Many diseases are due to inflammation. In fact, the syllable 'itis' at the end of so many medical words indicates inflammation. Arthritis, for example, means an inflammation of the joints; appendicitis indicates an inflammation of the appendix; and gastritis, an inflammation of the stomach.
Inflammation produces pain, swelling, heat and loss of function. Chronic inflammation inflicts devastating effects on health. A list of common but seemingly unrelated health problems - asthma, allergies, heart disease, kidney failure, strokes and Alzheimer's disease - all have their genesis in inflammation. In addition, many of the 'diseases of old age' are simply the result of long-standing inflammation.
A vast number of drugs are taken to simply suppress or control these symptoms. They are called anti-inflammatory drugs. These drugs may initially be effective in easing the pain or reducing the swelling, but they do not deal with the underlying problem; they simply control the symptom for awhile. What is worse, they have major side effects, especially when taken for prolonged periods; your stomach may develop bleeding ulcers or kidneys may be damaged.
The good news is, your body is designed with its own ability to control, reverse and even prevent inflammation. Here are some ways to do this:
Some foods promote inflammation, while others prevent and relieve it.
AVOID THESE FOODS
Fatty red meat, fried foods, organ meats like liver and kidney, dairy products and egg yolks. (These contain pro-inflammatory substances)
Rice, pasta, refined flour products, e.g. dumplings, crackers and white bread (these elevate blood sugar and create hormonal imbalance);
Sugar, excess sweet fruits and fruit juices (elevate blood sugar);
Food flavourings, preservatives, artificial food colourings.
EMPHASIZE THESE FOODS
mackerel, salmon and other cold-water fish;
fresh vegetables and less sweet fruit;
virgin olive oil and olives, flaxseed, flaxseed oil and avocados;
oatmeal, nuts, seeds and whole grain.
DETOXIFY THE BODY
It is important to look for and clear up any sites of chronic infection in the body. Particular attention should be paid to the mouth (teeth and gums), the sinuses, the nails (fungal infections) and the skin. You may need the assistance of your medical practitioner for this.
Natural detoxification programmes using herbs, colonic irrigation, saunas, massage and liquid fasts are very effective. These may be necessary at regular intervals.
There are some specific anti-inflammatory supplements that will assist the body in correcting the imbalance that has produced the inflammation. These include:
a programme of vitamin and mineral supplements like the Cellular Nutrition Plan which I promote.
fish oil capsules (use a high quality variety from several different fish);
the antioxidants (vitamins A, C, E and selenium);
herbs: nettle leaf extract, aloe, boswellia and curcumin;
DHEA and vitamin E.
Chronic stress poorly managed produces certain chemical imbalances in the body that promote inflammatory responses. Learning to identify the stressors in one's life and developing effective stress management techniques are extremely important aspects of any programme for controlling inflammation. Develop an emotional and spiritual support system. Healthy relationships, prayer, meditation and other spiritual practices can greatly facilitate the healing process.
You may email Dr Tony Vendryes at email@example.com, visit him at www.anounceofprevention.org or listen to An Ounce of Prevention on POWER 106FM on Fridays at 8:00 p.m.