EVERYONE WHO HAS HAD a sore throat, rash, hives, or a sprained ankle knows about inflammation. These are normal and appropriate responses—your body’s defense system—to infection and trauma. This kind of inflammation is good and we need it to survive. The trouble occurs when that defense system runs out of control, like a rebel army bent on destroying its own country.
Many of us are familiar with an overactive immune response and too much inflammation. It results in common conditions like allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune disease, and asthma. This is bad inflammation, and if it is left unchecked it can become downright ugly.
There’s a quick and easy blood test called a C-reactive protein test, and it measures the degree of HIDDEN inflammation in your body.
Finding out whether or not you are suffering from hidden inflammation is critical, because almost every modern disease (including heart disease, obesity, diabetes, dementia, depression, cancer, and even autism) is caused or affected by it. If your immune system and its ability to quell inflammation in your body are impaired, watch out. You are headed toward illness and premature aging.
Fortunately, addressing the causes of inflammation and learning how to live an anti-inflammatory lifestyle can dramatically improve your health. The first step is to understand what inflammation is and why it can become so dangerous.
Thankfully, the list of things that cause inflammation is relatively short:
Poor diet—mostly sugar, refined flours, processed foods, and inflammatory fats such as trans and saturated fats
- Lack of exercise
- Hidden or chronic infections with viruses, bacteria, yeasts, or parasites
- Hidden allergens from food or the environment
- Toxins such as mercury and pesticides
- Mold toxins and allergens
By listening carefully to a person’s story and performing a few specific tests, I can discover the causes of inflammation most people.
It’s important to understand that this concept of inflammation is not specific to any one organ or medical specialty. In fact, if you read a medical journal from any field of medicine, you will find endless articles about how inflammation is at the root of problems with the particular organ or area they focus on.
In the future, medicine may no longer have specialties like cardiology or neurology or gastroenterology, but new specialists like “inflammologists”.
But by understanding these concepts and core systems that are the basis of healthy living now, you don’t have to wait.
This is only part of the story. Read the full article on inflammation—also part of the 7 Keys to UltraWellness series— here: UltraWellness Lesson 2: Inflammation & Immune Balance.
Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below—but remember, we can’t offer personal medical advice online, so be sure to limit your comments to those about taking back our health!
To your good health,
Mark Hyman, MD