I have lived with it; every client I see lives with it – we are a country on fire! The standard American diet and lifestyle has created an epidemic of inflammation that has put millions at risk of not only chronic disease but at risk every day of digestive upset, colds and viruses, aches and pains. You don’t have to live with the aches and pains, the GI upset another day! I have healed my body and see clients every day putting out the fire – by taking the steps to create a nourished life.
It all starts with inflammation. Inflammation is a good thing when it is doing its job. Acute inflammation is how your body protects you against foreign invaders and it is a well-regulated system. Unfortunately, you may not be dealing with just this acute inflammatory response, but with day in and day out stressors to the body including poor dietary choices, excess emotional and physical stress, lack of exercise and inadequate sleep. These may be stressors that your body can’t manage 24 hours/day, 7 days/week, 365 days/year. The consequence – illness and disease.
How do you know if this fire is burning inside of you?
Take my inflammation quiz to find out.
- Do you have arthritis or swollen and/or achy joints?
- Have you been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease (lupus, Hashimoto’s, rheumatoid arthritis)?
- Do you have irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease or colitis?
- Are you more than 20 lbs. overweight?
- Do you have a stressful life?
- Do you get frequent colds, viruses and/or infections?
- Do you get chronic skin infections, canker sores or cold sores?
- Do you get chronic bronchitis or have asthma?
- Do you have problems such as ADHD, autism, or mood or behavior problems?
- Do you have high glucose, cholesterol, LDL, triglycerides?
- Do you have heart disease or diabetes?
- Do you drink more than 3 glasses of alcohol per week?
- Do you exercise LESS THAN 30 minutes, 3 times per week?
- Do you have diarrhea, constipation, acid reflux, gas and/or abdominal pain more than once a week?
- Do you have trouble with memory or focus?
- Do you suffer from seasonal or environmental allergies, asthma or eczema?
- Do you suffer from food allergies or sensitivities or feel bloated or sluggish after eating?
If you answered YES to 5 or more questions you are probably dealing with at least a moderate level of inflammation. If you answered YES to 10 or more questions you may have a high level of inflammation.
3 Steps To Put Out The Fire
If you are ready to end the cycle of poor health, there are many things you can do to start to put out the fire.
- Remove triggers to inflammation in your gut. The gut runs from your mouth to your anus and it is the only organ that is technically outside of the body. It is exposed to the outside environment and works to protect you. The gut functions sort of like a sieve, filtering out the small molecules and allowing them into the bloodstream. When your gut becomes damaged, larger molecules can get into the bloodstream, traveling where they don’t belong and leading to inflammation. Healing your gut begins with first taking foods out of your diet that may be creating damage to the lining of your gut. These may include highly processed foods, foods you are sensitive too, or chemicals and additives.
- Heal your gut. If your gut has been damaged and systemic inflammation is the result, healing is needed to put out the fire. Each individual is different and a plan to repair the gut should be individualized as well. The goal is to create a healthy environment. For some this may include introducing digestive enzymes, creating a more acidic environment or an improved balance of bacteria. For everyone it will include creating an eating plan packed with nutrition to allow the body to function optimally.
- Change your environment. In addition to healing the internal environment, consider what is occurring in your external environment that needs cleaning up – chronic physical or emotional stress, a diet lacking in important vitamins and minerals and rich in sugars and inflammatory fats, or poor sleep habits.
Take it one step at a time. Improving your lifestyle to create an environment for healing may take time. Remember these habits may have been in your life for weeks, months, or years. We don’t turn that around immediately. Be patient and ask for help if needed.