Inflammation

 

Did you know chronic diseases of every type including infections, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, digestive diseases, dementia, pain, autoimmune disorders, and many more, all have at least one common underlying cause known as chronic inflammation?  
 
As New Hampshire naturopathic doctors, our goal is to find all the promoters of inflammation in your body and reverse them so you may heal.  If you are looking for solutions to healing your chronic inflammation rather than simply suppressing it by taking anti-inflammatory medications or prednisone (both have harmful side effects) you will find them here at North Coast Family Health in Portsmouth, NH.
 

What is Chronic Inflammation?

Chronic inflammation is an immune response to bacteria, viruses, and many other toxins from your environment, your food and beverages, and even your thoughts and emotions!
 
Your immune system is a beautifully orchestrated response system to conditions that are perceived by it to be harmful to your health.  Thank goodness we have immune systems or we wouldn’t survive a simple viral infection.  On the other hand, a chronically overextended immune system begins to be harmful to our health when it causes chronic pain, swelling, and damage to our DNA, cells, and tissues.
 

What Causes Chronic Inflammation?

The primary underlying promoters of chronic inflammation are an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise.  
 
In addition, chronic inflammation can result from chronic infections, household and environmental toxins, mold, genetic predispositions, poor digestion and elimination, and nutrient deficiencies(link to tests).
 
We find each of these inflammation promoters commonly in our practice through health histories, physical exams, and various blood, urine and stool tests.
 

What about Diet?

We have an anti-inflammatory diet (link) you may refer to so you may begin to make healthful food choices if this is an area that needs improvement.  Beyond this general diet, there may be specific foods that promote inflammation and these can be tested for in a blood sample.  
 
It is common knowledge that substances like tobacco, soft drinks, sugar and high fructose corn syrup are all inflammatory so avoid them as much as possible.  Alcohol also promotes inflammation if you are consuming more than 8 ounces of red wine each day.
 

And lack of Exercise?

If the garbage man doesn’t pick up the trash it keeps piling up and starts to rot.  Similarly if we don’t exercise we have poor circulation and our cells aren’t as easily oxygenated and detoxified for lack of blood flow to them.  
 
All detoxification pathways need to be functioning optimally to minimize inflammation and exercise is a powerful detoxifier.   Be careful though, excessive exercise can promote more inflammation!  You’ll know you’re overdoing it if you feel chronic pain and soreness afterwards.
 

You Mentioned Thoughts and Emotions?

It’s scientifically proven that stress is a major cause of inflammation and disease.  Stress is a physiological response to our thoughts and emotions. When worry, fear, selfishness, cynicism, and a myriad other harmful thought and emotion patterns rule us, our bodies pay the price with chronic tension, nervous disorders and poor digestion as well as numerous other problems.  
 
See the articles on adrenal fatigue, hypertension(link), autoimmune disorders, digestive disorders, and cancer for just a few examples of how stress can harm you.
 

How do you Treat Stress?

We may prescribe a homeopathic remedy that is specific to your personal stress experience.  In addition, we often advise activities like yoga, meditation, exercise, service to others and uplifting projects and practices.  Psychotherapy can be helpful especially if it is solution oriented rather than re-examining your problems over and over again.
 
In conclusion, think of chronic inflammation as a fire that is out of control and you need to stop promoting it with an unhealthy diet and then bring in all the firemen, rescuers and aids you can to extinguish the fire in order to heal.  
 
We’re here to help you when you’re ready!