Recently much of my personal research has been based around inflammation as I always found myself asking, is systemic “inflammation” really as terrifying as they say?
The answer is YES and unfortunately nearly all of us living in the western world live a pro-inflammatory life.
Inflammation is a physical condition where the body becomes reddened, swollen and often painful. The function of inflammation is to eliminate the initial cause of cell injury, clear out necrotic cells and tissues damaged from the original inflammatory process.
Inflammation is the body’s way of saying “I need to be healed!”
Why is this bad? Most of time we aren’t even aware we are inflamed and spend weeks, months, even years completely oblivious to these inflammatory messages – eventually we end up fighting chronic illness for something that perhaps we could have been prevented?!
The consequences of this inflammatory process affect our biological pathways which are usually triggered by factors including poor diet, minimal physical activity, sleep disturbances, neglected injury, negative lifestyle habits, and of course the almighty killer…STRESS!
Understanding the steps the body undertakes to reach an inflamed state has, for me, been one of the most valuable learnings over the past few years.
Understanding the process has allowed me to make so much more sense of health conditions ranging from obesity, diabetes, depression and ADHD. Although the pathways can be difficult to understand – HOW the process take place has been simplified below:
Inflammation can cause MOOD DISTURBANCE:
Monoaminergic activity – inflammation induces indolemanin-2,30 dioxygenase (IDO), this breaks down tryptophan which is needed to created serotonin. *Serotonin is primarily found in the gastrointestinal tract (roughly 90%), blood platelets, and the central nervous system in humans. Its role is to stabilize our mood, so – lower serotonin levels can contribute to depression and anxiety…
Inflammation can increase sugar cravings!!
HPA activity – The unregulated stress response affects all hormones in the body, particularly CRH, ACTH and cortisol which contribute to glucocorticoid resistance (similar to insulin resistance). If these hormones are unbalanced, this can throw out our sugar levels.
Inflammation can decrease our immune response:
Oxidative stress – Oxidative stress stimulates the production of reactive oxygen species called free radicals. An accumulation of free radicals in the body increases our inflammatory state & our likelihood of becoming chronically ill.
NUT SHELL: turns of beautiful grapes (cells) into sultanas!
Inflammation causes low energy levels!!
Mitochondrial function – Inflammation in the body is like an energy vacuum: It influences mitochondrial (our energy centre) activity and decreases ATP (energy) production.
NUT SHELL: inflammation drains the “fuel” from our “vehicle” essentially leaving us running on empty…
Lifestyle and environmental factors – These play a huge role in our body’s inflammatory state; food intolerances, consuming pro-inflammatory foods and waiting long periods before eating can contribute to pro–inflammatory processes in the body.
This brief insight gives you a little understanding into the process of inflammation and the detrimental role it plays on our health.
Perhaps feelings that we put down to stress, depression, recurring illness, hormonal imbalance and fatigue are the body’s way of telling us “I need to be healed,” and we must start listening.
A FEW TIPS FROM THE AOK YOGA NUTRITIONISTS – HOW TO BECOME AWARE OF YOUR BODY & PROMOTE A HEALTHY LIFE!*
- MEDITATION & YOGA
- FILTERED WATER
- AVOID NIGHTSHADE FOODS
- REDUCE PRO-INFLAMMATORY FOODS (white product I.e. Bread, processed foods / pastries, sugar etc)
- INCREASE GREENS & FOODS HIGH IN PRANA
- AVOID GLUTEN
- AVOID EXCESS ALCOHOL
- QUIT SMOKING
- TRY COLONICS
- LOOK AFTER YOUR GUT!
*For more detail, refer to part 2 of this blog
With Love, Alex xx