Chronic inflammation in the body can appear anywhere, with or without symptoms. Most of the time, we feel it in our joints, experience a headache, or have irritable bowel symptoms. However, these are signals that our body sends out to alert us that something is wrong. When it gets severe enough, the body will alert us in a major way. For instance with the heart, it can be high blood pressure, chest pain (angina), or the worse case scenario, a heart attack.
The cardiovascular system can become “injured” by certain risk factors, such as smoking, high blood pressure, elevated lipids, or high LDL (bad cholesterol). In turn, the build up of fatty deposits on the inner walls of the arteries can develop. As this occurs, the arteries narrow and will eventually become blocked.
When something does not belong in the body, it is perceived as foreign. The same thing goes for a blood vessel when plaque build up occurs. The body responds to this foreign body as trying to wall off the plaque, but the plaque formation can rupture, sending it contents into the blood stream, causing a clot formation.
For most, with certain risk factors, and elevated blood cholesterol levels, a prescription is inevitable.
Statins, a group of lipid-lowering drugs, are the most common and most prescribed drug on the market today. There is controversy over these drugs and the use to treat cardiovascular disease – thought to have been brought on by high cholesterol.
But… Something is missing. What factors caused the high cholesterol? What other processes in the body or outside influence brought on what led to the increase of fatty deposits in the blood stream? What is the missing link?
As a matter of fact, signs of inflammation at the sites of atherosclerotic plaques have been observed for centuries.
The bad news: Inflammation plays a huge role in cardiovascular disease.
The good news: Inflammation is reversible with proper nutrition and lifestyle practices.
What is inflammation?
Inflammation is the body’s immune response to tissue damage, which serves to destroy or wall off the injurious agent from the injured tissues.
Chronic inflammation is inflammation that can or has lasted for several months or even years. It occurs as a result of not eliminating what was causing the acute inflammatory response. Over time, this causes the immune system to attack healthy tissue.
Along with environmental factors, nutrition plays a major roll in acute inflammation in the body.
Foods Causing inflammation:
- Vegetable Oil
- Fried Foods
- Refined Flour
- Synthetic Sweeteners
- Artificial Additives
How do we know that we have inflammation in the body that could be bad for our heart?
C-Reactive Protein, or CRP is a substance found in the blood that is a marker for inflammation. Higher CRP levels are associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
Some evidence shows that CRP may be a more important indicator of heart disease than LDL (bad cholesterol).
How to reverse inflammation:
- Stay away from sweets – A diet high in refined sugars will feed inflammatory processes in our body, spiking inflammatory signals land creating an environment for disease and destruction.
- Fats are NOT the enemy – Healthy fats are essential in our diet for cellular health, brain function, and balanced hormones. These sources typically come from nuts, seeds, avocado, coconut oil, and your omega oils.
- Eat REAL FOOD – Stick to a diet consisting to non-processed, whole foods!
- Get rid of TOXIC metals – We have all been exposed to metals such as mercury, aluminum (in deodorant), commonly found in paint, fumes, fish, etc… These pose significant increased risk for inflammatory based illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and a variety of auto-Immune illnesses.
- Heal your GUT – The majority of absorption occurs in the small intestine. You may assume that gas, bloating, heartburn, constipation/diarrhea are just part of every day life, but it is NOT normal! These are signs that there is inflammation in the gastrointestinal system. This can be corrected by replacing bacteria (probiotics), reducing irritating foods, and repairing with nutrients!
Luckily, inflammation is reversible with proper nutrition and lifestyle practices. Not only is it taxing on your body, but damages the heart as well. Get a start by making small changes!
Learn how you too, can get rid of inflammation in your body! Start by doing the 10-Day Sugar Detox or attending the Holistic Nutrition 101 Course!
The Holistic Health Nurse