Have concerns about inflammation? We can help! Contact our office at (425) 686-4498 to schedule your consult today with Dr. Heintze to learn more.
What is inflammation…and should you be concerned?
Inflammation has is a trending topic in the health & wellness world lately, and for good reason…
What is inflammation, exactly?
Inflammation is our bodies natural immune response to repair and rejuvenation in cases of trauma or infection.
We need inflammation as it shows us our immune system is in check and working properly. This issue arises when it become chronic inflammation.
Let’s explore the differences between acute and chronic inflammation.
Mechanism of acute inflammation in the body:
Acute inflammation happens when there is physical injury to the body which damages your cells, the immune system swings into action releasing antibodies and proteins, as well as increases blood flow to the area to help clear and repair. This occurs with cuts, bruises, injury to joints, sports injury, after surgery, common cold, etc.
Common signs & symptoms that an acute inflammatory response is at work:
- Immediate response, lasting days or weeks
- Heat or warmth
- Pain and discomfort
- Immobility in the affected area
How chronic inflammation compares:
Persistent and chronic inflammation, on the other hand, is when this response lingers, leaving your body in a near-constant state of “attack”, with widespread systemic effects…sometimes for years!
Common signs & symptoms that chronic inflammation:
- Lasting months or years
- Rashes or other skin afflictions such as rosacea and eczema
- Abdominal or chest pain
- Joint pain/arthritis
Do note: many autoimmune conditions are also considered to have chronic inflammatory components, including:
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
- Psoriasis & psoriatic arthritis
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
Is there hope?
Yes! This is where natural medicine and acupuncture excel! In addition to finding the cause (or causes) of the inflammation, acupuncture aids the body to start to heal itself and shut off the “fight or flight” response that is fueling the inflammation.
Other ways to cut chronic inflammation include lifestyle changes including:
- Quitting smoking
- Stress management
- Getting adequate sleep
- Exercising regularly
- Reducing alcohol consumption
- Diet that includes whole foods based, gluten-free, and low sugar/processed foods
Why the “anti-inflammatory diet” can help
If you want to improve overall health — your diet plays a huge role! The focus should be on whole foods that contain a wide variety of nutrients.
Think about which foods give you the best bang for your nutrient buck!
Basically, you want to eat more whole foods and fewer inflammation-promoting foods — which means avoiding processed “food-like products” whenever possible.
Say Yes to these foods:
- Fruits that are in-season, low on the glycemic index scale: Asian Pears, apples, dark berries, and cherries
- Leafy greens & cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts
- Fatty fish & other healthy fats like nuts, seeds, avocados, olives & olive oil
- Aromatic spices like turmeric, cinnamon, fenugreek
- Green tea, organic coffee
- Grass-fed meats
- Dark chocolate: higher % chocolate, has less sugar or no added sugar
To learn more, get Dr. Ellie’s signature program:
Say “No” to these foods:
- Processed/packaged foods, gluten grains
- High amounts of sugar & high fructose corn syrup
- Fried food
- Soda and other highly sweetened drinks, including most fruit juices
- Red meat & processed deli meats
- Alcoholic beverages
If you’re striving to keep yourself healthy for the long run, and you want to know what single thing you should be paying (more) attention to in your health optimization routine — it is diet and lifestyle.
There’s no question that persistent, chronic inflammation is unhealthy and can lead to disease, and has been shown to be an underlying common denominator in many serious health conditions.
The reality is that your diet and lifestyle is either helping to keep inflammation at bay or it’s driving it. This is why you should aim to include as many anti-inflammatory foods in your daily diet as possible — to lower your risk of disease, and for optimal health and wellbeing.
Have concerns about inflammation?
We can help! Contact our office at (425) 686-4498 to schedule your consult today with Dr. Heintze to learn more.
Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc, is a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist in Bothell, WA at her practice Starting Point Acupuncture. She is a pain specialist, seeing people who suffer from chronic pain, migraines, as well as digestive issues. Dr. Ellie Heintze is also the author of the book, A Starting Point Guide to Going Gluten-Free on Amazon.
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Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc
- Master’s Degree in Acupuncture
- Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine
- Master’s Degree in Chemistry
Northern Arizona University
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