When we hear about inflammation, it carries a negative connotation with it. However, as discussed in previous blog entries, inflammation is not exclusively a bad thing. In fact, acute or localized inflammation is part of the body’s natural healing process. Injuries like sprained ankles or small infections from wooden splinters result in inflamed parts of the body. This is the body’s way of safeguarding and treating against injury and foreign invaders.
While localized inflammation is a necessary process for healing minor injuries, systemic or chronic inflammation can be detrimental to an individual’s long-term health. Therefore, knowing how to reduce chronic inflammation is necessary to sustaining a healthy everyday life.
Identifying and Testing Inflammation at the Source
Knowing that inflammation is not inherently the bad guy, it leads us to understand that the cause of inflammation is the true culprit. Often, lifestyle factors are the catalyst for chronic, long-term inflammatory issues. Whether it is poor diet, lack of physical exercise, excessive stress, alcohol/tobacco use, and other harmful lifestyle elements — these regular aspects of life commonly result in systemic inflammation for individuals.
So in order to properly reduce harmful inflammation, the cause needs to be identified. This starts with thorough and comprehensive testing. Here at Hill Functional Wellness, we test with the purpose of uncovering the current blueprint to the house (your body). Through blood work, heavy metal testing, the appearance of skin/nail health, and other factors — we can look at things like C-reactive protein levels, cardiac inflammatory markers, liver enzymes, and more to narrow down which specific areas of the body are being affected.
Moving forward from there, we can analyze the health data to understand what might be causing poor organ system function, and begin to “shake up” the root cause of an individual’s chronic inflammation.
Protecting Against Inflammation
As mentioned before, reducing long-term inflammation often boils down to adjusting certain lifestyle factors. In modern society, we are inundated with consumer options, both for what we put on the table, and how we spend our entertainment time. This can lead to the perfect storm for chronic inflammation.
In the United States, processed foods fill grocery stores and fill fast-food restaurant menus. The rise of technology has given the ability (and temptation) to spend more time indoors for entertainment, versus engaging in physical activities for the same purpose. Environmental factors also can play a role in an individual’s development of chronic inflammation as being exposed (knowingly or unknowingly) to harmful chemicals and metals can impact the body’s overall health.
With each person’s case of long-standing inflammation being unique, reducing the inflammation requires a specific examination into their medical history, and current health status. That said, a few general rules of thumb to live by can get the ball rolling in reducing inflammation in the body.
Rules to Help Reduce Inflammation
- Avoid processed/modified foods
- Best to consume food pulled from the ground or tree
- Get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Avoid environments high in harmful toxins
- Learn how to respond positively to stress (physical, mental, emotional, etc.)
- Supplement with high-quality anti-inflammatory nutrients when needed
- Learn what your specific triggers are through comprehensive assessment
While chronic inflammation is a serious concern that carries the possibility of great health risks, reducing inflammation is both obtainable and sustainable. At Hill Functional Wellness, we want our patients to receive the tools necessary to help regain their independence. Minimizing and even eliminating long-standing inflammation is possible with the right guidance and knowledge — we are here to help deliver the tools for healthy living.
Relieve Your Inflammation With a Little Help
If you are concerned that you may be struggling with chronic inflammation, or just have questions about how to improve your current health status, we are here to help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at our Tempe, Arizona office, and let’s develop an anti-inflammatory action plan that works for you.