Understanding Inflammation

Most patients come into our office and share symptoms but are unaware of what is causing them. It is so important to know when people want to get rid of symptoms, to focus on what is causing all their symptoms. One of the root issues to focus on when dealing with any symptoms is inflammation. Questioning your inflammatory response is crucial.

People’s inflammatory response is directly linked to every healthcare issue they have. Anything that ends in “itis”, digestive issues, etc. has a direct link to inflammation. One of the number one selling medications on the market right now, whether it’s in the drug stores or from your doctor, is some sort of anti-inflammatory drug. It’s so rampant and scary, due to the numerous side effects that come with these drugs. For example, Ibuprofen has studies proving within the month you take it you increase your chances of a heart attack by 20%. When you factor in people taking this regularly, you can infer how drastic these statistics increase.

Defining Inflammation

So, what is causing this inflammation? What exactly is inflammation? Inflammation is an innate immune response. Your body is made to heal because it is wonderfully and powerfully made. For example, when you go to sleep at night your body is regenerating. Regeneration includes cellular replication while cells are also dying off. While your body is healing, inflammation is occurring also triggers your body’s release of cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone that is very important in your sleep cycles because this hormone wakes you up and calms inflammation. If you’re waking up and still feeling exhausted and inflamed, your adrenals are probably having some issues working. This process is natural and effective. When you sprain an ankle, all the blood cells and inflammatory response attends to the area. We wouldn’t want to ice and compress this area because these symptoms of inflammation are an innate response to heal the area. This is ideal; however, there are also situations where there is “chronic inflammation.”

The reason chronic inflammation is happening is that we are asking the wrong questions. For example, if you go to your doctor for Ulceral Col-“itis” you have inflammation in your colon and the doctor will give you an anti-inflammatory drug to remove this inflammation. The medical answer is to take a drug that blocks the body’s innate inflammatory response which will reduce inflammation. The problem isn’t the drug, the problem is the question at hand. The question should not be, “how do I get rid of this inflammation?” It should be “why is my body creating a constant immune response? What is the root cause?”

Root Causes of Inflammation

Once again, inflammation is just an immune response. (Example: your body gets a virus and then makes an immune response to remove this unwanted protein). Your body is constantly creating an immune response which means it is constantly working if you have high levels of inflammation. The “why” behind this constant state of inflammation almost always comes back to what type of stressor you have within your environment. It could be a physical stressor, like being in a car accident or overly working out. It could be a chemical stressor, like cleaning and beauty products being used in the house or medications. It could be an emotional stressor, like losing a close family member or money issues. Those stressors are going to engage the innate response. The goal to get rid of inflammation is to investigate and identify the stressors in your environment.

What do I do?

There are multiple things you can do that will reduce the amount of inflammation in your body. You ultimately want to find the root cause, which can be found by tests we provide within our office. A good start would be taking a test to see if there are any stressors within your digestive tract, spine, immune system, etc. Some of these could include tests for your GI tract or X-rays of your spine. We also have a free ebook (linked here or on our homepage) that will give you 10 steps to reducing your root causes of inflammation.

And remember… the key is not to remove inflammation, but to remove the stressors causing inflammation.