10 Triggers of Inflammation
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Inflammation is a natural process and a healthy physical reaction. After all, it’s a big part of how our body recovers after facing disease or injury. The problem, though, is that many of us deal with chronic inflammation brought about by various inflammation triggers.
This is a huge issue for two reasons: first, cancer tends to migrate and travel to areas of inflammation -yikes! Second, if you’re in an inflammatory state, you have an immune reaction going on with histamines. Too much histamine in the body can essentially cause a fatigue poison, leading to:
In short, it's something that should be avoided as much as possible.
While there’s a lot you can do to reduce inflammation, the best treatment is to recognize and avoid triggers altogether so you don’t have to face it at all.
Here are the top 10 triggers of inflammation to be aware of.
1. Food Allergies
When you eat something that you’re allergic to, it causes inflammation. Seems simple enough, but this can be a lot more difficult to detect than it seems. Why? Most food allergies don’t cause huge systemic inflammation. Instead, they’re usually localized to a particular area like the small or large intestines.
What’s more, one particular part of your body can be allergic to something, while another part is not. That means that you can introduce something into your system that causes a disruptive reaction in one organ, but you may not notice the symptoms anywhere else.
This can cause a lot of food allergies to go unchecked for long periods of time. The top triggers here are dairy and nuts, so try to avoid those if you suspect that you have this issue.
2. Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance can cause a lot of inflammatory issues. The main things you'll notice is stiffness, pain in your body and joints.
Now let’s break this down a bit.
Insulin resistance comes from consuming more sugar than you need for an extended period of time. Here's the short version of how it works: your body naturally releases insulin to decrease your blood sugar and help regulate certain processes. In the “normal” modern diet, though, we eat about 32 times more sugar than we’re supposed to - which, in itself, is extremely inflammatory - so your body is forced to release too much insulin for too long. Your cells react by blocking it altogether. In other words, they become insulin resistant.
This creates a dangerous cycle: your body continues producing more and more insulin because your cells need it, but your cells keep blocking it and holding onto fat. As a result, you hold onto your sugar, you can’t lose weight, and you become inflamed.
This is the most common cause of chronic inflammation. Luckily, a change in your diet - like a switch to keto - can get rid of the problem right away.
Cortisol is an adrenal hormone that actually works to get rid of inflammation in the body. Today, though, many people have issues with their cortisol levels: they either have low cortisol due to adrenal fatigue or cortisol resistance where it’s low in certain parts of their body and high in others.
This can lead to a lot of inflammatory issues, including autoimmune conditions, skin problems, poison ivy - even rheumatoid arthritis. It can also lead to a condition called Addison’s, an adrenal burnout that causes chronic inflammation all over the body. John F. Kennedy had it, and it generally requires that you take a steroid like prednisone to treat it.
So how do you identify this issue? In general, if you find yourself having to take steroids - cortisone cream, prednisone, etc. - it’s probably an adrenal weakness that you’re dealing with.
The solution? Strengthening your adrenals. A great natural cortisol replacement to start with is licorice (not the candy, but licorice extract) though you can find some more comprehensive solutions here.
4. Old Injuries
This is an important one to talk about because most people don’t think about past injuries when they’re facing their present inflammation. They think, “It was a long time ago, it’s fine,” but the reality is that there’s a huge connection.
Why? The area is damaged and there's not a lot of circulation anymore, so you're going to find lasting, chronic inflammation symptoms. These include stiffness, swelling, and low-grade, ongoing pain.
This kind of inflammation can be greatly reduced through intermittent fasting and switching to an anti-inflammatory diet.
Inflammation, at its core, is a big part of the immune system's response. It comes about because the body is starting to attack certain pathogens or threats. The problem is that a lot of people can often have consistent, low-grade infections that evoke this immune response.
For example, a lot of people have:
- Yeast or Candida
- An overgrowth of unfriendly bacteria
- Diseases like Lyme.
Really commonly, people also have small microbes called nanobacteria in the body. These bacteria can be tricky for the immune system to find and kill because they develop a hard calcium shell to protect themselves. As a result, they can linger in the body and cause an inflammatory response, along with other systemic problems. The biggest thing you’ll notice if you have this: fatigue.
So how do you address these issues? One remedy is to dissolve the shell using an EDTA - a chelator that pulls the calcium shell off and exposes the nanobacteria. Then, you can use a natural antibiotic to kill it.
Some great natural antibiotics include:
Whatever you choose, it's important that you start clearing out the old infection in the body. And remember to avoid the sugar that feeds the infection so it doesn’t keep coming back.
Oxidants can be many things - sugar, junk food, and alcohol - but a big one is free iron. It’s very corrosive and it can basically create a rusting effect in the body. The body will try to repair this damage with calcium and cholesterol, creating plaque. This can lead to brain problems, heart disease, acute inflammation, and other serious issues.
This oxidative stress can also create an ongoing inflammatory condition as the body tries to battle the effects of the oxidants. So how are you exposed to this free iron?
- SUPPLEMENTS: There are many low-quality supplements on the market that give you the wrong kind of iron. To avoid oxidants, then, you have to ditch the junk and get your iron from grass-fed liver extract (you can get it in a pill) or from grass-fed spleen extract instead.
- WHEAT PRODUCTS: Many wheat products in the U.S. are enriched with iron. You can usually identify them because, after you eat them, you’re going to feel heaviness in your gut. This is super corrosive and it can create a lot of problems in the body.
One more thing to look out for here? Anemia. Microbes - both good and bad - eat iron. So, if you have a lot of iron in your system, it will attract bacteria. When you start developing inflammation, your body will then hide the iron and pull it out so the pathogens can’t eat it. This can lead to a sudden drop in iron and anemia.
The point? Anytime you have too much iron, you’re going to have more infection, more inflammatory response, and more problems in the body.
7. Alcohol and Junk Food
This one may seem pretty obvious, but it's still important to discuss. Alcohol and junk foods will create damage and cause systemic inflammation in the body. That's because:
- There's too much sugar in these products, which will lead to insulin resistance
- Alcohol damages the liver, which will cause inflammation
- You're not getting the nutrients you need to strengthen your immune system
- You're loading up on toxins
- And more
So, avoid trans fats and unhealthy junk foods and stick to the anti-inflammatory stuff instead.
8.Omega-6 Fatty Acids From Soy and Corn Oil
You’ve probably heard a lot about the benefits of consuming omega-3 fatty acids (found in things like oily fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts). And it’s true - omega-3s are great for your health. They’re actually anti-inflammatory, and they can help guard against heart disease, strengthen nails, help skin, and more. But, they're not the only fatty acids out there.
There are also omega-6 fatty acids, found in corn, safflower, sunflower, soy, and vegetable oils. These are actually pro-inflammatory and they raise your risk of heart disease and other issues.
So avoid the omega-6 and stick to the omega-3's whenever possible.
9. Raw Nuts and Raw Seeds
Raw nuts and raw seeds actually have enzyme inhibitors that can create a problem with your digestion, particularly in the gallbladder.
When you consume too many nuts, you can have more irritation and inflammation in the body. An easy solution - if nuts are a big part of your diet - is to switch to germinated nuts or soak your nuts overnight before you eat them.
You’re not going to find a lot of research on this, though it’s something that I’ve personally observed working with thousands of people over the past 30 years.
People often have congested gallbladders. Maybe it's because they’re eating junk food, maybe they're consuming too much sugar, and maybe it's something else. Whatever the case, the gallbladder ultimately swells up, gets congested, and becomes deficient in bile. This leads to bloating and chronic inflammation in the gut. It can even refer pain to the right neck, shoulder and shoulder blade.
A common tell of this problem is if your stomach is flat in the morning and bigger at night. And if you're not sure, there’s a quick way to check. Simply press underneath your right rib cage and massage the area for around 2 minutes. It should bring instant relief if this is your issue. And if it is? You can switch to a more anti-inflammatory diet to help.
There you have it - the top 10 triggers of inflammation. Hope it has helped, and you can contact us here if you have any questions or want help making the first big changes.
*Any comments on our blog or websites relating to weight loss results may or may not be typical and your results will vary depending on your diet and exercise habits.
***Always consult a professional before making any significant changes to your health.