Inflammation gets a bad rap. Too much and it leads to delayed healing, prolonged problems and subsequent health problems of another nature. Too little and it leads to delayed healing, prolonged problems and, yes…you guessed it, subsequent health problems!
Like so many other things in life that require moderation, each in its own proportion, inflammation is best when it’s present in the right place at the right time in the right amount. At the wrong place at the wrong time in the wrong amount and it’s a leading contributor to aches, pains and some of the top causes of morbidity and mortality in the world including heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Chronic inflammatory conditions are very much attached to lifestyle. Nutrient deficiencies, drugs/medications, sedentary lifestyle and stress are just some of the factors that lead to what’s known as oxidative stress. This results in reactive oxygen species that can harm cells and tissues.
Therefore antioxidants have become a popular health topic; they help keep potential tissue damage in check.
Acute inflammation is more about being attacked
Pathogens like bacteria and viruses, health conditions like high blood pressure/cholesterol, weight gain and candida overgrowth, as well as biochemical and hormonal imbalances can create inflammation. This inflammation is either dealt with by the immune and circulatory systems, or it’s not.
In either case, unresolved acute and chronic inflammation can lead to not only the conditions we mentioned above but also other infectious diseases, obesity, Alzheimer’s and select autoimmune disorders.
So what can we do?
Dealing with chronic inflammatory conditions involves attention and awareness around multiple factors. The first is supporting the function of the involved components, mainly the immune system and the circulatory system with its molecular mediators. A component of this involves the nervous system and chiropractors would argue that a properly functioning spine can ensure improved nervous system communication to encourage better physiology in the body.
The function is further supported by diet, nutrition and supplement choices. A low glycemic load diet, an anti-inflammatory diet, an alkaline forming diet and avoiding processed foods, refined foods, preservatives, sugar (in all its ‘glorious’ forms!), bad fats and other “junk foods” can all help. At the other end of the spectrum, ensuring a clean source of quality vegetables, fruits, proteins and carbohydrates is also a good strategy.
Other lifestyle components to consider when dealing with chronic inflammatory conditions includes fitness of a mild intensity.
Things like walking, swimming, biking, skiing and working out on the recreational side can help. Competitive or extreme efforts can often hurt the process.
Proper sleep and having a strong psychosocial balance to life and how you create experiences every day are also supportive in nature when it comes to healthy body physiology, which inflammation is certainly a part.
Research shows that certain supplements can also support a healthy inflammatory response
A better body response to pain, cellular health and therefore tissue healing. Supplements provide valuable nutrients that are often hard to get through diet alone, that are depleted quickly by the body, and are required in therapeutic doses to see clinical results.
Two such supplements for dealing with chronic inflammatory conditions, whether systemic, regional or localized to a body part, are bromelain and curcumin.
Bromelain comes from the stalk of the pineapple while curcumin is an extract from turmeric.
These two compounds, like their medicinal counterparts, can play a role in the chemically mediated inflammatory response. Unlike drugs or medications that interfere or block the body process often with negative side effects, supplements are more likely to modulate the inflammatory response and support healthier physiology in this regard.
On the scientific side, these supplements influence chemical mediators like PGE2, thromboxane A2, bradykinin, COX2, prostaglandins, NF kappa B, and a whole bunch of other exciting things one learns in a chemistry course!
By modulating a part of the inflammatory process, supplements can bring not only potential relief, but help create an environment for better supported tissue healing.
Connect here with WatchFit Expert David Koivuranta