WHAT CAUSES INFLAMMATION IN THE BODY
Hi Hi Hi!
Okay so hear me out. I just got back from vaca and we all wondered about why we get bloated, why we get acne, why we can't lose weight as quickly as our friends, and why our knees hurt so damn bad right?
There's obviously different reasons for all this ish and a million different ways to go about fixing it but I feel like one thing that a lot of people are overlooking is INFLAMMATION.
I mean, if you think about it...we talk about it almost on a daily basis on so many different levels. We've started using cryotherapy to reduce inflammation in our muscles, we use turmeric to reduce inflammation in the body, facial massage to reduce inflammation in the face, anti-inflammatory foods to reduce inflammation in our gut, yoga to reduce it..everywhere? And omega-3's to help with our heart health, brain function, and arthritis aka... inflammation.
HOLY HELL RIGHT? It's EVERYWHERE.
This is why I want to talk about it. OKAY SO.
What is Inflammation?
Well, there's different levels of inflammation but in any case, inflammation is point blank... a defense mechanism within the body. So when anything is harming or irritating a part of our body, the body tries...key word "tries"... to remove it.
The cool thing about inflammation is that it is a healing process soo we wouldn't heal without it. The shitty thing is that it sometimes (okay, a lot of the time) it can stick around longer than we need it to, at which point it can turn into an annoying issue orrrrr chronic pain. AWESOME......
But we're ALL dealing with inflammation in some way, shape or form so let's talk about
WHAT CAUSES INFLAMMATION?
Ugh, I feel like everything under the effing sun is a cause of inflammation. Here's a few:
+ Certain Foods
+ Synthetic Chemicals
+ Food Additives
+ Lack of Sleep (my fav.....eye roll)
Things like a sore throat, a cut or a burn (I just got one in Montana when the oven door was about to slam shut and I decided to catch it with my forearm...cool cool cool) anyway... those kinds of things can cause ACUTE inflammation.
Then there's other news called CHRONIC inflammation.
Chronic inflammation means that inflammation occurs for months and even YEARS and it's caused by things like asthma, Crohn's Disease, arthritis, and ulcers...to name a few.
BUT inflammation can go from acute to chronic if we don't take care of it so just a reminder to be on your game when it comes to little injuries or health issues ya know?
PS I don't want to skim over the foods that can cause inflammation so let's talk about it.
Things such as:
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Artificial Trans Fats
- Vegetable and Seed Oils
- Refined Carbs
- Excessive amount of Alch
+ Processed Meats
This is why you may have heard of the ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DIET.
Honestly, it's just a clean, normal diet. Get rid of eating an abundance of fast food and start eating healthy, clean, nutrient dense foods and obviously, you're going to feel better.
We all know that food allergies and toxins and bacteria from foods can make us feel some type of way but WHAT is actually going on?
Well...because of these things...foods are actually able to create inflammation through our intestinal wall. If your body is sensible to certain foods then your body sees it like a foreign invader and starts attacking it which, causes that inflammation.
So simply by reducing the intake of certain foods that our specific bodies don't agree with, we are able to start reducing inflammation.
How STRESS causes inflammation:
Ugh, the more I learned about this, the more I hated it. I've always known stress is horrible for us which is why I try to avoid it AT ALL COSTS but this was a healthy reminder for me and hopefully you as to why everything stressful from an argument with our parents to psychological stress is capable of producing inflammation in the body.
Stress actually produces a type of inflammation that has been shown to increase the risk of arthritis, cardiovascular disease and diabetes :( This is something that I talk to my clients about ALL THE TIME.
Stress is a HUGE issue for our health and directly impacts our ability to lose weight. When were under psychological stress, our bodies releases stress hormones as part of the fight or flight response. So it's SUPPOSED to be helpful in certain situations and definitely can be BUT because so many of us are stressed all day, this fight or flight response never turns off.
This equals CHRONIC STRESS which equals CHRONIC INFLAMMATION which is a MAJOR RISK FACTOR FOR CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE.
And then to top it off, too much stress releases cortisol levels which, according to a study in 2012 by Carnegie Mellon University, too much stress dampens cortisol's ability to REGULATE inflammation. So now we're creating inflammation and making it harder on ourselves to control it.
How Health Problems Cause Inflammation:
Well for one, Obesity is not great for inflammation. And on top of that there's unhealthy eating which we touched on a little bit already. So just as a re cap... inflammation can be triggered by fat and blood sugar or by bacteria, allergies and other toxins.
WHY IS INFLAMMATION BAD FOR OUR BODIES?
I mean, I feel we should know right? No more ignoring the signs and letting little things get worse or pushing things off like everything is okay. I don't want to scare you guys haha but I feel like this info will be useful to you now and in the long term.
1. Immune cells can attack the digestive tract and create Crohn's disease with symptoms such as well...diarrhea, cramps and ulcers.
2. It can harm your joints such as the condition known as Rheumatoid Arthritis.
3. It's linked to heart disease aka HEART ATTACKS (You know how when you get a cut on your skin and then all those white blood cells rush over and it starts to become swollen? That's the same thing that starts to happen when there's a build up of fatty plaque in the arteries. It triggers chronic inflammation which can cause blood clots).
4. Whether you have inflammatory conditions due to obesity or a chronic condition, you're unfortunately at a higher risk for cancer. This includes lung, esophagus, cervix, digestive tract and others.
5. It's no bueno for your lungs. Inflammation in the lungs = a narrowing of the airways which makes it difficult to breathe. This could be due to asthma, smoking and being overweight.
6. It makes weight loss more difficult. Chronic inflammation can trigger hunger hormones AND SLOW METABOLISM. (WTF!)
Now we're eating more and burning less. Fantastic. This inflammatory response can also increase insulin resistance which raises your risk for diabetes and is linked with future weight gain.
Are You Suffering From Inflammation?
Most of the time if we scan our bodies from head to toe, we can find signs or symptoms that are signals that something we are being exposed to must be removed.
This could be:
+ Skin issues like acne, rashes, psoriasis.
+ Brain fog/Fatigue
+ Sinus Issues
+ Weight Gain
+ Autoimmune Disease
The only thing I want to mention about this really quickly is....remember that inflammation is typically a RESPONSE to something else that is happening. So the best thing to do is to figure out WHY you have inflammation, and then focus on fixing THAT so that you can start reducing inflammation.
Here's the basics:
- Are you eating a clean diet filled with nutritious foods?
- Are you getting enough sleep?
- Are you drinking enough water?
- Are you taking time to meditate and relax?
These last 4 months for me were SO insane as a lot of you know from following my long days and even longer nights on Instagram. I tried my best for the first two and a half months of my hectic schedule to make sure that my short nights of sleep were at least GOOD sleep. I tried to meditate for at least 10 minutes a day, drink more than enough water, and eat clean.
Before I knew it, I suffered from my first panic attack and realized that I'm not some magical human. I need sleep. I need time for myself. I need to de stress.
WE ALL DO.
So if you're feeling overwhelmed, stop. Clear your schedule. Stay home. Take yourself to the movies. Book a breathing class or a meditation yoga or something. WHATEVER.
Comment below if you have any questions or helpful tips for reducing inflammation!