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Chronic inflammation: Attack of the Killer Immune System

By Justin Pearce D.C. | Millpond Integrative Health and Wellness Center

Attack of the Killer Immune System If you’ve ever accidentally cut yourself and noticed that the injured area swelled up, turned red, or felt hot, you have experienced a reaction called inflammation. Inflammation is the immune system’s response to injury or illness … the body’s way of trying to heal itself. It occurs whenever the immune system is triggered.

Acute inflammation occurs in response to many causes: infection with germs (bacteria, viruses, fungi); injuries or foreign objects such as a splinter; and exposure to chemicals or toxins, such as an insect bite or something a new laundry detergent.

It’s very likely you’ve been treated for localized inflammation multiple times throughout your life. In fact, any diagnosis that ends in the suffix “-itis” is a diagnosis of inflammation, such as dermatitis (skin); otitis media (ear infection); bronchitis (lungs); or cystitis, bladder.

While inflammation is the body’s natural defense, inflammation is not always helpful. For example, many of the chronic diseases affecting Americans today arise from inflammation. These include:
• Asthma
• Autoimmune diseases, such as lupus,
fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis
• Heart disease
• Atherosclerosis (also known as hardening of
the arteries)
• Sinusitis
• Rheumatoid arthritis
• Psoriasis
• Diabetes
• Crohn’s disease and colitis
• Kidney disease
• Osteoporosis
• Certain cancers, including lung and colon

Unlike the inflammation that occurs when you get a splinter, chronic inflammation is nearly always hidden, making it difficult to detect and diagnose. You don’t see it. You don’t feel it (at least not in the same way you feel a splinter). Most patients don’t realize the symptoms they’re experiencing are caused by chronic inflammation. And most doctors don’t look for it.

What, you may ask, causes chronic inflammation?
You’re not going to like this answer, but you are the cause of your own chronic inflammation. That’s right, chronic inflammation typically arises out of the lifestyle choices we make. The highly processed, fat-laden, sugary artificial foods we eat. The “rest when I’m dead” attitude. Holding on to anger and stress. Constant worry. Exposure to toxins. Smoking and tobacco use. Poor air quality. Sedentary lifestyles. All of these things cause the body’s immune system to go “WOAH … I better get busy!”

And it does, mistaking its own tissue for foreign invaders that need to be attacked and killed. It’s no wonder everyone is so sick and tired and cross all the time. Our immune systems are at war with us.

The good news is that there is something YOU can do about chronic inflammation. (Popping an aspirin or ibuprofen won’t help.) At Millpond Integrative Health and Wellness Center we help you get to the root of your chronic inflammation through comprehensive laboratory testing.

Based upon the results of the testing, we build a program of immune system recovery just for you. We focus first on improving the diet, eliminating foods that cause inflammation, adding foods that have anti-inflammatory properties. We help you develop an active lifestyle that provides your body with the physical activity it craves. We work on improving sleep quality and techniques that help you to let go of the worry, anxiety and stress that promote inflammation.

As our clients through the program, they discover how great it feels to have a body that’s in balance, free of chronic inflammation and functioning like it should. Our program changes lives. To learn more about the Millpond program for chronic inflammation, give our office a call at (859) 219-0617 or visit us online at MillpondWellnessCenter.com.

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