A Double-Edged Sword: Inflammation And Your Health

16/10/2023, RAKxa Wellness

In this article, the wellness experts at RAKxa Wellness share their thoughts on inflammation and why it's a double-edged sword.

"Too much of a good thing" is true in many contexts, but it is particularly relevant when discussing inflammation. Inflammation is believed to be eliminated at all costs, but it is actually an essential component of healing and injury repair since it ensures the body's well-being and safety. However, prolonged inflammation could prove harmful. Inflammation symptoms are similar to a dashboard engine light, signalling a larger problem that demands care and is classified into two types: acute and chronic. Acute inflammation occurs in response to an injury and is manifested by redness, warmth, swelling, and pain around tissues and joints, which protects the body by fighting infections and hastening the healing process. Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, happens when inflammation is excessive and lasts for an extended period of time, with the immune system producing white blood cells and chemical messengers to help the healing process. As a result, white blood cells may target healthy tissues and organs in an unusual way, being linked to many chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other degenerative diseases.

Chronic inflammation as a culprit

Unlike acute inflammation, which can often be treated with an over-the-counter painkiller, managing chronic inflammation can be challenging. The matter is that, unlike acute inflammation, which shows obvious physical indications, chronic inflammation is often "invisible" and "takes time."

Low-grade, prolonged immune responses to pathogens are the initial basis of many chronic inflammatory disorders. The chronic state can be triggered by a wide variety of environmental and dietary factors, including silica dust, gluten, yeast, and soy. People with autoimmune diseases like celiac disease may have impaired nutrition absorption because of small intestine damage brought on by an immune response that assaults the tract. This can cause major health concerns, such as bloating, chronic diarrhea, unintentional weight loss, and micronutrient deficiencies (vitamins and minerals), resulting in dry skin and hair, skin lesions, hair loss, night blindness, or even bleeding gums. Consuming foods prepared at high temperatures (such as grilling, frying, or toasting) might increase blood levels via advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which are toxic molecules created when protein or fat interacts with sugar. Excessive amounts can result in oxidative stress and inflammation.

From integrative diagnostics to integrative solutions to manage chronic inflammation

It has become clear that the immune system goes on behind the scenes, and avoiding the causes of chronic inflammation plays a significant part in taming chronic inflammation as well as detecting a state of chronic inflammation by diagnosing the symptoms that each individual is experiencing. Common symptoms include joint and muscular aches, exhaustion, food sensitivities, bloating, rashes, abdominal discomfort, bloating, allergies, brain fog, obesity, hormone imbalance, etc.

A blood sample can be used to evaluate erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP). They represent the level of inflammation in the body at the time of the test because particular proteins are released into the bloodstream during inflammation and can be used as biomarkers to identify systemic inflammation. The ESR measures the rate at which red blood cells drop in a test tube. It's an indirect indicator of inflammation levels in the body since it takes longer for red blood cells to drop when inflammation is high. While CRP is a protein produced by the liver in reaction to inflammation, its levels in the blood rise when the body is inflamed.

The immune system's reaction to specific foods can be measured with what are called "food sensitivity tests," sometimes known as "food intolerance tests." Immune system components like IgA and IgG, as well as white blood cells and other substances, can cause food sensitivities when they react to specific meals. The immunological reaction causes gastrointestinal distress, digestive issues, and inflammation in people with food sensitivities. Abdominal discomfort, swelling, indigestion, heartburn, and diarrhea are all possible outcomes. Symptoms of food sensitivities typically appear several hours to several days after eating the offending item and go away after the person stops eating it. In order to alleviate gastrointestinal symptoms, food sensitivity tests take place to determine which foods should be eliminated from the diet.

Limiting inflammatory foods and eating healthy—more fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, and a more natural diet rich in pre, pro, and postbiotics—can help reduce inflammation. To improve your health, you must focus on your overall eating habits as well as maintaining an anti-inflammatory lifestyle, which includes maintaining a healthy weight through regular exercise and coping with prolonged stress through mindfulness meditation and therapeutic abdominal massage to promote the restful parasympathetic nervous system that can aid in the relief of stress-induced inflammation in the body.

Going deeper into the cellular level, having an intravenous Myers' cocktail, which comprises vitamin C and B vitamins, is also beneficial for the immune system. As an antioxidant, vitamin C aids the body in getting rid of free radicals that can harm cells and tissue, resulting in fewer inflammatory triggers. Inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein show a similar pattern, and B vitamins can bring those levels down.

If this blog has got you interested in starting your wellness journey call our wellness advisors at 020 7843 3597 or enquire here.

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