Inflammation and Immune Balance

Natural Medicine Overland Park, KS

It is no secret that your immune system plays a vital role for your body. As the body’s defense, its job is to keep infectious microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi outside of the body as well as destroy those infectious microorganisms that enter the body. However, did you also know that inflammation is the body’s natural immune response to stress, infection, and trauma?

When you get a sore throat, a sprained ankle, or experience any type of infection or trauma, the body naturally responds, thus causing inflammation in the affected area. This is an acute, normal, and appropriate response. However, when your defense system becomes overactive it can cause hidden, chronic inflammation. This type of chronic inflammation is damaging to your organs, and your overall health. Most chronic diseases such as heart disease, obesity, cancer, digestive disorders, diabetes, fibromyalgia, and arthritis is caused or affected by hidden, chronic inflammation.

What causes chronic inflammation?

Immune imbalances and inflammation are the root causes of most modern diseases. Therefore understanding the cause of inflammation and immune imbalances is important for preventing such disease states. The following are some of the things that can cause inflammation and immune imbalances:

  • Poor diet: a diet high in sugar, refined flours, processed foods, trans and saturated fats.
  • Lack of exercise
  • Stress: intense stress over stimulates the immune system, leading to an imbalance between inflammation and anti-inflammation.
  • Mold toxins and allergens
  • Toxins: pesticides, mercury, etc.
  • Hidden or unknown allergens from food or the environment: such as gluten
  • Chronic infections from viruses, bacteria, yeasts or parasites

A common medication to treat inflammation is anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen. However, over time long term use of these drugs can lead to digestive problems including upset stomach, heartburn, and ulcers. Additional side effects include kidney injury, mild allergic reactions, easy bruising, and even liver injury. Taking these medication do not treat the cause of the chronic inflammation, rather it masks the symptoms. This can lead to some serious health problems over time, and increase the severity of your immune imbalances.

How to avoid inflammation

There are a number of reasons why you could be experiencing chronic inflammation. It is important to consult with a specialist in order to figure out the exact cause and the proper healing therapies. If you are tired of treating the downstream effects of inflammation, rather than the cause, consider consulting with a doctor of natural medicine Overland Park KS offers at LifeWorks Integrative Health, who can help assess your needs.

Once you figure out the root cause of your chronic inflammation, here are a few recommendations on how to live an anti-inflammatory lifestyle.

  • Exercise: Just twenty minutes to half an hour of moderate exercise a day has anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Eat whole foods: A plant based diet, rich in fiber contains high amounts of phytonutrients, which are powerful anti-inflammatory agents.
  • Switch out your oils: Eat healthy oils that come from foods such as avocados, nuts, fish, olive oil, canola, oil. These foods are rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.  
  • Relax: Take regular practice in activities that are relaxing such as yoga, deep breathing, and meditation. Research has found that stress activates inflammation in your body.
  • Support your gut: Eat foods that are rich in probiotics or take a probiotic supplement. This will support your digestive system with good bacteria and reduce your gut inflammation.

Don’t live your life in chronic inflammation. By taking a comprehensive look at your health and well being, you can reduce your inflammation and restore your immune system to its optimal function.

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