There are times when the body has to deal with foreign invaders, like bacteria and viruses, through a biological process known as inflammation. This response is both normal and beneficial. Your body depends on a certain level of inflammation in order to maintain health. While performing this healing endeavor, there is a physiological cascade of events that happens in a relatively controlled and well-orchestrated fashion.
Unfortunately, in our North American culture, it has become exceedingly common for this well-regulated process to spiral out of control. There is a general consensus among both conventional, and alternative, medical circles that every single one of our chronic diseases can be traced back to excess systemic inflammation. For example, conditions such as asthma, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disease, allergies, diabetes, and cancer all have inflammation at their origin.
Acute Inflammation: Our Friend
If you have suffered an injury, or infection, you have experienced the acute inflammatory response mechanism. In this process, there are a series of biochemical reactions that occur to help the body ward off foreign invaders. During this time, there are numerous chemical mediators, as well as white blood cells, that are sent to the affected areas. As a result, you will usually experience all, or many, of the following symptoms: redness, pain, swelling, heat, and loss of function/movement.
Chronic Inflammation: Our Foe
Chronic inflammation is often the result of an over-reactive immune response or an underlying problem that your body is working hard to fight off. Typically, these situations are due to the accumulative effect of an unhealthy lifestyle. Most times, the symptoms of chronic inflammation remain subclinical and, therefore, silent. It’s not until the body’s tissues have become so damaged by this chronic inflammatory response that you are finally diagnosed with one of today’s hallmark medical conditions.
Lifestyle Factors that Increase Chronic Inflammation:
Lifestyle Factors that Decrease Chronic Inflammation:
Nuclear factor-Kappa Beta: NfKB
One of the major inducers of inflammation is the transcription protein known as Nuclear factor-Kappa Beta (NfKB). NfKB modulation is an important target for cancer prevention and treatment. NfKB can be successfully modulated by:
Inflammation is a complex physiological process employed by the body to assist in bringing health and vitality back to the affected structures. Problems arise when the body loses its ability to “turn-off” this biochemical cascade resulting in chronic inflammation and the subsequent clinical state of disease. Learning to attend to our cellular health is the key component in successfully overcoming the damaging effects of this process. The use of high-quality nutraceuticals, a diet rich in micronutrients, appropriate amounts of sleep, stress-management techniques, exercise, and the consumption of clean water are the best ways to treat the root cause of all systemic inflammatory patterns.