When we think of inflammation, we usually think of the acute response our bodies have to an injury like a sprained wrist or a bee sting. Alternatively, chronic inflammation is a systemic condition that occurs when a stress response goes on for too long, or doesn’t completely shut off.
This response leads to a host of diseases including everything from cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, to arthritis, lupus, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. What anti-inflammatory options are best for improving your health?
Get More Sleep
Waking up rested in the morning means far more than getting up on the right side of the bed. A recent study published by the UCLA Cousins Center Research Team found a link between sleep deprivation for even a single night and the triggering of an inflammatory response in the body. This means that getting less than the recommended 7-9 hours nightly could be leading you to a state of chronic inflammation. Eliminating caffeine and other stimulants from your afternoons, banning gadgets from the bedroom, and creating a more relaxing bedtime routine can help you fall asleep faster and more soundly.
We all know that stress can wreak havoc on the mind and body, but until recently, the association with chronic inflammation wasn’t clear. A research team led by Carnegie Mellon University's Sheldon Cohen found that prolonged stress alters the effectiveness of the hormone cortisol by decreasing tissue sensitivity to it. In turn, immune cells won’t listen to cortisol’s signal to “turn off,” and inflammation proceeds out of control. Practicing meditation, controlled breathing, regular exercise, and other forms of intentional stress relief are incredibly effective, anti-inflammatory activities.
Detox Your Diet
Our highly refined American diets include plenty of chemicals and additives, and removing those toxins from our systems by preparing and eating clean, whole foods will help reduce the work our bodies have to do to protect us from their presence in our systems. Also, eliminating refined and concentrated sugars and other processed carbohydrates will calm unnaturally elevated blood sugar and insulin levels, which both contribute to and exacerbate chronic inflammation.
Increase your Intake
Eliminating inflammatory foods from your diet is one great method for reducing inflammation, but increasing your intake of antioxidant rich, organic fruits and vegetables, and drinking purified water are also important steps toward calming an overactive inflammatory response. Antioxidant rich produce are naturally anti-inflammatory. By neutralizing free radicals, which are highly reactive compounds that can damage cells in your body, they protect us from and help eliminate inflammation.
It can be difficult to quickly calm a condition of chronic inflammation that may have been years in the making. Consider adding natural supplements that will support a reduction of stress, like Ashwaganda, those that improve digestion, a fiber supplement or Triphala, and spices or supplements like Turmeric or ginger to assist in removing the inflammation from your system. These all-natural dietary supplements can have fantastic anti-inflammatory effects.
Are you experiencing the pain of joint inflammation?
At Flexogenix®, we work with our patients to create a comprehensive approach to pain relief, and offer lasting, non-surgical options to restore joint function. Contact us today for a free consultation!