on through the genes but the scientists would argue that we all have the same genes to start with and which one expresses their characteristics is a matter of our habitual diets and of course our environment.

vegetables-1210240_1280As an example, eat more good fats in your diet and your genes will express the right hormones to encourage neurogenesis, the creation of new brain cells to replace the old ones. Eat the wrong foods, high in carbohydrates like sugar, grains, pasta, etc. and you discourage neurogenesis. And hello Dementia and Alzheimers.

The most important takeaway for this article is that “food is medicine” and we need to start thinking about what we eat as the key to healing ourselves and preventing many of the diseases we could suffer in the future.640px-My_Lunch_(3927456388)

Here is the book I love for the more thorough explanation of how this works.

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The Easy Path for Reversing Diabetes Naturally

I happened to think that there are those who are so resigned to being type 2 diabetic that you wouldn’t attend the free summit or even read long articles about how to reverse type 2 diabetes.Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 12.55.56 AM

We certainly don’t recommend that you take yourself off your medications and we don’t recommend that you do anything without speaking to your doctor.

And perhaps you are pre-diabetic and still have some time. You have all the classic symptoms but you’re just ignoring it hoping it will go away.

Here is a simple test you can do that won’t really hurt you at all. It involves temporarily switching your diet from sugar to fat.

  1. Stop eating grains, breads, pastries, rolls, rice, potatoes, and anything made from these products as best you can.
  2. Stop eating sugar, fruit, or anything sweetened and labelled “low fat” or “low calorie” with high fructose corn syrup or other sweeteners you can’t pronounce.
  3. Stop drinking sodas or fruit juice.
  4. Instead eat more meat, fish, chicken, and eat avocados and nuts, and salad with plenty of olive oil and steamed vegetables with a little olive oil on them as well.

And then just see what happens. These are relatively small changes. And you can do this for 2-3 weeks without starving or killing yourself. You can eat as much of the other things as you want. No counting calories, no worrying about portions. Just see how you feel.

If you feel better, then you’ve learned something. If you don’t, then no harm.

It’s a simple request. And we’re making this request because we love you. Your family and friends – they love you and they’re asking you to try this.

What’s the big deal?

 

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4 WARNING SIGNS YOU’VE GOT CHRONIC INFLAMMATION—AND HOW TO TAKE ACTION

Here is an excellent article from Thrive – author credit at the bottom…

“You stumble to the bathroom in the morning, and as your eyes adjust you notice a cluster of pimples on your face. Ugh. As the day drags on, you can’t shake your sleepiness, your appetite is insatiable even though you’ve been popping potato chips, and you just feel crummy. It might just be a bad day…or it might be a more sinister health issue.

These symptoms could be signaling chronic inflammation. This condition, in its acute form, is natural— it’s the body’s response to infection. It’s when acute inflammation turns into full blown chronic inflammation that things get problematic. Many factors can contribute to this: High sugar diets, lack of sleep, a sedentary lifestyle, excessive stress, and poor digestive health can all lead to chronic inflammation, potentially causing accelerated aging, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, dementia, and cancer, just to name a few. Better figure out if you’re inflamed, stat!”

Read More.

 

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Why We Get Fat – A Book Review – Have You Asked Why Am I Not Losing Weight?

Why we get fat – by Gary Taubes

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Table of Contents

“ 1. Why Were They Fat?
2. The Elusive Benefits of Undereating
3. The Elusive Benefits of Exercise
4. The Significance of Twenty Calories a Day
5. Why Me? Why There? Why Then?
6. Thermodynamics for Dummies, Part 1
7. Thermodynamics for Dummies, Part 2
8. Head Cases
9. The Laws of Adiposity
10. A Historical Digression on “Lipophilia”
11. A Primer on the Regulation of Fat
12. Why I Get Fat and You Don’t (or Vice Versa)
13. What We Can Do
14. Injustice Collecting
15. Why Diets Succeed and Fail
16. A Historical Digression on the Fattening Carbohydrate
17. Meat or Plants?
18. The Nature of a Healthy Diet
19. Following Through”

Excerpt From: Gary Taubes. “Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It.” iBooks.

For people who ask, “Why am I not losing weight?” and you’ve tried everything, you should read this book and discover that it’s not your fault, and once you understand obesity you can also understand how to finally fight the true cause.

Building upon his critical work in Good Calories, Bad Calories and presenting fresh evidence for his claim, Gary Taubes revisits the urgent question of what’s making us fat—and how we can change.

He reveals the bad nutritional science of the last century—none more damaging or misguided than the “calories-in, calories-out” model of why we get fat—and the good science that has been ignored. He also answers the most persistent questions: Why are some people thin and others fat? What roles do exercise and genetics play in our weight? What foods should we eat, and what foods should we avoid? Persuasive, straightforward, and practical, Why We Get Fat is an essential guide to nutrition and weight management.

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Metabolic Syndrome Risk – Can Metabolic Syndrome Be Reversed?

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Here’s where we start. Hopefully you got here because you’re 50 or younger, but experiencing some of the symptoms we’ll talk about here. (You might be the son or daughter of someone who is in denial about these symptoms as well) You still have time to make some course corrections. I would call this pre-diabetic. It a whole collection of negative risk factors (Metabolic Syndrome Risks) that put together spell trouble. We’ll cover the symptoms first and then we’ll get on to the Metabolic Syndrome Diet and how to treat Metabolic Syndrome and answer the question, “Can Metabolic Syndrome be reversed?”

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The diagram shows both the World Health Organization criteria and the American heart Association criteria below in red. There are an estimated 85,000,000 people in the US who have these symptoms and as much as 15% of those will progress to Type 2 Diabetes in the next 10 years.

How Did We Get Here?

Most doctors agree that this might be the great undiagnosed masses who will be diabetics but for now are living with their symptoms thinking that they’re just getting old, or they just need to exercise more and eat less.

I believe the truth is, that after 40-50 years of feeding yourself stuff that you’re mildly allergic to, and stuff that causes inflammation which eventually damages your organs, your body starts to lose ground. It’s an amazing machine, but if you feed it the wrong stuff long enough, it eventually starts to rust.

Inflammation is Rust

And that’s what inflammation is – RUST.  And the thing about inflammation is you can’t predict which organ or system will give out first. It’s different for everyone. So inflammation is the root cause and then from there it’s a weak liver, a weak pancreas, or weak kidney, or your brain gives out and you start drooling and walking in circles.

The symptoms come on so slowly that you really don’t notice. You just have a little more pain and a little more stiffness, and some mornings it’s more pain and stiffness and you talk a Tylenol and keep going. Then you notice you’re getting more headaches, or you’re tired, and you’re gaining weight every year, and your eyesight is changing, or your blood pressure is increasing, and you’re craving foods you know aren’t good for you.

Boiling Frogs

So it’s like the story about how you boil a frog. If you throw him in the boiling water he notices right away, “Hey! That’s HOT!” and jumps out. But if you just place him into the lukewarm water where he’s nice and comfortable, and then slowly raise the heat until it has gotten so hot that by that time he can’t move. I know, not a very appetizing example, but one that I was told early in my education on organizational development and it stuck with me.

The Source of Inflammation

But if you just did some testing, there’s a good chance you would find the source of the inflammation. Inflammation isn’t natural. It’s always caused by something. And something is generally in your food chain. So if you start looking there, you’re more likely to find it. Now you can’t look at the symptoms. Inflammation is everywhere. Inflammation affects your arteries and your liver starts to pump out cholesterol to repair them; and it affects your cells in general and your pancreas begins to pump out insulin to store fat in your cells as a way to defend you against the inflammation. There are a hundred immune responses going on at once and that’s why metabolic syndrome has so many symptoms.

Meanwhile you’re mostly likely getting a little heavier, feeling a little achier, and pretty soon the doctor does a blood test and gives you the bad news. And then he or she does what next? That’s right – gives you a prescription to treat your symptoms – high blood pressure? you get that medication – high cholesterol? you get that medication. And after several years when those aren’t working and have caused a variety of other symptoms that research has already tagged as “side-effects” to those medications, he prescribed more drugs and more aggressive drugs and pretty soon you’re shooting insulin into your arm.

Treating for Metabolic Syndrome

Now what is the Metabolic Syndrome Treatment? Well fortunately food is medicine. If you’re fortunate and get with a doctor of functional medicine, he’ll help you do some testing and figure out what it is that is causing the inflammation.

If you don’t have the insurance coverage and can’t afford the doctor you can still do the testing.

Just  – Go to Amazon for the Self Test

And figure out what you need to avoid.

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Of course, this website is full of advice on how to adjust your diet but I would rather get your commitment to spending the time to read the books I’ve recommended and look at the research so you know absolutely without a doubt why you need to make the changes.

My overall intent with this website is to get you to see a functional medicine practitioner and failing that, to do some testing and make some changes based what you find out.

Lifestyle Changes

If you do any testing and investigation at all you’re going to find out that your inflammation and subsequent metabolic syndrome risk factors come from…

  • Food Sensitivity or Allergies
  • Infections – ones you don’t know about or ignore
  • Toxins – chemicals you’re getting from your environment or your food
  • Lifestyle – a general lack of activity – even mild exercise activates the genes that are required to operate your immune system

I hope the posts and information in this website will motivate you to look deeper and to not accept “getting old” as your excuse for selecting a slow and painful death.

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