The American Epidemic
Over 20% of You have it
The United States is suffering from an epidemic of chronic inflammation, And despite the best health care technology in the world, it is getting worse. The statistics are alarming. For example, chronic inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and joint disease affect more than 50 million people in the United States. That’s 1 in 5 people over age 18. This number is expected to surpass 67 million by 2030. According to the American Diabetes Association, 371 million adults and children are living with diabetes worldwide, another chronic inflammatory disease. An additional 79 million have prediabetes, placing them at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The continued changes to the food supply and lifestyles are escalating the crisis of chronic inflammation (Becker). Yes, you read it correctly, its our food and lifestyle choices that is giving us the disease.
Inflammation is an essential part of a healthy immune system that helps your body heal after an injury or infection. But chronic inflammation is bad. When your immune system produces immune cells constantly, it can cause a wide range of health problems including asthma, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, tendonitis, bursitis, laryngitis, gingivitis, gastritis, otitis, coeliac disease, diverticulitis and inflammatory bowel disease. In addition, chronic inflammation is directly linked to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis depression, premature ageing and some of the visible signs of getting older, including not-so-youthful skin.
So, what is causing this epidemic?? There are several reasons including the food we eat, exercise, pollution, stress, weight and lifestyle factor such as poor sleep, smoking, drinking too much alcohol, nutritional deficiencies and an imbalance of digestive bacteria (Robert, 2017). Note that many of these factors we can control.
messages to our white blood cells. As stated by Floyd Chilton, Ph.D., “These changes have dramatically turned the volume up on our immune systems causing them to become our enemy. Our bodies are revolting; our white blood cells have overreacted resulting in a plague of inflammatory diseases” (Gilbère, 2017).
Dr. Nathan Wei, a rheumatologist at the Arthritis Treatment Centre in Maryland, says there’s a compelling reason to use diet rather than drugs. “While inflammation can be reduced with medication, these drugs may have significant side effects”. “For example, the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug group increases the incidence of gastric or peptic ulcers as well as cardiovascular events. As a result, there has been a burgeoning interest in the use of foods that
that help you to digest protein. Proteins get into the bloodstream as a partially digested protein, and is attacked by the immune system.” Nielson suggests the first thing you should do when tackling inflammation is to avoid processed foods like white flour and sugar. “You should avoid too many animal fats, omega 6 fatty acids from soya bean, sunflower and corn oil; and trans fats (hydrogenated fats) from fast food and packaged goods. These fats drive inflammatory pathways.
To reduce inflammation, eat a diet rich in natural, fresh and unprocessed foods. Eat fresh vegetables, low-sugar fruits, nuts, seeds and oily fish. Some herbs and spices can have a strong anti-inflammatory effect. The one that is most well-known is turmeric, and there has been much research into turmeric’s effects, identifying curcumin as the anti-inflammatory ingredient in it. Barley grass powder is also an excellent herb to use to reduce inflammation. If you like Indian food, you’ll be glad to hear that several spices have a range of health benefits, and some, including ginger, cinnamon, garlic, chilli, cayenne pepper and black pepper, may help to manage inflammation.
Sleep is very important to your body. If you aren’t sleeping properly, your body will break down on you. New research indicates that Loss of sleep, even for a few short hours during the night, can prompt one’s immune system to turn against healthy tissue and organs. Losing sleep for even part of one night can trigger the key cellular pathway that produces tissue-damaging inflammation according to new research. The findings suggest a good night’s sleep can ease the risk of both heart disease and autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis (Elsevier, 2008).
important things we can do is manage our stress level. There are many areas of our lives that can produce chronic stress including work, family relations, emergencies and other life events. In addition, our ability to cope with this stress can be hampered by some of our lifestyle decisions such as smoking, alcohol use and obesity.
Becker, M. (n.d.). The Inflammation Epidemic: No End in Sight. Retrieved from Natural Products Insider: https://www.naturalproductsinsider.com/supplement-perspectives/blogs/supplement-perspectives/2016/02/the-inflammation-epidemic-no-end-in-sight-part-1.aspx
Carnegie Mellon University. (2012, April 2). How stress influences disease: Study reveals inflammation as the culprit. Retrieved from Science Daily: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120402162546.htm
Elsevier. (2008, September 4). Loss Of Sleep, Even For A Single Night, Increases Inflammation In The Body. Retrieved from Science Daily: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080902075211.htm
Gilbère, G. (2017, February 13). Inflammation – Epidemic of Epidemics. Retrieved from Dr. Gloria Gilbère, A Leading Voice in Wholistic Rejuvenation: http://www.gloriagilbere.com/published-health-articles/177-inflammation-epidemic-of-epidemics
Robert, C. (2017, January 20). The Inflammation Epidemic: Your Number One Health Concern (And Sugar’s Role In It). Retrieved from High 50 Health: http://www.high50.com/health/the-inflammation-epidemic-your-number-one-health-concern-2015-and-what-sugars-got-to-do-with-it
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