The Truth About Inflammation

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Are you dealing with pain, obesity, ADD/ADHD, peripheral neuropathy, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, migraines, thyroid issues, dental issues, or cancer? If so, then you are dealing with inflammation in the body. Inflammation affects every aspect of the body and is the leading cause of many diseases.

Now, inflammation alone isn’t a bad thing. It serves a purpose when you sprain your ankle or get a cut on the skin. It is the bodies natural way of defending itself. So, what are we doing that is causing it to always be in defense mode? Well, the majority of inflammatory diseases start in the gut with an autoimmune reaction which progresses into systemic inflammation. The gut is made up of an incredibly large and intricate semi-permeable lining. Every time we eat something we are bringing the outside world of toxins, viruses, yeast, and bacteria into the body. If our gut lining is damaged (this is known as Leaky Gut Syndrome ) these particles pass through that lining and end up in the blood stream. Because these particles do not belong in the blood stream your body views them as foreign invaders and starts to attack them. Your body then responds with inflammation, allergic reactions, and other symptoms that are related to a variety of diseases.

This will then cause your immune system to become overburdened, and these inflammatory triggers are cycled continuously through your blood where they affect nerves, organs, connective tissues, joints, and muscles. You can probably begin to see how diseases develop.

To truly be effective at managing or hopefully overcome a disease it needs to be addressed on all levels. Taking a look at where this process starts is the key. However, most doctors are utilizing pharmaceuticals in lieu of getting to the root cause.

Since inflammation is commonly mediated by the gut it is a logical starting point in the evaluation process of any patient. There are seven common areas that should be considered when looking at causes of leaky gut which create the environment for chronic inflammation. They are listed below along with key triggers within the category of evaluation:

  • Diet: Alcohol, Gluten, Casein, Processed Foods, Sugar, Fast Food
  • Medications: Corticosteroids, Antibiotics, Antacids, Xenobiotics
  • Infections: Such as Yeast or Bacterial Overgrowth       (Candidiasis) or Viral or Parasite Infections
  • Stress: Increased Cortisol, Increased Catecholamines
  • Hormonal: Thyroid, Progesterone, Estradiol, Testosterone
  • Neurological: Brain Trauma, Stroke, Neuro-degeneration
  • Metabolic: Glycosylated End Products (inflammatory end products of sugar metabolism), Intestinal Inflammation, Autoimmune

The truth of the situation here is that FOOD MATTERS. That’s right, it’s not just a movie (which by the way you should all watch!). Hyper-permeability of the gut, regardless of whether you can feel it or not, is often a significant cause of an extremely long and ever growing list of conditions. The inflammatory cascade that takes place by any inflammatory trigger (diet, medications, infections, stress, hormonal, neurological, or metabolic) can break down the intestinal permeability and allows for the leaky gut mechanism to initiate.

Inflammation is rampant. In fact the research says that 1 in 12 women and 1 in 24 men are dealing with full blown autoimmune mediated inflammation. The number of undiagnosed people is going to be much higher.

If you are dealing with inflammation then you should get a comprehensive evaluation to look at what is perpetuating your personal inflammation. Here are three things to start paying attention to:

  1. Lifestyle: Remove adverse mechanisms (Stress, over-exercising, poor Sleep, blood sugar dysregulation, poor social behaviors.) Lifestyle factors are huge! The stress response triggers immune markers which is the fast track to Autoimmunity.
  2. Lifestyle: Restore beneficial mechanisms: Create conditions of love and appreciation, keep positive attitudes, maintain proper exercise, have adequate sleep, receive acupuncture for stress relief, restore blood sugar balance, and facilitate healthy social interactions.
  3. Dietary Support: Stabilize blood sugar, remove food Autoimmune triggers, and promote intestinal integrity with proper flora and nitric oxide and glutathione pathways. Include fermented foods and supplement appropriately as may be needed.

Remember, a wide array of health problems, including but not limited to: chronic pain, obesity, ADD/ADHD, peripheral neuropathy, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, migraines, thyroid issues, dental issues, and cancer are all rooted in inflammation, which must be properly addressed if you wish to be healed.

Exercise is better than drugs for 3 of the top 4 causes of Death in the US

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It is obvious and amazing at the same time.  Obvious because we all know that exercise is “good for us”.  Amazing because prescription drugs are often the first thing prescribed for most of these conditions, and not exercise.  The kicker is that not only does the exercise work as well if not better, the potential “side effects” of exercise are pretty much all good ones, more energy, less stress, improved physical appearance, etc.  Whereas, most prescription medications have many possible negative side effects.  I thought this was a great study when it came out in Oct, 2013 and below is a copy of the Health Report I put out in my clinic about it.

Exercise is as effective as medications for preventing diabetes and repeat heart attacks, and it is potentially better than medication for averting additional strokes, according to an analysis published in 2013. The large-scale investigation found doctors had a better chance of preventing death in patients recovering from a heart attack or stroke by prescribing light fitness instead of pills. It is the first time scientists have compared the benefits of exercise with heart medication such as statins and beta blockers. Examining data on 340,000 patients who had been diagnosed with heart disease, chronic heart failure, a stroke or diabetes, the findings published in the British Medical Journal have been touted as revolutionary.

Researchers analyzed previous studies and found no marked change between the outcome of exercise and drugs for people who have diabetes or heart disease.  For stroke victims, the research swung overwhelmingly in favor of exercise, showing it was far more likely to prevent death than drugs. The study leader Huseyin Naci, of LSE Health and Harvard Medical School, said more people are consuming prescription drugs but far fewer are exercising. “Exercise is a potent strategy to save and extend life in coronary heart disease and other conditions,” said Mr. Naci, “We think exercise can be considered or should be considered as a viable alternative or in combination with drug therapy.”

The results showed that in three of the four conditions studied, exercise was as effective as, or possibly more effective than, drug treatments. This wasn’t the case for heart failure, a progressive weakening of the heart’s ability to pump blood to the rest of body. Exercise has also been shown to be helpful in the short term in a number of other conditions, including depression, cognition, blood pressure and cancer treatment. Mr. Naci and his colleagues plan to study some of these other diseases in future work. He cautioned that patients with existing health conditions should talk to their doctor before stopping medication.
Sources: New York Times online, Wall Street Journal Online, and CDC.gov  http://www.bmj.com/content/347/bmj.f5577   – BMJ study.

Want to learn more about Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, Health, or Natural Pain Relief in Orlando?  Check out our website: OrlandoAcupuncture.com

 

Eating too much added sugar may be killing you

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The following is a reprint our our clinic’s Health Report from last week.  It is about the groundbreaking study that found that consuming too much added sugar increases your risk of death from heart disease.  What is new about this research is that these effects are IN ADDITION to the known effects of sugar to cause weight gain, and the resulting increased risk of disease from weight gain alone.

Consuming too much added sugar — found in bread, soda, juice drinks, cookies and candy — increases
your risk of death from heart disease, according to a new study published in February 2014 in JAMA
Internal Medicine. “The risk of death from cardiovascular disease increases exponentially as you increase
your consumption of added sugar,” says the study’s lead author, Quanhe Yang, a senior scientist with the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Rachel Johnson, a spokeswoman for the American Heart Association and a nutrition professor at the University
of Vermont, says, “Now we know that too much added sugar doesn’t just make us fat, it increases our
risk of death from heart disease.”  On average, adults in the US consume about 15% of their daily calories — about 300 calories a day, based on a 2,000-calorie diet — from added sugars. That’s far more than the American Heart Association’s recommendation of less than 100 to 150 calories a day, or less than 6-9 teaspoons. The World Health Organization recommends consuming less than 10% of calories from added sugars.
One can of regular soda contains about 140 calories of added sugar. That’s about 7% of the daily calories of
someone eating 2,000 calories a day. Added sugars include table sugar, brown sugar, high-fructose corn
syrup, maple syrup, honey, molasses and other caloric sweeteners in prepared and processed foods and beverages.  It does not include sugars that occur naturally in foods.
Other research has tied a high intake of added sugars, to other health conditions, including obesity, high
blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and risk factors for heart disease and stroke. The study looked at data from
more than 31,000 people. The researchers looked at data about deaths from heart disease (heart attacks,
stroke, heart failure, hypertension), and they compared added-sugar intake to death from heart disease. They
controlled their results for a wide range of heart-disease risk factors, including high blood pressure, total
cholesterol, smoking, physical activity, diet and weight.
The paper’s senior author Frank Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of
Public Health, says excessive intake of added sugar appears to negatively affect health in several ways. It
has been linked to the development of high blood pressure, increased triglycerides (blood fats), low HDL
(good) cholesterol, fatty liver problems, as well as making insulin less effective in lowering blood sugar.
The study found that people who consumed more than 21% of daily calories from added sugar had double
the risk of death from heart disease as those who consumed less than 10% of calories from added sugars.
People who consumed seven or more servings a week of sugar-sweetened beverages (5 cans of soda) were at
a 29% higher risk of death from heart disease than those who consumed one serving or less.

Want to learn more about Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, Health, or Natural Pain Relief in Orlando?  Check out our website: OrlandoAcupuncture.com