Is Your Body Burning Up with Hidden Inflammation?

by

COULD SOMETHING AS SIMPLE as a quick and easy blood test save your life?

Absolutely.

It is 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 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.

Today, I am going to review what the primary causes of inflammation are and give you a simple, 7-step approach that will help you cool the fires raging out of control in your body.

Cooling off Inflammation is Key #3 to UltraWellness and in this blog — the third in this 7-part series on the 7 Keys to UltraWellness — I am going to teach you how to do just that.

The first step is to understand what inflammation is and why it can become so dangerous.

Inflammation: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Everyone who has had a sore throat, rash, hives, or a sprained ankle knows about inflammation. These are normal and appropriate responses of the immune — your body’s defense system — to infection and trauma.

This kind of inflammation is good. We need it to survive — to help us determine friend from foe.

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.

What few people understand is that hidden inflammation run amok is at the root of all chronic illness we experience — conditions like heart disease, obesity, diabetes, dementia, depression, cancer, and even autism.

A study of a generally “healthy” elderly population found that those with the highest levels of C-reactive protein and interleukin 6 (two markers of systemic inflammation) were 260 percent more likely to die during the next 4 years. The increase in deaths was due to cardiovascular and other causes.

We may feel healthy, but if this inflammation is raging inside of us, then we are in trouble.

The real concern is not our response to immediate injury, infection, or insult. It is the chronic, smoldering inflammation that slowly destroys our organs and our ability to function optimally and leads to rapid aging.

Common treatments such as anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen or aspirin) and steroids like prednisone — though often useful for acute problems — interfere with the body’s own immune response and can lead to serious and deadly side effects.

Take, for example, a man who came to see me recently. He wanted to climb a mountain and asked for my help to get healthy. He was 57 years old and took about 15 medications for six different inflammatory conditions: high blood pressure, pre-diabetes, colitis, reflux, asthma, and an autoimmune disease of his hair follicles called alopecia.

In fact, as many people die from taking anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen every year as die from asthma or leukemia. Stopping these drugs would be equivalent to finding the cure for asthma or leukemia –- that’s a bold statement, but the data is there to back it up.

Meanwhile, the real effects of statin drugs like Lipitor in reducing heart disease may have nothing to do with lowering cholesterol, but with their unintended side effect of reducing inflammation.

But is taking medication the right approach to addressing the problem of inflammation?

No. It is DOWNSTREAM medicine.

Here’s how UPSTREAM medicine thinks about inflammation …

How to Locate the Causes of Hidden Inflammation

So if inflammation and immune imbalances are at the root of most of modern disease, how do we find the causes and get the body back in balance?

First, we need to identify the triggers and causes of inflammation. Then we need to help reset the body’s natural immune balance by providing the right conditions for it to thrive.

As a doctor, my job is to find those inflammatory factors unique to each person and to see how various lifestyle, environmental, or infectious factors spin the immune system out of control, leading to a host of chronic illnesses.

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
  • Stress
  • 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.

So what’s the problem?

There is almost no communication between specialties. Everyone is treating the downstream effects of inflammation, but addressing the causes of inflammation that are upstream could help people who have multiple problems that are really linked together by this common root cause.

Take, for example, a man who came to see me recently. He wanted to climb a mountain and asked for my help to get healthy. He was 57 years old and took about 15 medications for six different inflammatory conditions: high blood pressure, pre-diabetes, colitis, reflux, asthma, and an autoimmune disease of his hair follicles called alopecia.

Yet when I asked him how he felt, he said “great”. I told him I was surprised because he was on so many medications.

Yes, he said, but everything was very well controlled with the latest medications prescribed by the top specialists he saw in every field—the lung doctor for his asthma, the gastroenterologist for his colitis and reflux, the cardiologist for his high blood pressure, the endocrinologist for his pre-diabetes, the dermatologist for his hair loss.

But did any of those specialists ask him why he had six different inflammatory diseases and why his immune system was so pissed off? Was it just bad luck that he “got” all these diseases — or was there something connecting all these problems?

He looked puzzled and said “no”.

I then searched for and uncovered the cause of his problems: gluten. He had celiac disease, an autoimmune disease related to eating gluten, the protein found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, and oats.

Six months later he came back to see me. He had lost 25 pounds, had no more high blood pressure, asthma, reflux, or colitis, and said he had normal bowel movements for the first time in his life. His hair was even growing back. And he was off nearly all his medications.

7 Steps to Living an Anti-inflammatory Life

So once you have figured out the causes of inflammation in your life, gotten rid of them, the next step is to keep living an anti-inflammatory lifestyle. But how do you do that?

Here is what I recommend. It’s a disarmingly simple but extraordinarily effective way to achieve UltraWellness:

  1. Whole Foods – Eat a whole foods, high-fiber, plant-based diet, which is inherently anti-inflammatory. That means choosing unprocessed, unrefined, whole, fresh, real foods, not those full of sugar and trans fats and low in powerful anti-inflammatory plant chemicals called phytonutrients.
  2. Healthy Fats – Give yourself an oil change by eating healthy monounsaturated fats in olive oil, nuts and avocados, and getting more omega-3 fats from small fish like sardines, herring, sable, and wild salmon.
  3. Regular Exercise – Mounting evidence tells us that regular exercise reduces inflammation. It also improves immune function, strengthens your cardiovascular systems, corrects and prevents insulin resistance, and is key for improving your mood and erasing the effects of stress. In fact, regular exercise is one among a small handful of lifestyle changes that correlates with improved health in virtually ALL of the scientific literature. So get moving already!
  4. Relax – Learn how to engage your vagus nerve by actively relaxing. This powerful nerve relaxes your whole body and lowers inflammation when you practice yoga or meditation, breathe deeply, or even take a hot bath.
  5. Avoid Allergens – If you have food allergies, find out what you’re allergic to and stop eating those foods—gluten and dairy are two common culprits.
  6. Heal Your Gut – Take probiotics to help your digestion and improve the balance of healthy bacteria in your gut, which reduces inflammation.
  7. Supplement – Take a multivitamin/multimineral supplement, fish oil, and vitamin D, all of which help reduce inflammation.

Taking this comprehensive approach to inflammation and balancing your immune system addresses one of the most important core systems of the body.

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.

Now I’d like to hear from you …

Have you had your C-reactive protein tested?

Do you think inflammation may be at the core of your health condition?

Why do you think so many doctors practice downstream medicine instead of catching problems early with upstream medicine?

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

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64 Responses to Is Your Body Burning Up with Hidden Inflammation?

  1. leonard February 9, 2013 at 8:45 am #

    downstream medicine is the easy way out. it requires less work and less research. my auto-immune disorder(supposedly MADSAM) has been so frustrating. the bulk of info. I have received is from self research. it is not right that I have to be my own doctor for treatment of this disorder. I am going for more blood tests to rule out certain toxicities and will continue with IVIG…for now. my protein levels were high via a spinal tap test so hoping things are at least on the right path. diet is my next focus but i’ve always eaten healthy. there are so many potential factors that it’s impossible to know what to eat nowadays. some healthy foods may increase inflammation so more frustration navigating through this. i am 40 years old and was in tremendous health prior to the numbness and atrophy of my lower leg/s..

    • John March 18, 2014 at 2:18 am #

      I was diagnosed with CIDP in 1993 and was treated with prednisone, plasma pheresis and IVIG, none of which improved my condition. My muscle wasting around my hip bone, has worsened to the point where i have great difficulty sleeping due to pain and discomfort from the bone prominence, and i sleep on a Roho flotation device.
      The only time i use the conventional healthcare system is for the odd blood test and to have disability forms completed. They aren’t interested in root cause because they’ve been bamboozled by Pharma to “treat” symptoms; what a great business model. So i’m going it alone, as well. I’ve been taking numerous supplements and neutriceuticals, adjusted my diet increased my exercise and i am presently taking pregnenolone and i plan on taking DHEA, progesterone and a natural thyroid hormone in hopes of repairing, and halting the autoimmunity. Good luck.
      http://www.roadback.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=education.display&display_id=121
      http://www.antiaging-systems.com/articles/232-hypothyroidism-the-underdiagnosed-epidemic

    • John March 18, 2014 at 2:32 am #

      This doctor cured herself of MS.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLjgBLwH3Wc

    • Becky November 7, 2014 at 1:34 am #

      I have spent 28 years in my inflammation nightmare and have spent so many countless hours researching that by now I feel I could be just as good a doctor as most out there practicing. I have been on prednisone since 1986. Apparently in my case it is a genetic thing because in the same year my Dad at 52 , my brother only 19 and myself at 29 all fell ill with different medical conditions caused from inflammation. I am curious about your experience with the IVIG. It is so expensive but does it help?

  2. Diane March 12, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

    WOW is all I can say. I stumbled on this website by accident while googling a medical question. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have long thought that the medical profession for the most part was sliding downhill by prescribing medications that control and mask symptoms but don’t resolve the problem. I have sensitivities to most medications, as well as topical and cosmedic products. Soaps, detergents and things that are supposed to be good for us, I have a problem with. I think my doctors believe I am making up my reactions. My intuition says it is my body telling me I don’t need all that crap and need to determine the cause of my problems. You hit the nail on the head with inflammation. I have allergies both environmental and food, metabolic syndrome (with the cholesterol problems), type 2 diabetes (insulin resistant), hypothyroid, severe sleep apnea, and cicatricial alopecia from discoid lupus. I’m starting to have muscle issues and olfactory problems, i.e. smelling things like burning cigarettes a lot when there are none. I know the majority of my problems are inflammation related but am not getting much help resolving them. I am with Kaiser and I have asked for a C-Reactive Protein blood test, but they say that they do not do the test because it is unreliable and would not be of any help. It is ironic that they will be stringent with the results of some tests, and yet if some of your tests are off just a little they tend to ingore the result. Yes, like so many medical professionals today they send you to a specialist for each ailment, and you are treated for each problem separately, but nobody looks at the whole picture. So now I am going to try your approach and see if I can put out the fires of inflammation once and for all.

  3. Agod March 13, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

    Dr.hyman are u in new york ..ive been haveung acute allergies and i cant sleep .this has been going on mt whole life and my face swells up and its very nerve wrecking and destroys my quality of life where i dont even go out .help save my unbalance life
    .and i try my best to eat 80 %plant baaed and it still comes back .pollen season and ragweed is the worst sometines it takes yrs to go away .help me please.come up wit a solution

    • Profile photo of HymanStaff
      HymanStaff March 26, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

      Thank you for your comment. Dr. Hyman is located in Lenox, MA. Questions regarding conditions like these cannot be answered in a responsible manner via the Internet.

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

      Dr. Hyman Staff

  4. mulch in canton May 2, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

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  5. Kay May 13, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

    Is a C-reative protein test included in the Protein, Total , Serum test and Protein Electro.S?

    These were on blood work. I am supposed to see a rheumatlogist in June because of the results.

    Results at the end give a Scleroderma/ polymycitis scleroderma overlap and PSS w/crest syndrome variable.

  6. rahim kerala August 13, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

    sir
    thank you for your valuable advise….

  7. Lisa Koon October 30, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

    Thank you for this life saving information. However, i live in SC(near Columbia). I have a pain dr( for back pain), a family practioner for basic medical needs and a rheumatologist in Charleston. The problem is i am taking Plaquenil( 200mg twice a day) and Prednisone(10mg per day) and Neurontin(300mg per day). For pain oxycontin 30 mg twice a day and currently on plan for reducing and stopping it. Been on it for 10 plus yrs. i was told by former rheumo dr i had PMR, and after 3 mths and no improvement she discharged me. Where can i get some help? I am 51 and i am dying and no one seems to care or listen.

    • Profile photo of Team Hyman
      Team Hyman December 30, 2013 at 11:15 pm #

      Hi Lisa-Visit wwww.functionalmedicine.org to find a practitioner near you. Good luck!

  8. Jean November 21, 2013 at 6:50 am #

    What suggestions do you have for someone who can’t eat raw foods and fiber rich foods due to gastroparesis?

  9. Suffering in Florida November 24, 2013 at 11:55 am #

    Dr. Hyman,

    I’m in DESPERATE NEED of HELP! I’ve been SUFFERING for YEARS from diseases which are KNOWN to cause chronic inflammation (Psoriatic Arth.,Fibro,Cervicalgia, Hyperlipidimia, etc).
    HOWEVER, my C-REACTIVE PROTEIN test always came back NORMAL! Even w/the P.A.! My Rhuemt. was only able to diagnose it by conducting other tests & due to my once severe psoriasis.

    I KNOW I have chronic inflammation because during “Flares” my hands (fingers) swell up to twice their size, my joints become so swollen & painful that it causes limited (sometimes complete) immobility & I require joint injections/nerve blocks. These things I’ve learned to “live with”.

    However, in the last few years (I should mention that I havnt had or been able to find a rheumatologist in the past 6 years for a variety of reasons & have been under the care of my G.P.) I’ve developed a variety of new, very different health problems which have GREATLY affected my quality of life. The worst being sudden “Flares” of extreme muscle fatigue, weakness, pain, spasms (even throat spasms).This is VERY DIFFERENT from my Fibro muscle pain & spasms in that it comes on in the form of an “espisode or severe flare” accompanied by extreme fatigue & sleeping, cognative impairment, numbness & tingling in my hands, arms, legs & feet, severe back spasms, eye pain-even my face hurts!! When these flares come on I’m completely incapacitated for days & sometimes weeks.

    I’ve sought help from COUNTLESS doctors & although Ive had a huge variety of many different Abnormal blood tests, EKG’s & more, NONE of the Dr.’s I’ve been to can/care to figure it out. They almost ALWAYS end up referring me to another specialist OR treat me with such disregard that I end up leaving in tears! After one particularly horriying visit, I decided to stop seeking any further help. In fact, this is the 1st time I’ve reached out to new Dr. in over 2 years, despite the fact that my condition has deteriorated so much that I rarely am able to leave my house or participate in life! I have no contact with friends & very little with family. For a 41 yr old female who not so long ago ran a successful business, participated in all my kids school & extracurricular activities, worked out 4-5 times a week, had a very active social life, took regular family vacations & more, this is devastating! I am severely depressed & feel completely hopelessnes.

    I came across your article looking for for some answers/help regarding some NEW problems Ive developed-Namely the fact that (mainly when I 1st wake-up) my body feels like its on FIRE from the inside out! It’s extremely painful & feels like I’m 110º inside! It’s usually accompanied by sweating, but not always. It can last anywhere from a few minutes to almost an hour upon waking. My husband can actually feel the heat radiating off my body.Just prior to this, I started having severe itching all over my body (esp. my scalp). This has been going on for several months. A few weeks ago I started getting random rashes all over my body but they are not always the same type if rash. For instance, one in particular covers my entire back & neck- Ive had for over a month it doest really itch but it wont go away, in this time Ive had 2 horribly itchy, stinging, painful burning psoriasis outbreaks. Yesterday I noticed round reddish-brown patch of skin under my arm-its completely smooth but itches!!

    I know this is alot to take in, its such a huge accumulation of issues that have gotten so bad I truly have no quality if life left. I dont know what to do at this point. I would be truly greatful for ANY HELP you can offer!

    Most Sincerely,
    Suffering in Florida

    • Profile photo of Team Hyman
      Team Hyman January 2, 2014 at 3:01 pm #

      Thank you for your interest in Dr Hyman’s work. Unfortunately Dr Hyman cannot provide personal medical advice in this forum. For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to:http://www.bloodsugarsolution.com/nutrition-coaching/ OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.

    • Yarina Brooks September 18, 2014 at 2:35 pm #

      Hello eva, I had the same symtoms as you mentioned on paragraph 5 and what ghapped is that ihad elevated calcium. I stopped taking my calcium and vitamins which had calcium too. Now all the eaching, high temperatures, rashes, etc disappeared. Everything you discrived I had. Hope it helps.
      Yarina

    • Yarina Brooks September 18, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

      I am sorry,. Not Eva, to suffering in Florida.

    • Becky November 7, 2014 at 2:31 am #

      Has any doctor ever tested you for Lyme disease? You have all the strange things happening to you that I have been battling since 1986. I had a wonderful doctor until he moved his practice to Washington, DC. Mine I believe is a combination of a genetic problem since other family members have conditions that are caused by an overactive immune system. However, in 2004 he sent my bloodwork to CA and Lyme disease did show up. In 1986 I was cutting grass and the next day on my top eye lid was a tiny spot. I thought it was a sty but after 3 days and hot compresses along with just that one side of my face hurting badly I went to a doctor and lodged in eye lid was a newborn tick. They weren’t even sure how to dislodge it because it was so small but they finally got it out. Back then doctors really didn’t know much about Lyme disease so nothing further was done. But a tick has to have been on a person for 48 hours before they can transfer the bacteria. This tick was no bigger than a dot at the end of a sentence. So, once they found I had Lyme along with some of the other infections ticks carry I couldn’t take the pick line (a IV straight into the heart) with every strong antibiotics. I have many neurological problems with my cranial nerves like trigeminal neuralgia that causes facial, eye and neck pain. Suddenly one day while at work in an instant I was hit with no balance, couldn’t even open my eyes it was so bad. I couldn’t even crawl. This lasted a month. Of course I had to be hospitalized. They called it vestibular neuronitsis. Something, a virus, inflammation, something, hit a nerve at the bottom of the brain. I have had bad balance problems since. These flares as you call them, my doctor called them the same. A neurologist thought I had MS, said I had all the symptoms but no lesions showed up on an MRI. I am now like you I can’t plan anything because things can hit out of the blue. Don’t know how I will feel from one hour to the next. It is so very hard to get another doctor to even begin my situation since the only doc that did moved away. So, I have 2 things, the over active immune system and Lyme, Fibro, neuropathy, 2 heart attacks, artheoscalosis, chlorestrol out the roof, many TIAs and on and on and on. So, if it helps you any to know you are not alone in what seems a life of just existing, waiting on the next ball to drop, there are many of us. My husband was in excellent health,, no problems at all. Then in 2009 he got lost driving. Then really quick he began having other problems. He was 52, diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s. I cared for him. I promised to never put him in a nursing home. It was horribly hard but God helped me to be able to care for him. His doctor turned him over to Hospice but he lived a year and a half longer than the 6 months for Hospice. He lived 5 years, died July 2013. After he passed all my problems along with more came rushing back. My two grown children their father and me. So, I am totally alone now battling all these crazy medical problems. I am so thankful I was allowed to care for him because I know he would have done the same for me. Hang in there my friend and I pray that some day soon the medical profession will learn how to help those of us with all these horrible diseases.

  10. Eva November 24, 2013 at 6:48 pm #

    Hello Dr. Mark Hyman, I hope this will help many people, as this is a problem that is becoming bigger and bigger. I was sick for 3 years, thinking I had Hidradenitis Suppurativa. I had 2 surgeries done, unfortunately for nothing – as the infection continued coming back. After yet again giving google a try I found the answer in the cause of gluten sensitivity. I have not had a doctor diagnose me though. I don’t want to eat gluten and get worse just to have it written on a paper. Therefor I am staying clean and I am believing, that I with a non Doctor Degree I have made the right decision for my body.

    Becoming gluten free is the best decision of my life!
    I am less aggressive and I have more energy. For everyday that passes I have more and more energy and for every day that passes I feel less depressed.

    I observed that I had a higher intake of omega 3 as a child and teenager, as my mother always gave me extra vitamins, this may have kept my infections down back then, I still don’t know, but I think so! After moving out my food intake was still the same, as I have never been an unhealthy eater, yet the almost weekly pizza was in my MAINSTREAM LIFESTYLE. Result after a 5 year period of VERY LOW omega 3 intake(back then I did not like fish): My body became more tired and my acne got worse and my body started being infected in the groin area.

    please observe your reactions to certain foods, it can help you way more than downstream medicine “specialists”.

    I don’t know if you have experienced anything like this, or heard stories like mine, but your description describes my life in many ways. yet after not eating gluten a new problem has occurred, my knee has developed a pain. I don’t know if that could have anything to to with this, but as I am a dancer and a gymnast it is very weird that I have this pain. I have not hit myself, nor have I fallen on my knee. The MRI shows nothing. this condition closest to mine I found is this one:

    http://orthopaedicsports.com/2012/07/18/the-difficult-to-diagnose-knee-pain-it-could-be-due-to-menisco-capsular-separation/

    If you have any experience about this, please share. Maybe I do need some kind of certain intake of grain. I do eat some grains, but all are gluten free. Other than that I have a high and normal intake of vitamin D and a regular intake of Omega 3.

    //Eva

  11. Tammy Duguay November 26, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

    Hello Dr. I believe all you have said. I had extreme stress throughout my life. With such swollen knees age 7 earaches stiffness in my joints. Age 14 mono age 17 ebstein barr ill for almost 9 months . I had so much aches and pain at 22 I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue then at 35 fibro Then at 40 positive for R A. I’m on tylenol 3 and I really cut back on Ibuprophen it was 1200 mg 3 x a day . I was just rushed to hospital last week now I’m seeing a stroke neurologist my blood pressure was through the roof. I have cut sugar and am doing low glycemic food change. . Blood test results just came back colesterol a little high gout factors were 423 and my inflamation wasat 8 . It was 5 last year. So I am very concerned and I need to lose 110 pnds. I’m 47 I have 4 children 23,18,9,6 I want to see them grow .

    3

  12. WENDY WATTS December 7, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

    Dr Hyman … medically I have epilepsy, hypothyroid (hyshimoto’s?), extreme allergies (tested and mainly all grass and all trees along with handful more … had me on 3shots week), and migraines last 3 yrs only worse. I know I have poor diet, need more exercise and live a life full of stress & anxiety. Ive done drs and medicine but only getting worse. Memory is bad, muscles are tight andin general I never feel good ….. please helo me. Im 44, 6 ft tall weigh 220 married andvwe have 2 kids 14 and 11. Reading your books just started … 44 years of bad but trying to start and do different. Inflammation is proly large part of my problem …… wondering if you have a biggest loser reality show planned …. id be good candidate. Just thinking!! Certain what you are saying is true just turning things around ?? Brain fog, low memory … so many symptoms.

    • Profile photo of Team Hyman
      Team Hyman December 27, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to: http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/
      Did you know you can work with Dr. Hyman’s nutritionists virtually? For personalized nutrition coaching, please see: http://store.drhyman.com/Store/List/Coaching-Programs
      In Good Health,
      Dr. Hyman’s Wellness Staff

  13. Jonathan White December 19, 2013 at 8:43 pm #

    I have a problem too the doctor told me i have a very rare condition where my immune system is over active and it is very hard to treat my chest hurts from being inflammed my eyes are inflammed and my ears and inflammed that i know of I need to see some kind of ologist but i am not sure which one i am still waiting for the call but i have had this been going on for 10 weeks

  14. Janet Farrell December 23, 2013 at 10:41 am #

    I suffered for many years with inflammation and burning, but was unaware of the extent at first. It started with a reaction to hair dye which burnt my skin and I swelled up to look like a boxer after a fight. It took about 2 months for me to feel better and I thought it was over.
    I had a reaction almost 3 years ago to some chemicals and this time the results were severe. My immune system started attacking me! I burned and peeled all the time. I visited 4 doctors but they could only help me with prednisone, otherwise they did not know what to do. I researched it to be the histamine and immune chemicals that caused these terrible symptoms. My blood pressure was high, I had heart palpitations and I trembled so much that I could not sign my name. I tried all the natural products under the sun AND went through the list that you have suggested above. It continued for 2 years until the steroids were not helping anymore!
    I felt like I needed a switch to turn it off.
    I went for a course of acupuncture and within 5 20 min sessions I was cured. That was my switch!

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      Team Hyman December 27, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

      Great work Janet. Keep it up and thanks for the support!

    • Betsey May 9, 2014 at 10:29 am #

      What does the acupuncture exactly do for a body?

    • bibi July 9, 2014 at 4:32 pm #

      Are you still feeling good?…Did the inflammation go away for good? ..I feel so lost…Im 38…Im losing my hair…I am so sad.. Did the acupucture really worked?

  15. Suzanne Putnam December 27, 2013 at 11:57 am #

    For the last 10 years or more, my CPR levels have been between 15 and 30. I have been checked for lupus, rhematoid arthritis and heart disease. Those tests have shown no problems. I do have chronic outdoor allergens and also have some osteoarthritis. I have high cholesterol and take medication for depression. Do you have any suggestion as to the next steps I should take to see why my CRP levels are so high? My family doctor is concerned but doesn’t know what else to do.

    • Profile photo of Team Hyman
      Team Hyman December 27, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to: http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/
      Did you know you can work with Dr. Hyman’s nutritionists virtually? For personalized nutrition coaching, please see: http://store.drhyman.com/Store/List/Coaching-Programs
      In Good Health,
      Dr. Hyman’s Wellness Staff

  16. Nina Shambor March 19, 2014 at 11:39 pm #

    I feel like i am on fire it has only happened one time. My body hurts as I sleep as well.

    I have had cancer a very rare melnanoma inside my lungs ,stomach small intestine two and a half years ago.

  17. Sara April 3, 2014 at 11:29 pm #

    Just wanted to say thank you for these insights. Thank you staff for being so very patient and nice in replies with others who post direct questions about their health. Thank you again

  18. Joyce April 21, 2014 at 1:52 am #

    I had vitiligo over 16years, some spots on arms look like burning, since last July 2013 the light therapy regaining some pigments especially on arms areas, recently some days I feel extremely tired, I sleep, the body feels very heavy herself, and a few days having a feeling of burning inside the body, INFLAMMATION as you described, doctor mark, do you have recommendations beside the 7steps on anti inflammatory life. thanks in advance.

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff August 15, 2014 at 5:28 pm #

      Hi Joyce,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to: http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/

      Did you know you can work with Dr. Hyman’s nutritionists virtually? For personalized nutrition coaching where you can receive 1:1 support with Registered Dietitians, please see: http://store.drhyman.com/Store/List/Coaching-Programs.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  19. cathryn April 27, 2014 at 2:12 pm #

    Hello, I am also finding your site for the first time. I agree about inflammation. I need to find the causes of my inflammation, but how do you narrow it down? How and where does one go to get the c-reactive protein test? I am in Dallas.
    Currently am on a sans-gluten and sans-soy diet. I am looking for the next step without going paleo. My current conditions are hypothyroid, asthma, allergies and sinus issues, general lethargy. Doctors like to throw pills at me, but I prefer herbal remedies that prove to work.

    Thank you.

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff August 8, 2014 at 5:53 pm #

      Hi Cathryn,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  20. Julie April 27, 2014 at 9:58 pm #

    I’ve had my CRP tested twice and it’s gone from 10 to 17 in three months (this after losing 37 pounds)! I’m petrified of what it means and my doctor doesn’t seem to have an answer. I’m still considered obese, I suffer from SEVERE depression and anxiety, and I tend to drink a bit too much. My cholesterol is elevated but nothing alarming. My blood pressure is ok. I don’t have diabetes. I’m giving myself panic attacks worrying that I am dying of heart disease this very minute. I’m only 31… Reading this article has made me feel less scared. Even though I’ve lost weight, I don’t always eat super fresh foods. I do have allergy issues too since moving to south Texas. Hoping my high levels are something less scary than I thought!

  21. Sheila April 30, 2014 at 9:41 pm #

    I am a 55 yr old women, that had been diagnosed 12/2013 with active ulcerative colitis. I chose to try treating myself naturally with SCD diet, along with a good Raw probiotics(100 billion, 34 strains), Raw Whole fod Mulit Vitamin,Omega-3,Magnesium Malate, B-6, B-12, D-3, Betaine HCL(for digestion), L-Glutamine(for digestion), and SAMe.
    I also have fibromyagia for 29 years, recently osteo arthritis, depression, menopause issues( using natural progesterone), chronic fatigue, possible candida, had gallbladder removed, fibrocyctic breast, HAD chronic diahrrea for 17 yrs. (told it came with fibro, depression, fatigue) but after changing diet, starting probiotic, and going off Zoloft (which I found contributed to having diahrrea, I no longer have. Plus I have been off Zoloft for about 3 months.
    I have lost 23 pd. since being diagnosed in Dec. and starting the SCD diet. Figure it to be normal thing, since it had taken me a why to get the hang of eating differently and the stress of it all. How ever, my Dr. is not happy about all the weight loss. I am eating the best an even organic when possible.
    I just had blood work completed and to my surprise, my Dr. just informed me that my C-Reative Protein is concerning and wants to put me on medication (that which I had turned down in Dec. asking to allow me to try alternative method first) and I am shocked, concerned, and dont know where to turn. This makes absolutely sense since on 12/23/2013 my C-Reative Protein was 0.18, and now after changing my diet, adding supplement, and getting my gut in check for the first time in 17 yrs., now on 04-24-2014 my C-Reative Protein has skyrocketed to 3.37mg/dl. How can this be? Hopping you could shed so light on this as to why or what I can do, without being put on the harmful meds.
    I am so anti-medication because I have done alot of research on them and read peoples blogs, that its that last thing I want to do.
    How ever, I don’t want colon cancer. I feel I am doing all that I know to do without some outside advise and knowledge to help me understand what I’m not doing right, or what else I can do. I have tried to get help from Functional/Alternative Dr. in my area but my insurance will not except it, and I can not pay out of pocket. I truly need help, Sincerely Sheila

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff August 8, 2014 at 5:21 pm #

      Hi Sheila,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to: http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

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  23. Ellen Jester May 25, 2014 at 4:25 pm #

    I have not had the C-reactive protein test. I did speak with my new family Doctor during my last visit about whether inflammation in my body could be the cause of health issues I’ve had and/or am having. I’m a breast cancer survivor (5+ years), I have osteoarthritis, sciatica, sinus problems, allergies since I moved from Texas to Florida, also high cholesterol but I can’t take statins because they cause me more muscular pain. My primary concern since last October has to do with the pain I’ve experienced that are sinus related, gums/teeth hurt (I’ve had dental work but my gums/teeth still hurt), sinus passages become swollen, eyes and scalp itch; I even had a massive hair shed last Fall. My Doctor didn’t have much to say about inflammation other than it doesn’t help to know IF you have inflammation if you don’t know where it is – you can’t treat it. I think I know where it is and it’s all over (is there such a thing as systemic inflammation?). I’m tired of feeling bad. I’ve lost 30 lbs, have began an exercise program and am eating healthier than I ever had. I still need to lose more weight but it’s hard to be too active when you feel bad all over (or all under. Ha!) all the time. Any advice?

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff August 1, 2014 at 7:16 pm #

      Hi Ellen,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to: http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

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  25. Connie Fox June 26, 2014 at 8:40 am #

    I have lupus which puts me in the position of ending up in emergency rooms quite often. A good part of the time, after a multitude of tests, can’t figure out what the problem is. It was only after going through all the tests in my medical records I discovered they NEVER test for inflammation! You would think having the knowledge that I have lupus that would be standard,

  26. Janice June 27, 2014 at 4:05 am #

    Dear Hyman team, thank u so much for the information. I seem to be breaking down slowly, (physically), emotionally upset because of this. However, I now have hope and can set about knowing myself and my needs. Our individuality makes up the whole of humanity. I believe that my body is crying out for change and one pill fits all is dangerous rubbish. So, slowly, slowly with calm, I am learning to help my precious self and work with nature. Thank u again for more insight into me.

    • Profile photo of Team Hyman
      Team Hyman June 28, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

      Hi Janice!

      We are more than glad to be able to help you! And thank you so much for the support. We wish you well :)

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  28. angela July 18, 2014 at 8:05 pm #

    I’m sure I’m living with inflammation! Wake up most nights feeling like I’m burning from the inside. My weight hasn’t changed but I look puffy mostly in my face and around my eyes. I ache have brain fog get hives regularly actually daily and have general fatigue. How or where can I get the Protein test? Being a Now former marathon runner current personal trainer pilates instructor and massage therapist I understand the body and function. I’m just so bogged down its interfering with my daily life.

  29. Heather July 23, 2014 at 7:19 pm #

    That is a great tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere.
    Short but very precise info… Thanks for sharing this one.
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  30. MARY August 12, 2014 at 5:54 am #

    WOW!….Dr. Hyman, how I have prayed for a physician with your philosophy and medical approach in treating patients. But since you are in MA & I’m in GA, I most likely will never receive the benefits of your expertise. Please, is there any one in the Atlanta, GA area you know of who practices a similar way? God bless you for your valuable information!

  31. Micki Jerry September 9, 2014 at 9:41 am #

    I am recovering from shoulder surgery. My surgeon said he had never seen that much inflammation in a joint…ever. I know I am full of inflammation, knees, hips, elbows, shoulders…I am a runner and have always felt that I am just getting old (52) but after hearing this doctor describe my insides as being such a mess, I have decided to change my diet to see if that helps. I have always eaten pretty healthy, but probably overdo the white rice and pasta at dinner time. I am giving up dairy and gluten, adding multivitamin, probiotic, fish and krill oil and going to a more plant based diet. This will not be hard for me, I have always been able to “feel” my body respond to nutrition changes, and am looking forward to getting this under control. Thank you for the information. Most helpful in my search for the truth. PS, I only see a doctor when I am not feeling well and am not taking any prescriptions, I am happy to say.

  32. Brian October 14, 2014 at 9:54 pm #

    One of my main-problems is that I was a body-builder. I eat a lot of protein. I do not know my BMI before the weight-gain. I was at 285-lbs and in two-months I arrived at 360-lbs. The 285, I was told I had appearance of being lean. So, I do not know how much weight I gained. I have had these problems since I was in the 1st-grade. In 2008 at 29, I was superscribed a inhaler to prevent from having asthma. This is when all my problems became worse. Now, the need for five-hours of sleep after being a wake for five-hours and before that nine-hours of sleep, all that was required to I could function.

    I am now on some meds, I am also trying to keep-up with the daily-yogurt as a part of my deit. .

    Now, even before all that, I tried all of these diets and were unable to do so. I was still hungry and feeling week to the point of wanting to sleep. So, I stayed on the high-protein-diets and was feeling more alive. The low-cal stuff has never worked for me. So, what can I do about the fact the being a former body builder requires more than 40-grams of protein per-meal?

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff October 18, 2014 at 6:16 pm #

      Hi Brian,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
      Did you know you can work with Dr. Hyman’s nutritionists virtually? For personalized nutrition coaching where you can receive 1:1 support with Registered Dietitians, please see: http://store.drhyman.com/Store/List/Coaching-Programs.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  33. Daniel October 21, 2014 at 6:28 am #

    Hello,

    I live in the netherlands and I’ve got severe nerve pain and no diagnosis so far from my doctor, dermatologists and 2 blood tests. So far my doctor says it’s all in my head but that’s not helping! I’ve got burning skin sensation all over my body and I do not feel consciously stressed. (I used to be though due to a traumatic experience.) Can this website help me out?

    I am currently smoking pot and using paracetamol because I can’t get by without them. Please advice me, I have tried acupuncture, yoga, meditation, avoiding unhealthy food and drinks. I am puzzled and do not understand what the hell is going on. I cannot imagine that I am a mental patient just making up pain in my head. It’s ruining my life at the moment.

    kind regards and if you can help me god bless you.

    Dan

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff October 25, 2014 at 4:42 pm #

      Hi Dan,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  34. Susanne October 30, 2014 at 10:01 am #

    Finally…the truth for good health! I have absolutely so respect for your run of the mill health care providers…I have been a patient of more than several specialists over the years. My heart, body and mind has convinced me that only the self can heal one’s body. It is very refreshing to find doctors wanting to partner in their patients health care. We can thank the pharmaceutical industry for keeping us sick, in order to profit financially. I am ever so grateful to the brave doctors that care enough to inform their patients of the truth to good health. I have discarded most of my toxic medicine, and will continue until I am pharmaceutical free. Thank you.

  35. Physiotherapy Clinics In Gurgaon November 12, 2014 at 5:36 am #

    This natural and healthy form of inflammation is necessary and can actually save us from further infection or injury. In short, good inflammation is one of our body’s first lines of defense and takes its clues from our immune system. Thanks for sharing this article.

  36. CRP November 12, 2014 at 10:44 am #

    Hello, thank you very much for all your work and tons of free information you provide. I have a question about CRP test. Mine is being slightly elevated each year and I am pretty sure there is some kind of inflammation in my body. I have been diagnosed w leukemia 7 years ago and currently in remission, but mint feel good about the CRP being always elevated. What additional tests should be done to discover what is the cause of the elevated CRP? My primary physician doesn’t seem to have an answer and I am trying to move on and get this resolved and take care of it, so leukemia doesn’t have a chance to return! Thanks for any advice is possible.

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff November 15, 2014 at 7:31 pm #

      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  37. Renee November 19, 2014 at 10:28 pm #

    Been sick for some time, but in April this year everything crashed. Ended up at six different specialists , and missed almost four months of work. We thought the root to be ulcerative colitis but recently a rheumatologist discover spondytarthritis. After reading up I’m guessing im at least stage two. I know I want natural so who can you recommend in or near Texas?

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