Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Are You Inflamed?

Yep, most likely you are. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you live anything close to the typical Western lifestyle, you can bet that you have at least a little bit of chronic inflammation in your body.

So now you're probably thinking "So What?" I understand. It's a vague concept this whole inflammation thing, it makes no sense to the average person. Unless you are a bit weird like me, you probably don't spend hours at a time on the computer reading up on abstract topics like this. That's ok, I am here to sum it up for you in 47 pages or less (just kidding, should be only few paragraphs).

Why is this topic important? It's important because if you have chronic inflammation inside you, you have basically created the breeding ground for illness, EVERY illness, from colds to the flu, from diabetes to cardiovascular disease, from Alzheimers to cancer. Degenerative diseases thrive in this kind of atmosphere, and obviously this can have seriously deleterious effects on your health and well being.

So, if I am saying I just about guarantee you have inflammation in your body, how would I know that? Because most of you reading this are living the standard American way of life. You follow the Standard American Diet (SAD) at least a good part of the time. You don't exercise enough. You live a stress filled life. You don't sleep and get proper rest as much as you should. Maybe you have some really bad health habits like smoking, or drinking soft drinks (diet or non). Sound familiar? It should, most of us have challenges in one or more of the listed areas. Most of us are walking around "simmering" under the skin, setting ourselves up for increased chances of many debilitating illnesses.

What can we do to combat this? What can we do to stop simmering and "be cool"? Simply put it comes down to my often repeated, but never more true, wellness formula: Eat well, Move well, Think well and Rest well. Yep, it's really that simple. However, simple doesn't always mean easy. Take a hard look at yourself, truly evaluate yourself in each of the 4 pillars of wellness I just mentioned. How are your eating habits? Are you eating real food or "edible food-like substances"? Real food either grows or at one point had eyes. Are you buying organic foods more and more? Typical procedures for raising cattle/chicken produce very unhealthy meat for you and I to consume, meat that can create more inflammation. Meat in and of itself isn't bad for you, but bad meat is, and if you're not eating free range meat, chances are your meat is bad (read the recent articles on how much of our meat supply is tainted, disgusting).

Further ways to solve the inflammatory problem include exercising appropriately with resistance training and intense cardiovascular training. Supplementation to offset the inflammation producing habits in our eating can help (think Fish Oil supplements among other things). Taking time to de-stress and remove stressors that affect our life goes a long way to reducing inflammation. Proper rest allows the body to cool down, and thus alleviates inflammation.

It's very do-able, if you've got a big enough reason to make the changes. We help with that in our office, but there are wellness coaches throughout the country these days. Find one that teaches what I speak of, spend time with them, learn from them and act on what you learn. Soon you'll be able to say you are "totally chill".

Until next time...Be Well (stay cool)

Dr. Bruce

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