2016 September 17 by Dr. Randy
Many prevalent chronic illnesses including asthma, allergies, arthritis, and heart disease all have a common factor. Inflammation! Even cancer, Alzheimer’s and autoimmune diseases share inflammation as a fundamental mechanism that underlies these disease processes. And these disease patterns can be prevented and reversed by addressing the inflammatory reactions. These are all complicated diseases with many mechanisms. But a fundamental treatment principle is – Control the inflammation and you can control the disease.
Causes of inflammation
Why does inflammation occur? Poor diet choices are the most common sources of inflammation. Lack of sleep, immune system dysfunction, and intestinal imbalance all add to the problem. Persistent stress in the form of emotional or physical problems is also a common source of chronic inflammatory conditions. All of these disrupt the immune system and result in the body’s inability to control persistent inflammation.
Solving the problem
The first and foremost treatment principle is to establish sound nutrition. Eliminating pro-inflammatory foods is paramount. That includes refined sugar and corn syrup, processed foods, and fast food. All of these triggers will cause flares of inflammation and persistent inflammatory disease in the gut and mucus membranes. Impaired intestinal integrity will lead to immune system disorder. So establishing a healthy small intestine lining and large intestine elimination is essential. A diet that discourages inflammation is based on fresh fruits and vegetables, clean protein sources, and healthy fats. Grains tend to be pro-inflammatory, so they should be consumed in moderation. Many patients with inflammatory conditions are especially sensitive to wheat, and a gluten-free diet can be tremendously beneficial for them.
A healthy small intestine lining results in a healthy immune system. Patches of cells in the lining produce most immune mechanisms in the body. A healthy gut produces a resilient and resistant immune system that prevents chronic inflammation. Any digestive symptoms need to be controlled by correcting GI imbalances. Sometimes a stool test is necessary to detect the contributing factors, but taking a good quality probiotic is always a good idea for immune health. Take a broad- spectrum probiotic with at least 20 billion CFU and saccharomyces boulardii. Prebiotics in the form of fructo-oligosaccharides or in inulin are helpful as well in the formula.
Taking a curcumin supplement has proven useful in a wide variety of inflammatory conditions. Specific preparations to increase potency and absorption include Theracurmin and Curcum-evail.
Other important supplements include Vitamin D3 (with K2) in high doses (5,000-10,000 IU of vitamin D). An adaptogenic medicinal mushroom formula will also maintain healthy immune mechanisms. Vitamin C and other antioxidants will prevent free radical damage. A good antioxidant supplement program may include astaxanthin, resveratrol, and n-acetyl-cysteine.
Finally, a stress management program is crucial for everyone in our fast-paced culture. This includes an appropriate exercise regimen, sensible sleep schedule, relaxation techniques including meditation or yoga, and regularly getting out into nature. It is important to balance stress reactions with those calming tools that foster healthy metabolism and mental equanimity. This provides the link to the mind-body connection that leads to a smooth running immune system.
More to come
Next we’ll cover specific inflammatory diseases and tools for solving their problems. As always I welcome your questions.