Our final step for less stress: understanding inflammation


Understanding Inflammation
We often hear the term inflammation but what does it actually mean and why is it so important?
Inflammation is the body's natural response to protecting itself from injury. There are two types: acute and chronic.

You are probably more familiar with the acute inflammation, which happens when you cut your finger.

Your immune system sends troops called white blood cells to create a swelling and increased circulation that helps in healing the area. Inflammation is essential. Without it, infections would be deadly.

Chronic inflammation occurs when the body responds to harmful substances, such as toxins.
Here are 5 ways the body can perceive inflammation:

1. "Leaky" gut
Your intestinal tract specifically the small intestine is meant to be a barrier, in reality it is only one cell thick! That barrier can be breached through the use of antibiotics, steroids, stress, an over growth of yeast, or the wrong bacteria. If it is breached, undigested food, toxins and immune triggering foods leak out into the blood stream, creating a steady stream of inflammation.

Click here to learn more about how to improve your dietary health

2. Diet
Foods can trigger inflammation. The Standard American Diet (SAD) is filled with foods that create inflammation: gluten, dairy, corn, soy, sugars and trans fats. And some feel that perhaps it's not the gluten itself so much as all the insecticides and pesticides that unfortunately cross contaminate our food supply.

Click here for the most anti inflammatory foods you can eat

3. Environmental toxins
We are exposed like never before through:
-personal care products (an industry that is not regulated)
-mercury and other heavy metals in fish and in dental work
-plastics including BPA-please don't store or microwave food in plastic!
-pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and GMO's
-medications such as birth control and antibiotics
-chemicals in cleaning products, room fresheners
-cigarette smoke

Click here for tips to reduce household toxins

4. Infections
Underlying bacterial and viral infections, including dental infections and gut imbalances can contribute to inflammation levels.

5. Stress
Stress is more than just a sensation. Believe it or not, it is a state of inflammation. When your body is met with a challenge, be it mental, emotional or physical, it sends out hormones, including the primary stress hormone: cortisol.

Cortisol signals your immune system to produce inflammation-just in case something needs to be healed. This is an age-old response when the stressors were literally life threatening.

Once the danger has passed, cortisol tells the immune system to quiet down. The problem is if you are continually stressed, be it from a poor diet, not sleeping enough or a stressful work life, your body never gets a break to "cool off." Inflammation will run continually.

This can cause your overworked immune system to become confused, leaving you prone to infection, autoimmune disease, and other chronic illness.
Work on identifying where your stress levels are and filling your diet with nutrient dense foods, prioritizing quality sleep and stress-relieving activities such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing, journaling, perhaps listening to your favorite music, or your favorite way of self-care.
You deserve it, and your health depends on it.
Have questions? Message me!
With Gratitude,
Nancy


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How Inflammation Affects the Body