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The Two Causes of Inflammation

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 08/31/2023

I want to talk about the two causes of inflammation that many people have a problem with regularly. These two causes are at the root of inflammatory problems, including chronic pain, muscle aches, stiff joints, and cardiovascular disease.

In this article, we will cover these topics:

 Man with knee inflammation | The Two Causes of Inflammation


What is Inflammation?

Inflammation is a part of the body's natural immune system response to injury. It's an incredibly useful function that helps repair damaged tissues and fight off foreign invaders, like bacteria, viruses, and other microbes.

Without inflammation, harmful bacterial would take over, and even small wounds could fester and turn deadly.

So why is it that we talk about inflammation as a bad thing? Well, the truth is, inflammation is a fantastic thing in many cases—we wouldn't be able to live without it. However, inflammation is only helpful for short amounts of time—we want it to do its job and then go away. This is also known as acute inflammation. Acute inflammation is when the inflammation exists only where the problem is (like with an ankle sprang) and only until the problem is fixed.

The real problem starts when we have chronic inflammationmeaning that inflammation stays for weeks, months, or years longer than it should. This problem is often non-localized—meaning you get inflammation throughout the whole body. This type of inflammation can also be difficult to spot because it's not concentrated in one area. Instead, it's a small amount spread throughout the body. That means that many could go years without entirely knowing that they have a chronic inflammatory situation.

Chronic inflammation is a huge problem because, instead of fixing problems, it creates problems. How? One role of inflammation is to trigger white blood cells. White blood cells are important for the immune system because they attack foreign invaders and breaking down damaged tissue or cellular debris.

But what happens when there aren't any foreign invaders and debris to clean up? They begin attacking healthy tissues! You don't want a situation where your healthy body tissues are being attacked by your own immune system. This can cause numerous problems throughout the body.


Symptoms and Side effects of inflammation

As you now know, when you have chronic inflammation, your body's own immune response can start to attack healthy tissue. Problems that are known to be caused by this include:

  • DNA damage
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Asthma
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Chronic peptic ulcer
  • Sinusitis
  • Chronic pain
  • Stiffness

As you can see, chronic inflammation causes a whole lot of issues throughout the body. The question is, what is causing all of this inflammation?

List of inflammatory disorders | The Two Causes of Inflammation


The Two Causes of Inflammation

There are two causes of inflammation that I want to talk about in this article. They are cortisol and Fat Storing Hormone. I know you've heard me talk about these before, and how they can cause trouble in the body. However, the reason why they are a problem might surprise you. Take a look.

1. Cortisol

Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is released by the adrenal glands. I often refer to it as the "stress hormone" because the body releases more of it when you become stressed. What's interesting is that you actually need cortisol in small amounts to keep inflammation under control. In fact, many inflammatory conditions are treated with cortisol or cortisol-like medications, including cortisone and prednisone.

So why is cortisol a problem then? Well, the problem happens when you have so much cortisol that your cells begin developing cortisol resistance. Cortisol resistance is a situation where your cells block or filter out cortisol hormones. This leaves your body susceptible to inflammatory issues because your cells aren't accepting cortisol's help with managing inflammation.

The problem of too much cortisol actually ends up causing a situation where your body uses less and less of it. In this case, the key is NOT to increase cortisol levels. That would only make matters worse. Instead, you have to lower your cortisol levels for long enough that you reverse the cortisol resistance situation. It's all about a balance of just the right amount of cortisol—both too much and too little can create issues in the body.

This cortisol-resistant state is common with people to experience adrenal fatigue. You may have heard me talk about this problem many times on my blog. Adrenal fatigue is when the adrenal glands are overworked. This is usually a stress problem.

Your body naturally releases cortisol in stressful situations. However, when you experience a lot of stress on a daily basis without relieving any of that stress, you develop a chronic stress issue, which overworks the adrenals. Keep in mind that we're not talking about a temporary or once in a while stressors—we're talking about a long-term problem.

Let’s talk about the next thing that can lead to chronic inflammation.

2. Fat Storing Hormone

Fat Storing Hormone is a hormone that is created by the pancreas. Its job is to regulate the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood. When you consume a meal with lots of sugar and carbs, your pancreas releases Fat Storing Hormone to help lower your blood glucose level as well as allow the cells to use glucose for energy. This is the only hormone that has these special abilities. Without Fat Storing Hormone, your blood sugars would fluctuate and cause disastrous consequences in the body.

Fat Storing Hormone has another important function—it helps reduce and regulate inflammation. Similar to the cortisol resistance problem, the problem with Fat Storing Hormone only happens when you develop Fat Storing Hormone resistance.

What causes Fat Storing Hormone resistance? Too much Fat Storing Hormone! Your body releases Fat Storing Hormone when you consume sugar and carbohydrates. When you consume too many of these foods day after day, your cells begin to develop a resistance to Fat Storing Hormone, also known as diabetes and pre-diabetes.

Diabetics tend to have huge problems with inflammation, which is why diabetes is a massive risk factor for heart disease and cancer. The key is to reduce Fat Storing Hormone spikes to reverse Fat Storing Hormone resistance.

Healthy keto foods for lower inflammation | The Two Causes of Inflammation


Remedies for Inflammation

What are the best home remedies for these two causes of inflammation? You have to start by reversing cortisol and Fat Storing Hormone resistance. Here's how:

1. Cut back on sugar and carbs

Sugar and carbohydrates are at the core of Fat Storing Hormone resistance. If you have an Fat Storing Hormone resistance problem, it's vital to cut out all sugary and carb-filled foods. This includes bread, cereal, pasta, crackers, cookies, pancakes, waffles, granola bars, juice, alcohol, and soda. To add to the problem, sugar is also a natural inflammatory. The less of it you have, the better.

2. Reduce stress

If your body is constantly in a stress state, you are going to experience adrenal fatigue and high cortisol levels. Over time, this causes cortisol resistance. Reducing the stressors in your life isn't always easy, but it's vital for a healthy body and mind. Address any unnecessary stressors. This can be things at work, in your relationships, or even as simple as taking a less busy route on your commute home. It's also important to do regular stress-reducing techniques. Yoga, meditation, and long walks are fantastic for reducing stress.

3. Ketogenic diet

The ketogenic diet is a low-carb high-fat diet. It works by switching your body's energy source over from sugar (glucose) to fat (ketones). Why is this important? Remember that glucose triggers Fat Storing Hormone. If your body isn't flooded with glucose, your Fat Storing Hormone levels begin to reduce and regulate. This allows time for the body to heal Fat Storing Hormone resistance. It also helps reduce inflammation by cutting out the two largest contributors to inflammation: sugar and carbohydrates.

4. Intermittent fasting

Along with the ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting is fantastic for Fat Storing Hormone resistance and reducing inflammation. Intermittent fasting is when you fast all food (and drinks with calories) for 16-23 hours a day and only consume foods during an 8 to 1-hour window. Why does this help with Fat Storing Hormone resistance? Intermittent fasting helps because it reduces the number of Fat Storing Hormone spikes. If you have meals and snacks all day long, your Fat Storing Hormone levels are constantly elevated, which may lead to Fat Storing Hormone resistance. Skipping breakfast and having your first meal around 11:00 am and your last meal around 6 is a great way to get started with intermittent fasting.

5. Lower visceral fat

Studies show that visceral fat is a major cause of chronic inflammation. The Keto and intermittent fasting are fantastic ways to help reduce your visceral fat and, in turn, get the inflammation under control.

Key Takeaways

Inflammation is a tool that your body uses to heal and restore. However, chronic inflammation is a huge problem. It contributes to numerous health problems throughout the entire body. There are two primary causes of inflammation: cortisol resistance and Fat Storing Hormone resistance. Reversing these two things is key to living a healthy life. The best way to help get Fat Storing Hormone and cortisol levels under control is to make healthy lifestyle changes, including cutting back on sugar and carbs, reducing stress, doing keto and intermittent fasting, and lowering your visceral fat.

Give these remedies a try and see if they help get the two causes of inflammation under control.

Disclaimer: Our educational content is not meant or intended for medical advice or treatment.

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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