In honor of National Cancer Prevention Month I wanted to discuss something that effects ALL areas of your body. An issue that shows high chances of increasing your risks of acne inflammation, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, neurological diseases, obesity, and diabetes. What is it? CHRONIC INFLAMMATION. And there are many small things you can do to help in your daily life that don’t have to turn your world upside.
Chronic Inflammation, What Is It?
The Women’s Health Network explains chronic inflammation as “a result of the body’s natural healing process of inflammation turning harmful when it continues long after the original response was first needed. While it’s a relatively complicated process, inflammation becomes “chronic” if your internal “emergency alarm” fails to shut off when it should. This ends up allowing chronic inflammation to destroy healthy tissue and create related symptoms.”
It’s amazing to me how many of us are living with chronic inflammation that’s causing issues with the body. I see it every day in the skin… sometimes it shows as underlying redness in the skin (not even rosacea specific) or chronic acne breakouts on the face, back or chest areas.
It is also the source of lots of asthma, joint pain, heart disease and more… including cancer and other deadly diseases.
What Causes Chronic Inflammation?
- Digestive Issues
- Insulin Issues
- Food Allergies
- Hormone Imbalance
What Can You Do To Fix It?
I know this one seems tough to do but your diet totally effects your body and you know it. One of the main things you can do to cut down on your inflammation is to “just say no” to sugar more than you do now. It doesn’t mean never touching it again… it means backing off a bit, that little reduction can make a world of difference in your inflammation level.
Other foods that you should stay away from:
- refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and pastries
- French fries and other fried foods
- artificial sweeteners
- soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages
- red meat (burgers, steaks) and processed meat (hot dogs, sausage)
- margarine, shortening, and lard
- soy products
Foods that can reduce inflammation:
- olive oil
- green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and collards
- nuts like almonds and walnuts
- fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines
- fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges
Again, a tough topic for most of us… but one little tip I can give you to help is to get away from your digital devices an hour after you wake up and an hour before bed. The morning time is by far the most important one… there are studies that by staying away from it in the morning by just an hour can significantly reduce your stress level all day. By not reading that stressful email or getting frustrated by some Facebook post or more… you will start every day far less stressed, which seriously reduces your level of inflammation.
Take some great supplements to reduce inflammation!
Personally, I’m not ready to give up my occasional Spaghettios laden with corn syrup and other inflammatory foods… so how do I manage my inflammation? Great supplements! Personally, an amazing ProBiotic (my personal favorite is here) and some powerful spices like Turmeric Curcumin (which helps with inflammation, joint pain and more), Collagen Hydrolysate (a protein powder that significantly reduces joint pain and makes your skin glow too), Berberine (which helps control blood sugar) and Boswellia Serrata Extract (a powerful anti-inflammatory herb that comes from Frankincense) can make a HUGE dent in your daily inflammation. So much so, doctor’s are studying the effects more and more. Check out a couple of studies about how they are beginning to use natural supplements and spices to combat inflammation:
Get your hormones balanced!
I spent at least a decade trying to find a doctor who could get my hormones in check… insulin resistance with insanely high estrogen and was wreaking havoc on my body. I was tired, sick and overweight… But after years of research I found someone who could put a dent in those problems for me and I would not change a thing. I have been normal weight and far less sick since getting my hormones in check. Since folks are reading this all over the world, I won’t tell you specifically who to see for this but let me give you some tips on finding the best practitioner to help with hormone issues:
- Find someone (a doctor, an OB, a nurse) who SPECIALIZES IN HORMONES
- Be referred by a friend who’s already found someone great
- Read, read, read about hormone imbalance so you can ask the right questions before you arrive
- Don’t be afraid to switch away from someone who isn’t listening to you
- Make sure they do VERY thorough testing
- Make sure they think outside the box (ie they use both naturopathic and traditional medicine)
No matter what… getting your inflammation in check can help your skin, your health and wellness, and will increase how long you’ll be around!
-Jennifer is a blogger, mom and owner of Elemental Esthetics in St Louis, MO
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