[Note From Dr. Cordova: From time to time, we will have guest bloggers contribute information for our patients that we think is helpful, entertaining, and useful. We hope you’ll enjoy this post from Dr. James Allen all the way from Australia!]

The buzzword in health these days appears to be ‘inflammation’ and there’s very good reason for it. Over-looked or ignored for many years, chronic inflammation is beginning to gain the recognition it deserves in the discussion regarding optimal health and wellbeing. What should you know about chronic inflammation and how may it contribute to many chronic health issues that we face as a modern society? Lets explore the facts here.

What is Chronic Inflammation?

To date, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that short term inflammation is harmful or detrimental to your health. In fact, the bodies normal inflammatory response to injury is a good thing. Inflammation helps remove damaging irritants and pathogens from the body so that the body can begin the healing process. The problem however begins when short term inflammation becomes long-standing (i.e chronic). At this point, the body creates more inflammation in direct response to the existing inflammation—a cycle that can have dire consequences.

So you now have Chronic Inflammation!

The toxic cycle of inflammation on inflammation has taken over and your bodies immune system can’t cope with the overload. This process can be worsened by particular medications, lifestyle choices, foods, lack of adequate sleep, stress and more. Picture yourself in a swimming pool with a backpack on, your put one rock into the backpack. This rock represents inflammation. Over a period of weeks, months and years you continue adding a rock at regular intervals because you refuse to change your lifestyle. All of a sudden you can’t keep you head above water because it’s too heavy. The same can be said about chronic inflammation and its effect on our health and wellbeing.

Do you suffer or experience any of the following?

• Allergies and asthma
• High blood pressure
• Fatigue and lethargy
• Skin problems
• Irritable bowel syndrome
• Pain in the joints
• Congestion
• Frequent infections
• Indigestion
• Shortness of breath
• Stiffness
• Weight gain
• Gout
• Crohn’s disease
• Lupus
• Known nutrient deficiencies such as Vitamin-D and Vitamin-B

What strategies can we implement to reduce the risk of inflammation?

Firstly, consult with your Chiropractor. Your Chiropractor should be one of the most important primary health care practitioners in your life. Studies have shown us that spinal manipulative therapy as regularly delivered by Chiropractors can assist with reducing the production of two inflammatory cytokines. These inflammatory cytokines in turn reduce inflammation throughout the body. While this is the case, your Chiropractor can assist you in the fight against chronic inflammation in other ways too.

Chronic inflammation responds well to general lifestyle changes. It is important to have a comprehensive review of your lifestyle including the foods which you consume, medications, supplements and more. Perhaps the most widely suggested supplements to combat chronic inflammation include Vitamin-D, fish oils and Omega-3 fatty acids.

What if I exercise?

Exercise, proper nutrition and regular chiropractic care can go a long way toward treating a variety of health problems, including chronic inflammation. So should you go and hit the weight rack or get outside and pump the pavement? Research has shown us that long term resistance training actually increases blood vessel resistance and therefore higher blood pressure and potentially inflammation. Therefore it is important to include a mixture of both cardiovascular based exercises such as skipping, walking, jogging and running with full body resistance weight training.

What food should I start to avoid doc?

• Refined carbohydrates
• Flour
• GMO’s
• Factory farmed animal products
• Wheat, gluten, bread
• “Bad fats”
• Other: MSG, aspartame, glutamates

In conclusion…

Discuss appropriate strategies and treatment methods with your family Chiropractor. You will be amazed at the amount of knowledge they have regarding not only the spine and nervous system but also general wellbeing. Start to choose whole foods that have no need for an ingredient list (i.e fruit, vegetables).. Remove all unhealthy foods from the diet. Get moving with the appropriate exercise and start enjoying life again!

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About the Author Dr. James Allen

Dr. James Allen is the founder & director of Vitality Chiropractic Australia. Early in Dr. James’ professional career he completed numerous programs at RMIT University in Bundoora, including a Bachelor of Exercise Science degree & Bachelor of Chiropractic degree. Click Here To Read Full Bio

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