Inflammation is one of the biggest causes of disease in your body. Discover what inflammation is, how it’s caused and how to reduce it with 5 simple keys to reducing inflammation that you can do starting today.
You don’t have to accept inflammation as part of your life or continue suffering.
Inflammation is one of the biggest causes of disease in your body. It’s important to know what inflammation is, how it’s caused and how to reduce inflammation. I want you to have a healthy ageless body and educating yourself on your health and what your choices are is one of the steps to having an ageless lifestyle after 50.
Table of Contents
- Inflammation Triggers the Symptoms of Disease
- Inflammation Definition: How Does Inflammation Happen
- Inflammation and Disease
- Here are 5 Simple Keys to Reducing Inflammation
You don’t have to accept inflammation as part of your life.
There are 5 simple keys to reducing inflammation that you can do starting today. You don’t need to continue suffering.
Before we talk about reducing muscle inflammation, let’s look at where your inflammation came from.
Inflammation Triggers the Symptoms of Disease
The presence of inflammation, especially joint and muscle inflammation, is what makes most disease perceptible to an individual. It can and often does occur for years before it exists at levels sufficient to be apparent or clinically significant. How long it has been smoldering really determines the degree of severity of a disease and often the prognosis assuming the inflammation can be controlled. One could also argue that without inflammation most disease would not even exist.
Look at this list of symptoms created by David M. Marquis, DC, DACBN for Mercola.com
It shows you the diseases and their relationship with inflammation:
|Disease||Mechanism of Inflammation|
|Allergy||4 Immune Mediated Types + Sensitivities, all of which cause inflammation|
|Alzheimer’s||Chronic inflammation destroys brain cells|
|Anemia||Inflammatory cytokines attack erythropoietin production|
|Ankylosing Spondylitis||Inflammatory cytokines induce autoimmune reactions against joint surfaces|
|Asthma||Inflammatory cytokines induce autoimmune reactions against airway lining|
|Autism||Inflammatory cytokines induce autoimmune reactions in the brain arresting right hemisphere development|
|Arthritis||Inflammatory cytokines destroy joint cartilage and synovial fluid|
|Carpal Tunnel Syndrome||Chronic inflammation causes excessive muscle tension shortening tendons in the forearm and wrist compressing the nerves.|
|Celiac||Chronic immune mediated inflammation damages intestinal lining|
|Crohn’s Disease||Chronic immune mediated inflammation damages intestinal lining|
|Congestive heart failure||Chronic inflammation contributes to heart muscle wasting|
|Eczema||Chronic inflammation of the gut and liver with poor detoxification and often antibodies against Transglutaminase-3.|
|Fibromyalgia||Inflamed connective tissue often food allergy related and exacerbated by secondary nutritional and neurological imbalances.|
|Fibrosis||Inflammatory cytokines attack traumatized tissue|
|Gall Bladder Disease||Inflammation of the bile duct or excess cholesterol produced in response to gut inflammation|
|GERD||Inflammation of the esophagus and digestive tract nearly always food sensitivity and pH driven|
|Guillain-Barre||Autoimmune attack of the nervous system often triggered by autoimmune response to external stressors such as vaccinations.|
|Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis||Autoimmune reaction originating in the gut triggered by antibodies against thyroid enzymes and proteins|
|Heart attack||Chronic inflammation contributes to coronary atherosclerosis|
|Kidney failure||Inflammatory cytokines restrict circulation and damage nephrons and tubules in the kidneys|
|Lupus||Inflammatory cytokines induce an autoimmune attack against connective tissue|
|Multiple Sclerosis||Inflammatory cytokines induce autoimmune reactions against myelin|
|Neuropathy||Inflammatory cytokines induce autoimmune reactions against myelin and vascular and connective tissues which irritate nerves.|
|Pancreatitis||Inflammatory cytokines induce pancreatic cell injury|
|Psoriasis||Chronic inflammation of the gut and liver with poor detoxification|
|Polymyalgia Rheumatica||Inflammatory cytokines induce autoimmune reactions against muscles and connective tissue|
|Rheumatoid Arthritis||Inflammatory cytokines induce autoimmune reactions against joints|
|Scleroderma||Inflammatory cytokines induce an autoimmune attack against connective tissue|
|Stroke||Chronic inflammation promoted thromboembolic events|
|Surgical complications||Inflammatory cytokines (often pre-dating the surgery) slow or prevent healing|
Pretty interesting, don’t you think? Did you have any idea all these health issues are symptoms of inflammation?
Inflammation Definition: How Does Inflammation Happen
Did you know the word inflammation comes from the Latin inflammare, to set on fire? I know a lot of the time that’s exactly how your body feels like it’s on fire.
In the context of your immune system, heat, redness, pain and swelling form as a reaction to either injury or a perceived threat to the body.
If you’ve ever had the truly painful experience of hitting your thumb with a hammer, you can see how inflammation normally occurs.
In terms of illness, such as colds and flu, the swollen glands and puffy eyes and nose that most of us experience in response to those viruses clearly show the immune system at work trying to banish illness from the body.
These are correct responses of inflammation being used to repair the tissue and protect your body from further damage.
There’s a difference between this type of acute inflammation and chronic inflammation which is a very damaging response to what’s going on in your body.
However, in some cases, the immune system can get confused. Inflammation can cause the immune system to start attacking various parts of the body that it sees as a threat.
In turn, that inflammation can lead to damage and leave you open to more illness and even disability.
Picture what happens when you hit your thumb or get a cold happening all over your body, all day, every day. What could the health consequences of persistent chronic inflammation be?
The Double-Edged Sword of Inflammation
Our immune system is a delicately balanced system, with inflammation being a double-edged sword.
On the one hand, it can be helpful in keeping germs under control so we do not get sick.
On the other hand, if the immune system gets confused, inflammation will increase as the body starts to attack itself. Studies have shown that inflammation can affect almost every system in the body.
Inflammation and Disease
There are environmental toxins that can lead to inflammation as well as mental stress. It’s not just caused by what we eat and drink, lack of exercise or heredity.
In simple terms, when you don’t take care of yourself, inflammation starts to compound and your body turns on itself. In your immune system’s effort to heal it instead destroys healthy tissue.
The good news is that all those contributing factors I just mention that cause inflammation are well within your control.
Various forms of cancer
Arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and gout
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
Thyroid conditions that can lead to hypothyroidism (slow thyroid), which can make sufferers gain even more weight
And if this isn’t enough to get you to take action, inflammation also makes you look older than you actually are!
Taking medication to deal with the symptoms isn’t really helping you long term because you’re not addressing the cause. In fact, depending on the medication and how your body reacts to it, you could be adding more problems.
Are you starting to see why reducing inflammation is so important to your health?
Rheumatoid Arthritis and Reducing Muscle Inflammation
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is one example of the effects of inflammation in the body being clearly visible. With RA, the body attacks the tissue that lines the inside of your joints. RA causes the tissue to thicken, causing swelling and pain around and inside your joints.
This tissue creates a corresponding fluid, which helps lubricate your joints and keep them moving like a well-oiled machine.
If the tissue is damaged, the joints are not lubricated properly, leading to pain, swelling, and friction, which in turn leads to more pain and muscle inflammation.
Due to the friction, the cartilage and bones can even become damaged if RA is not treated effectively. If you’ve ever seen someone with gnarled and twisted looking fingers and hands, you can clearly see the effects of RA on the body.
In Multiple Sclerosis (MS), the immune system starts to attack the myelin sheaths that protect our nerves. If these get damaged, it is like wires short-circuiting, leading to a range of symptoms all over the body, including:
Blurred or double vision.
Lack of coordination and muscle strength
Loss of balance.
Numbness or tingling in a foot, arm or leg.
RA and MS are just two examples of the effects of inflammation. Most forms of arthritis, heart-related illness and cancers are linked to inflammation. There are many more illnesses in which inflammation has been discovered to play a key role.
Fortunately, you can reduce inflammation by following a few simple steps.
Here are 5 Simple Keys to Reducing Inflammation
Eat more Whole Foods, which means ditching packaged foods from the grocery store and fast food. Add 1 more fruit or veggie each day and then work up to adding one to each of your meals.
Grab a whole foods checklist inforgraphic you can use with your grocery shopping list here.
Add more plant-based meals to your diet because red meat is not your friends when it comes to inflammation.
Eliminate white sugar, flour, and bread from your diet.
Alkaline foods determine the health of your body in many ways. It’s said that cancer cells can’t form in an alkaline environment. Inflammation flourishes in a body that is too acidic, and inflammation is a leading cause of deadly diseases.
According to Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine inflammation is one of the common denominators of disease. Every chronic disease is an inflammatory disease. No matter what so-called disease you have, from cancer to the common cold, inflammation is a major part of your problem. Learning how to prevent and reverse inflammation will go a long way toward preventing and reversing almost all disease, as well as slowing the aging process, keeping us healthy, biologically young and vigorous for a lifetime.
So in light of that, it would be a good idea for you to become familiar with alkaline foods and what they do for you.
Gut Health and Probiotics
Another important piece to the puzzle is improving your gut health. We can all benefit from aiding the healthy bacteria in our digestive tract.
Eating fermented foods like Kimchee and sauerkraut is one thing you can do. Many people don’t enjoy the taste of fermented foods though.
One of the easiest ways to improve your gut health is by taking probiotics. This can be a very confusing topic. There are so many choices when it comes to types and brands of probiotics, I think you will find this review of the best probiotic supplements very helpful.
Here is a visual of anti-inflammatory foods to help you with reducing inflammation.
Don’t eat a heavy meal for dinner. If you are hungry before bed, have a light snack. Avoid alcohol too close to bedtime as well.
It’s time to get all those harsh chemicals out of your household cleaners, your laundry, and your personal care products. There are products that work better and cost less than those toxic grocery store brands.
It’s difficult to pinpoint a particular chemical grouping as being the worst, but fire retardants are really bad. They are used in so many furnishings, including your mattress, where you spend a significant portion of your life, it’s hard to get away from them in the U.S.
Parabens are chemicals that serve as preservatives in antiperspirants and many cosmetics, as well as sun lotions. They are much easier to avoid by reading labels and choosing personal care products carefully.
If you only do one thing, switch out your chemical-laden laundry detergent for a non-toxic one. Your skin is taking in those chemicals 24/7 from your clothes, sheets, and towels.
If you’d like to know how I did a complete household detox of cleaning products and personal care products, leave a comment here or message me on Facebook and I’ll fill you in.
Clear Your Mind
Stress is a killer. You need to practice self-care.
Consider a warm bath, reading, or listening to music. Lower the house lights. Light some candles or use an essential oil diffuser. Have a cup of tea. These will all allow your mind and body to wind down.
Meditation is a great way to clear your mind, even if you just close your eyes and be quiet for one minute. Your body will feel it too. Set a timer for 1 minute, just close your eyes and focus on your breathing.
If you have more time, try a guided meditation.
20 years ago I was introduced to this wonderful guided meditation by Louise Hay. It is a lengthy one at 47 minutes, but that is also its power. It covers a tremendous amount of ground to reboot whatever has been causing even the slightest disruption to your happy ageless lifestyle. And, it’s ok if you fall asleep.
Turn off all devices, including the TV. Get outside and get at least 10 minutes of unprotected sun. Make a to-do list at the end of the day so you can free your mind.
Clear Toxins from Your Body
Are you still smoking? Do you drink to excess? Are you still drinking sodas? Using artificial sweeteners?
Those are all toxic and need to go.
Get your body moving because it helps to clear the toxins.
Drink more water for the same reason.
Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and sugar late in the day. Caffeine can stay in your system up to 14 hours.
Rest Your Body
Whether we talk about sleeping more or just kicking back and relaxing, your body needs to chill.
Sleep plays an important role in the endocrine system, which regulates hormones in the bloodstream. While sleeping, the body attempts to repair the damage done by stress and prepares us to handle new stresses coming our way.
During sleep, levels of the stress hormone cortisol decrease and we secrete more growth hormone (a key tissue-repair substance). Without enough sleep, cortisol can remain elevated, keeping the body in a state of alertness and driving up blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Science has yet to fully explain the relationship between sleep and immunity, but the link is becoming clearer. Immunological signaling molecules, known as cytokines, seem to play a communication role between the brain and immune system and help regulate sleep.
Even mild sleep deprivation — a two-hour deficit — increases the concentration of inflammatory markers associated with many chronic ailments.
“You develop a condition of low-grade inflammation,” says Vgontzas, “and we know that low-grade inflammation is a pathway to cardiovascular problems and decreased longevity. Several studies show that when these markers are high, people are at higher risk for hypertension, heart attacks, strokes, and decreased longevity.”
Try going to bed the same time every night to allow your body to get used to a routine. If you don’t fall asleep in 30 minutes, get up and leave the room. Do something that is restful, like reading or listening to relaxing music until you feel tired.
Bonus Key: Reducing Muscle Inflammation with Heat
Heat can be applied using anything from a heating pad to sitting in a hot bath or hot tub. When people who suffer from inflammation are asking how to reduce swelling, heat will help.
By increasing blood flow heat helps reduce fluid build up. It will also help decrease joint pain and stiffness from arthritis. Heat helps make that connective tissue more flexible.
Remove the things from your body and your life that don’t support a healthy mind and body. When you actively support your well being, your immune system will support you and that will go a long way to ridding your body of joint and muscle inflammation.
Replace those things with healthier choices. Start with the food you eat. Get more sleep. Drink more water.
Until next time, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Just comment on this post here or on Facebook.
If you would like private mentoring, go to the contact page above and tell me what you would like help with. As your mentor, I hold a bigger vision for you than you hold for yourself. When you have faith and a team that believes in you, it gives you courage. When you don’t have to do it all yourself, all things are possible for you. Commit today to go for your dream 100%.
With over 40 years in sales and marketing, along with 45 years studying human behavior, Lynn Pierce, “The Voice of an Ageless Life and Business,” mentors soul-based entrepreneurs to reach your own personal version of success and an ageless lifestyle. Tell Lynn what the life of your dreams looks like, and she’ll create the blueprints to get you there, along with the sales system to fund it. Author of, “Breakthrough to Success; 19 Keys to Mastering Every Area of Your Life”, Lynn Pierce’s personal growth and business acceleration systems help her clients get three times the results in half the time with one-tenth of the effort. Claim your free special report, “What Do You Stand For” here