Inflammation and Chronic Disease
Painful, stiff, and swollen joints! Does arthritis affect you or a loved one? For many of us, arthritis is our first example of “inflammation”, where our immune system sends white blood cells out of the bloodstream and into nearby injured tissues. In the case of arthritis, this process involves the bone and associated connective tissues around joint spaces as they undergo worsening wear and tear injury over the years.
Did you know that many chronic diseases feature a major component of inflammation? A list of inflammatory diseases includes cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression, high cholesterol, increased blood pressure, and Parkinson’s disease, to name just a few.
Inflammation is an attempt for the body to heal from any injury. That injury may be in the form of damage to the lining of blood vessels as one’s high blood pressure remains untreated year after year. Another example of inflammation is commonly seen when blood sugar remains consistently high in poorly controlled diabetes, damaging the filtering structure of the kidney. Depression appears to feature brain inflammation that is likely triggered from unaddressed and profound psychological stress.
While most of us are not so interested to learn every detail on exactly which white blood cells and chemical mediators fuel acute and chronic inflammation, we should all be motivated to know the best inflammation-reducing strategies. Regardless of how the inflammation developed, a sensible strategy for beginning to reduce its damaging effects include:
(1) eliminating saturated fats, animal products, and all dairy from one’s diet,
(2) replacing these with whole food plant based foods that are free of gluten, preservatives, food dyes, and GMO,
(3) eliminating or minimizing exposure to toxic relationships, both professional and personal, and
(4) seeking greater satisfaction in work and play through expressions of one’s authentic self.
This last item can be especially challenging. Most of us are not mindfully aware enough to ask ourselves often and with honesty, “Am I living my life with purpose and direction? Am I the architect of my own life, or am I living someone else’s perceived role for me?” For many, these questions inspire fear, apprehension, or discomfort. Yet these are essential areas to assess in order to reduce inflammation and thrive in the face of chronic illness. At "Creative Health Institute", you can learn more on inflammation and take time to start the healing process.
Tarman Aziz, MD & Integrative Health Consultant
Dr. Aziz works in healthcare administration in the Detroit metro area, as well as serving as an integrative Health Consultant. His lifelong passion for research led him to Washington D.C. and the National Institutes of Health, where he was awarded a prestigious Postdoctoral Fellowship studying Natural Killer Cell function in the Laboratory of Experimental Immunology. He is available for one on one health consultations with all CHI guests. You can reach out to him at: 517-278-6260