The Truth About Inflammation
Posted: May 14, 2017
Categories: Skin Care
Your immune system does an amazing job of protecting you from danger. Using a sophisticated signaling mechanism, it seeks out and destroys foreign invaders keeping you safe. Evolution honed the system to perfection. However, the alarming rise in diseases where the body attacks itself indicates something is going drastically wrong. It is vital you learn to protect yourself from the modern dangers the immune system simply cannot cope with.
Understanding how your immune system works is the key to staying healthy in our ever changing environment. The air we breathe; the water we drink; the toxins we are exposed to and specifically the food we eat is very different to what our ancestors experienced. We must make changes to stay safe.
Communicating with the immune system
When the body is under attack, for example from bacteria, a message is sent to the immune system to seek out the invader and destroy it. One of the stages in communicating this message is inflammation.
The inflammatory response includes chemicals and specialist cells that get to work in dealing with the problem. If you have a cut, you can often see the inflammation (swelling) and feel the heat and redness around the damaged skin. Signs of inflammation are a good thing. Inflammation means the body doing its job. Once the area is healed, the inflammation goes away. This is exactly how the immune system was designed to function.
Inflammation without infection
Inflammation is the body's response to infection, however, many non-infectious diseases, including diabetes, cancers, obesity and specifically autoimmune diseases have inflammation without infection.
In fact, inflammation without infection is a key link between unprecedented rises in ‘lifestyle' diseases we are seeing in epidemic proportions. These modern diseases seem to have this unusual similarity which is still baffling doctors. Why would our sophisticated immune system suddenly get so confused?
What's your gut feeling?
Studiespublished in the British Journal of Nutrition support what many believe is the root of the problem. The gut: the site of digestion and absorption of nutrients and home to trillions of bacteria. These bacteria help us process nutrients, keep the gut wall healthy, and support our immune system by helping it identify dangers.
The symbiotic relationship we have developed with these ‘good' gut bacteria is vital for our proper nourishment and also ‘education' of the immune system. Unfortunately our bacterial friends are under attack from our diet, medicines, and hygiene.
Protect your good bacteria
Ever since bacteria were discovered we have been trying to wipe them out with antibiotics, bleaches and other non-selective agents. The problem is that the body absolutely needs some bacteria. In addition to killing off the dangerous bacteria, we have been killing off the good guys too.
We also need to feed the good bacteria. Instead of inflammatory foods, they need plant based foods full of fiber and complex sugars - they do not like the simple sugars or refined carbohydrates found in processed foods. These simple, factory made, sugars actually feed the bad bacteria, fungus, and yeasts which also take up home inside us.
One of the many problems with our refined diets, high in sugar and gluten, is that they cause our gut walls to leak. The junctions between the cells start to come apart causing gaps which allow food and other substances to cross. When the partially digested contents of our intestine leak into the blood, it causes confusion for our immune system. The body thinks the bits of food are foreign invaders and it signals for the immune system to attack. But attack what?
When the immune system is constantly primed to attack, it never rests. Without rest, it doesn't have time to perform all its other functions, including repairing damaged cells and generally keeping the body well. A healthy immune system can defend itself against cancers and would never attack the body's own cells. The similarity between the food particles and our own cells further adds to the confusion and many of the vital mechanisms regulating immune functions become out of balance. Our diet of processed foods is one of the main culprits; medicines used during industrialized meat production also add unnecessary antibiotics into our diets.
What can you do?
The solution is very simple. Help the good bacteria. Here's 3 steps to rebuild a healthy immune system:
#1 Stay away from antibiotics (unless your condition is life threatening)
Don't reach for the medicines for any little infection or cold. Instead, try some natural or alternative remedies or just let your immune system deal with it. Allowing your immune system to do its job makes it stronger!
#2 Cut out processed food (including factory farmed meat and dairy)
If your food comes from a box or packet, it has likely been processed. During processing, sugar is almost always added (read the ingredients very carefully and you will find it). Sugar feeds the bad bacteria. Instead of eating processed foods, eat as many fresh natural organic foods as possible, including grass fed meats from ethical suppliers. This anti-inflammatory diet will nourish your body and support your immune system.
#3 Supplement with prebiotics (the good bacteria) and probiotics (food for good bacteria)
After years of unwitting damage, most of us do not have the correct bacterial balance. In addition to making some changes to your diet, you can speed up your recovery by supplementing withprobioticsand prebiotics. Always choose a high quality supplement. You'll need to take it for a few months before noticing any changes. You can also try eating fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kefir; these are relatively simple to make yourself at home.
The bacterial connection
There have been amazing discoveries in the interconnectedness of living systems and how bacteria influence our lives. Supporting the good bacteria and returning to a more natural plant based diet will protect your health. It is really very simple. Want another bonus? An anti-inflammatory diet also appears to be anti-aging, reducing wrinkles by preventing sugar damage and promoting tissue repair.
Your body was designed to eat fresh wholesome food grown to perfection by Mother Nature. Your immune system can only operate effectively under the conditions it was designed for. Now that you know the truth about inflammation, you can turn back the clock and tune up your body to have the most effective immune system possible.