By Jim Paoletti, B.S. Pharmacy, FAARFM, FIACP | Director of Education, Power2Practice
The sources of inflammation are many:
- Normal inflammatory reaction of an immune system response
- Chronic inflammation from overactive immune system, especially with autoimmune disease states
- Inflammatory diets, including:
- High carbohydrate low-fat diet
- Grains, especially gluten
- Refined sugar
- High Glycemic Index foods
- Bad fats
- High insulin and glucose levels
- Poor sleep habits
- Food sensitivity reactions
- Environmental exposures to chemicals and toxins
- Deficiencies in certain micronutrients, including zinc folate, and Vitamins B2, B6, B12, and E.
- Poor liver Phase II metabolism
- Hormone imbalances including estrogen dominance and estrogen deficiency
Chronic inflammation leads to:
- Chronic pain
- Increased risk of cardiovascular disease
- GI disease states including Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Chronic inflammation lies at the root of many of the symptoms that women see practitioners about, including:
- Risk of heart disease
- Memory issues
- Skin issues
- Symptoms associated with hormone imbalances
The inflammation cascade starts in the gut in many occasions, where two-thirds of the body’s defenses reside. Early signs of an inflamed intestinal tract include:
- Diarrhea and/or constipation
- Poor sleep
- Mood swings
- Poor immune function
Measuring general inflammation in the body is commonly done by measuring the pro-inflammatory marker high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) and sedimentation rate (SED). Other measurements for determining inflammation include measuring apolipoprotein B to A1 ratio, homocysteine, ferritin and monocytes.
Reducing Inflammation Using a Natural Approach
Reducing inflammation with a natural approach includes an anti-inflammatory diet, essential fatty acids, natural anti-inflammatory supplements and a daily exercise regime.
- Reduce weight as necessary
- Heal the gut:
- Glutamine powder daily for one-two months
- Probiotic daily
- Diet is the first step in reducing the inflammation:
- Avoid foods with high Glycemic Index
- Eat foods with properly balanced essential fatty acids
- Avoid or reduce intake of grains
- Avoid foods with high sensitivity rates (gluten, dairy, eggs, and soy) at least until inflammation is under managed and then add back gradually with monitoring.
- Address stress and adrenal dysfunction
- Include moderate exercise on a daily basis
- Get 8 hours of sleep every night
- Avoid pesticides, pollutants and heavy metals as much as possible
- Consider heavy metal testing
- Consider a Liver Detox program
- Balance hormones at physiologic levels
If we understand what the causes of inflammation are and how to eliminate or avoid the sources of chronic inflammation, we will be much more successful in managing patients’ symptoms and reducing the risks of adverse reactions to long-term inflammation.
Jim Paoletti, BS Pharmacy, FAARM, FIACP, is the Director of Education at Power2Practice and a nationally-recognized expert in pharmacy, BHRT and custom compounding, and has previously served as Director of Provider Education for ZRT Laboratory and Education Director for the Professional Compounding Centers of America. At Power2Practice, Jim applies his wealth of knowledge and experience by hosting live webinars and creating clinical support tools, such as podcasts and blogs.
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