Getting Deadly Inflammation Under Control

    Getting your chronic inflammation under control is one of the most important things you can do for your health!

    Chronic inflammation has been causing tons of damage and millions of dollars in healthcare expenses over the last couple of decades. It can even be deadly. If you think you might be suffering from chronic inflammation, be sure to talk to your doctor first. After that, you can try and make some healthy diet and lifestyle changes that will reduce your chronic inflammation and leave you feeling healthier and happier!

    Getting a Diagnosis from Your Doctor

    There’s a simple blood test you can ask for the next time you see your doctor if you are concerned about inflammation. It’s called a CRP test because it tests for C-reactive proteins in your blood. Any CRP score above 10 means that your body could be suffering from problematic levels of inflammation. From there, you can talk to your doctor and come up with a game plan in order to bring your inflammation down.

    Eating an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

    Aside from your doctor’s advice or whatever medications they may prescribe, you can empower yourself to improve your own health and wellness by eating an anti-inflammatory diet. The most effective anti-inflammatory diets contain lots of fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and high quality protein. The Mediterranean diet is an excellent example. But if you’re not Italian, here’s what a healthful anti-inflammatory diet looks like:

    • 3 to 4 servings of fruit per day – the darker and more colorful, the better
    • 4 to 5 servings per day of either dark leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, squashes, or root vegetables
    • Beans and legumes
    • Healthy fats like avocados, flax seeds, and olive oil
    • Protein which is organic, grass-fed (where applicable), culture-rich (dairy), with plenty of natural fat
    • Green tea is said to contain anti-inflammatory polyphenols which reduce inflammation

    Exercise and Inflammation

    In the short-term, it is true that exercise triggers acute inflammation. This is a normal part of how your body works. Once you strain your muscles, your body sends more blood flow to the areas which were hit hardest during your workout. It slowly rebuilds those tissues newer and stronger over the course of the next 24 to 48 hours. You may have some minor aches and pains, but if you work out the right way, it won’t be debilitating and you’ll bounce back that much stronger, ready for your next workout.
    This low-level, acute inflammation from exercise also trains your body to reduce its chronic inflammation levels. Exercise from inflammation helps your body learn the difference between inflammation which is helpful and inflammation which is harmful. This down-regulates your future inflammatory responses so that your body only flips on its inflammatory response mechanisms when it’s absolutely necessary.

    Inflammation and Stress

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    Cortisol is your #1 enemy if you’re suffering from chronic inflammation – so get your stress levels under control!

    One of the biggest triggers of inflammation is a little hormone in your body called cortisol. You may have heard of cortisol referred to as the “stress hormone”. To be fair, cortisol does have some very helpful uses in the body. But too much of it is a major contributing factor for chronic inflammation.

    Exercising more and eating the right diet can help lower cortisol (if elevated cortisol is contributing to your chronic inflammation). But cortisol is also triggered by emotional stress. So you’ll have to take steps in order to calm yourself down and feel less stressed out all the time!

    If you’ve noticed that meditation has come back into fashion recently, it’s because of the connection between emotional stress and cortisol levels. Meditation is no longer just something crazy hippies did back in the 60s – there is now a solid medical proof that meditation physically changes the way your brain responds to stress. The better you get at meditating, the easier it will be for you to physically cope with emotional stressors and reduce your cortisol levels.

    It’ll take a little time in practice, but it’s worth putting the effort in. Even something as simple and effective as taking 10 minutes out of your day to count your breathing can have a positive effect on your brain and your body. There are also plenty of free phone apps and other programs that will teach you how to meditate (or you can pay a little more for a premium service if you wish).

    At the end of the day, your own personal anti-inflammatory lifestyle changes will depend on what your needs are. Between talking to your doctor, changing your diet, altering your exercise routine, and reducing your stress levels, it’s easy to find ways to reduce chronic inflammation from your life.