Inflammation: The Silent Killer
Inflammation is the bodies response to damage from infections, injuries and toxins. When one of these damages the body, the inflammation process is initiated and the immune system releases antibodies and other chemicals in an attempt to heal the body. This is acute inflammation and is what most think of as inflammation; Hot, Red, Pain, Swelling.
What happens when this does not resolve? When either the body cannot heal itself or when the root cause is not removed. We get chronic inflammation, and the effects on the body may surprise you!
Chronic inflammation may be caused by poor diet, smoking, chronic stress, lack of sleep, Autoimmune disease or untreated acute inflammation
In Chronic Inflammation we may not see the usual symptoms of hot, red, pain and swelling. More common symptoms are fatigue, insomnia, anxiety/depression, GI issues, weight issues, frequent infections, fever, sores and pain.
These symptoms may not be affecting your activities of daily living but long standing inflammation may contribute to other major diseases: cancer, diabetes, arthritis, IBD, allergies, COPD, alzheimer’s, kidney and cardiovascular disease. These are more serious complications and further investigation is required.
We can test for Chronic inflammation, your Naturopathic doctor can refer you for blood tests that can diagnose inflammation and determine the impact the inflammation has had on the body. This may include CBC, hsCRP, ESR, thyroid panel and fasting insulin/glucose to start. Autoimmune markers, glucose challenge and other organ health labs may also be added. If there is a correlation to food a Food Sensitivity IgG test may also be requisitioned.
Once the root cause of the inflammation is determined a treatment plan can be formed and may include the following: high fiber/low glycemic diet, supplements (curcumin, fish oils, glutamine, probiotics, magnesium, zinc), and exercise.
A Naturopathic Doctor can guide you through the investigation of inflammation and then design a personalized plan to prevent the development of several diseases that are linked to inflammation.
Written by: Dr. Matthew Pace, N.D
Reference: Pahwa R, Goyal A, Bansal P, et al. Chronic Inflammation. [Updated 2020 Aug 10]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493173/