Two tests that can show if you have inflammation:
- C-Reactive Protein:
CRP is a general blood marker of inflammation. It measures a protein that signals a response. It doesn’t tell us the specific cause, but it does tell us that an inflammatory response exists.
Make sure you don’t have any acute inflammation going on (from a recent injury, sickness or stubbed toe) when you get this test done because CRP will be elevated in response to any inflammation, acute or chronic.
You want your CRP level well below 1 and preferably at 0, indicating that no inflammation exists.
- Fasting blood insulin:
A high insulin level when fasting may indicate chronic inflammation in the body. Remember, insulin will be high as a response to elevated blood glucose because insulin acts as a vehicle for removing glucose from the blood into storage.
When insulin is high, cortisol (your stress-hormone) is being released to inhibit insulin production.
Elevated stress is one of the many causes of inflammation. This test would be a second option, as the CRP test is our go-to for testing inflammation.
These two markers can be helpful, but we certainly don’t consider them to be the be-all end-all.
Other clues that you may have chronic inflammation are
Being overweight and difficulty losing weight,
Chronic aches and pains,
Chronic inflammation is a symptom.
When any part of the body is inflamed, it is either damaged and healing or damaged and deteriorating. It’s not inflammation that is “out of control.”
Inflammation is what brings the disease fighting cells and the extra nutrition needed to heal damage to the site.
Without inflammation, we wouldn’t heal.
So what causes harm?
It is cell trauma.
Cells break down due to trauma caused by an external force or from internal distress. This can be caused by toxicity and (or) a lack of nutrition.
It’s important to understand that nutritional deficiencies are one of the main causes of cell failure; diet is not always to blame.
Sometimes the problem is a lack of ability to absorb and assimilate nutrition due to damage from toxic foods.
For instance, loads of people eat plenty of nutrition while they also consume far too much sugar.
Fungal infections and other parasitical infections also cause cellular damage. Infection also feeds off of dead and decaying cells, and infection leads to more dead and decaying cells.
It’s the essence of a vicious cycle.
Foods That Cause Inflammation
Toxic foods either kill beneficial bacteria due to their toxicity, or they feed Candida and other infectious microbes, which then outnumber the beneficial bacteria.
Foods that feed Candida cause inflammation by feeding Candida, but these and many other foods cause inflammation in other ways, too. Some foods have natural and naturally beneficial inflammatory properties, like many omega 6 fats. But these fats are not “bad,” they promote the healing process.
Sugars feed Candida and almost all other well-known infectious microbes as well. Almost everyone has too much sugar in their diet. In nature, sugar is harder to get.
Fruit is seasonal, and in areas where people eat lots of fruits all day, their diets also included strong anti-microbial foods to keep the gut flora in check.
When healing the gut, it’s important to cut out sweets, including fruit juices (even fresh, slow pressed), honey (even raw), agave, brown rice syrup, and all other sweeteners with the exception of stevia.
Acid Forming Foods (Generally Refined Foods)
When fiber is removed from foods, many of the minerals that alkalinize the body and the beneficial fats are also removed.
It’s imperative to cut out all other refined carbohydrates such as rice, pasta, other refined flours, and any processed starches.
They feed Candida as well, but they also are inflammatory and acidic by nature, having lost their anti-inflammatory fatty profile and alkalinity due to the processing that removed fiber.
For instance, the brown part of the rice contains the fiber and anti-inflammatory properties.
GMOs and Pesticide Laden Conventional Foods
Pesticides and herbicides are designed to kill pests and microbes, and they do this in our gut as well.
GM foods or genetically engineered foods, are foods produced from organisms that have had changes introduced into their DNA using the methods of genetic engineering as opposed to traditional cross breeding.
GMO foods that are designed to kill the “pest” or the microbe that would otherwise infect the crop will kill the good microbes in the gut, too.
Candida will bounce back, along with other infectious microbes, because the gut becomes inhospitable to our naturally beneficial flora as the toxic food keeps coming in.
Factory Farmed Animal Products
Factory farmed animals are raised on genetically modified grains that are already on the inflammatory side of the spectrum, even without being genetically modified.
For instance corn, wheat, oats, hay, and certain grasses are inflammatory, especially when they are not balanced with a wider variety of natural foods within the diet.
A cow, for instance, would normally eat many different kinds of grasses and other plants growing from the ground. Now, beef comes from cows that are typically feed toxic grains that they would not normally eat and lots of antibiotics.
Even grass fed cows (especially from larger scale farms) are typically only given access to a very limited diet with only one or a few kinds of grasses. This lack of diversity does not meet their nutritional needs for optimum health.
Dairy has the same issues, plus pasteurization and homogenization destroy many nutrients in milk and makes proper digestion more difficult.
Homogenization also changes the protein molecules.
Wheat, Bread, Gluten
If we were making bread the way we did a very long time ago, we would be using Probiotic and yeast cultures to fully break down the gluten proteins before they are ingested.
The flours would be processed by hand and not refined (no nutrition removed). The sugars added to make the bread would be much less refined, and the bacteria would go to work on the sugars like it does with yogurt, leaving an end product many beneficial properties.
Today, due to hybridization, there is a new kind of gluten molecule that we ingest. This gluten molecule in our wheat is more inflammatory than previous varieties.
It’s not the only gluten molecule in bread, but it’s prominent, and it’s not found in ancient wheat strands.
Today’s bread is made from wheat sprayed with Round-Up and other chemicals that is then refined and processed with most of the nutrients stripped before being fortified with toxic manufactured vitamins and minerals that the body cannot properly assimilate.
Then sugar is added along with other chemical ingredients like preservatives and coloring’s.
Omega 6s is not all inflammatory fats or “bad” fats. Omega 6s is just as important as omega 3s. Healthy, naturally occurring “inflammatory” omega 6s, in balance with omega 3s, and 9s, help the body properly respond to injury, and consequently, to heal.
An imbalance of fats causes an inflammatory response for many different reasons, including but not limited to, the natural inflammatory properties found in some fats.
Alternatively, there are “bad” fats. Most informed people know by now that coconut and avocado and plenty of other fats have tremendous healing properties and do not naturally contribute to obesity.
The bad fats are commercial, highly processed fats, rancid fats, Tran’s fats, and otherwise unnatural fats. These fats cause inflammation and contribute to every autoimmune disease.
Other Toxic Ingredients
Soy lecithin, casein, and protein isolates generally have heavy omega 6 profiles and are also very acidifying.
Toxins like MSG, aspartate, and glutamates, excite nerves, damaging the nervous system.
The body needs whole foods to heal, not processed foods with ingredient labels.
Inflammation and Free Radicals
Inflammation causes free radicals, which damage cells and cause more inflammation.
Free radicals are created by our natural everyday functions, and they play many important roles, including the elimination of the weakest cells in the adjacent area (like infectious microbes).
But too much inflammation means way too many free radicals that are overwhelming the body, impeding healing.
Specific Nutrient Deficiencies Known To Cause Inflammation
Two common nutrition deficiencies well known to directly cause inflammation include:
Vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency is linked to depression, pain, increased overall inflammation, an unproductive immune system, inflammatory bowel disease, many different autoimmune diseases, many forms of cancer, and so much more.
Vitamin B deficiencies (especially B 6 and B 12)
Vitamin B deficiencies can cause, aggravate, and also be the result of inflammation.
When the body’s digestive system isn’t healthy, B vitamin absorption becomes more difficult, and extra B vitamins often give some almost immediate relief to those suffering from inflammation.
This is especially important for anyone dealing with stress.
How Excess Weight Causes Inflammation
Most studies that point to obesity as a cause of inflammation rely on the problems associated with obesity to show correlation to inflammation.
This is difficult because the cause of the inflammation is not obesity.
Inflammation is due to causal factors that lead to obesity. While a fatty liver can lead to inflammation, it’s not obesity that makes a liver fat; it’s a poor diet that makes the entire body overweight.
When carrying a great deal of fat the body is stressed, this leads to damage, which requires repair and causes inflammation.
Inflammation of the body causes a tremendous amount of stress, both physical and emotional. Such as chronic pain!
Conversely, chronic anxiety will cause an inflammatory state as well.
The two feed off of each other.
Intense anxiety causes depleted levels of certain nutrients, like B vitamins, which are needed to get over anxiety. A deficiency in B vitamins also leads to anxiety.
Chronic anxiety eventually causes many nutritional imbalances, and the whole endocrine system begins to function poorly.
How to HEAL Inflammation
Firstly you need to eliminate what is causing inflammation in the beginning and then restore the damage back to health. However, be patient as the ability to improve your life doesn’t happen overnight.
Our approach to healing inflammation is a three-pronged approach:
- Remove inflammation triggers by reducing your intake of inflammatory foods and participating in lifestyle habits that are causing the inflammation
- Heal existing inflammation with anti-inflammatory foods and supplements.
- Be patient. Give your body time to do its job and support it along the way.
Fight Inflammation with Healthy Fat
Healthy fats help heal inflammation.
Eat more butter, coconut oil, olives and avocado which are nourishing, healthy fats that help the body to heal.
Fat, including saturated fat, supports many of the body’s critical functions, including protecting against toxic overload, strengthening cell membranes, stabilizing blood sugars, and providing a medium for your body to absorb fat soluble vitamins.
It’s important to qualify the fats you use. The good ones will promote healing and the bad ones will promote more inflammation!
It is also beneficial to make the switch to pastured, grass fed meats, as antibiotics in conventional meat can cause inflammation.
Inflammation Fighting Supplements
A healing supplement regimen is necessary.
Three key supplements that combat chronic inflammation are:
A Probiotic supplement helps repopulate the healthy bacteria in the gut, which are essential for the healing process and get depleted over time from eating processed foods, sugars and Trans fats (the foods that cause inflammation).
L-Glutamine works on the integrity of the thin lining of the digestive tract, which can become inflamed over time. Fish oil specifically targets that inflammation and reduces it.
This is why many of our clients find relief in back pain and joint pain when they start using our fish oil.
The amount of each supplement is individualized and depends on your lifestyle, your history, your goals and how much healing needs to happen.
Changing habits, eating nourishing, real foods in balance, listening to your body, and giving it time to heal are imperative.
Because chronic inflammation is the root cause of SO MANY health issues, it’s worth it to make the effort to calm and eliminate the damage that is taking place in your body that you can’t see.
Once your body begins to heal, you’ll be amazed at how much better you feel. The damage didn’t occur over night, so to expect your body to be able to heal overnight can just cause frustration.
You must be patient, and allow your body to do what it was meant to do, which is to use the healthy nutrients you consume to help it function at its greatest potential.
Whole foods, foods that have no need for an ingredients list, heal the body. The problem with eliminating whole, healthy foods in the diet is that the nutrient deficiencies that are at the cause of the predicament get worse.
Remove all unhealthy foods from the diet.
In the interim remove some healthier foods if you must, but add them back in as soon as you are able.
For those who are forced to breathe toxic air regularly, or live under power lines, or have other environmental issues that cause inflammation, it takes much longer to heal the body if the environmental toxins are not removed.
For most people, it is doable. The body can handle a very heavy toxic load if the gut is balanced and the diet is good.