As people age, they are not only looking to live longer, but better as well, and that includes avoiding the effects of chronic inflammation. Inflammation treatment is a big industry because of that. There is a long list of medications, supplements, and salves aimed at managing chronic inflammation, and the number of advertisements for anti-inflammatory products is even greater.
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to things such as injury, infection, exposure to toxins, and biomechanical dysfunction. It involves a cascade of events, coordinated by the nervous system, which includes increased blood flow to the site of injury, local temperature increase, redness and swelling. The additional fluids can also increase the pressure on nerve endings in the area, resulting in pain.
Short term or acute inflammation is a necessary part of the healing process and, in most cases, should not be reduced. It is NORMAL.
Long term or chronic inflammation, on the other hand, can lead to serious health problems. As the picture to the left illustrates, it can contribute to Type II diabetes, joint degeneration, heart disease, and even cancer, among other things. Often times, it is the result of life style choices, and other environmental influences.
There are some easy steps you can take to reduce and prevent chronic inflammation.
- Getting the right balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fats. Most Americans consume too much omega-6. Reduce the amount of cooking oils you consume, especially those that contain corn. Eat grass-fed met over grain fed and choose cold-water fish such as Wild caught Alaskan Salmon. Adults should aim for a omega-6:omega-3 ratio of about 2:1.
- Avoid trans-fats. It’s as simple as that. But, be careful to read the ingredients. The nutritional label may read 0 grams of trans fat, but make sure to look for “partially hydrogenated” oils.
- Limit refined carbohydrates such as white bread, white rice, high fructose corn syrup and refined sugars
- Maintain a healthy weight. The more fat you carry, the more inflammatory chemicals you produce.
- Increase you intake of antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, D, and E.
- Have your spine checked for structural shifts. Chronic inflammation may be a secondary condition of a structural shift of your spine. The structural shift blocks your nerves from functioning correctly and from properly controlling the inflammation process. Neuro-Structural Chiropractic restores your spine to its normal position reducing the obstruction to your nervous system, which allows inflammation be more appropriately coordinated.