Why controlling inflammation is the key to your health
As our knowledge of health and disease progresses, we are learning more and more about the underlying mechanisms that drive the development and progression of many chronic diseases. Thanks to this perspective, we are seeing a common thread linking seemingly disparate illnesses, from cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis, to the damaging sequela of diabetes (kidney disease, neuropathies, eye disease), HIV disease progression, and even many cancers. That thread is inflammation.
It’s important to remember that inflammation in our bodies can actually be a healthy thing – it is one of the tools our immune system uses to both eliminate potential pathogenic threats and help heal wounds. However, if inflammation becomes too prominent or is left unchecked, it can also do damage to tissues, ultimately promoting illness and disease.
Underlying inflammation in our bodies is a system involving molecules called free radicals. Free radicals operate via pathways that utilize oxygen to create an inflammatory reaction. This process damages molecules that pose threats to the body and need to be eliminated. In a healthy state, the free radicals are balanced by other molecules called antioxidants. However, when there is an imbalance between free radicals and the balancing antioxidants, tissues can be damaged. This can result in something called oxidative stress excessive inflammation which can eventually lead to chronic illness.
Linked here is an article by Holly Lucille, ND, RN and Corey Schuler, MS, DC, CNS about how this system works in the body, along with some tips about developing a healthier lifestyle to help reduce inflammation’s less advantageous effects.
Dr. Steven Milkis is a Naturopathic Physician and the owner of Green Lake Natural Medicine, located in the Green Lake neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. He is the co-author of the chapter on HIV in the Textbook of Natural Medicine, the definitive resource on naturopathic care and treatment. https://www.clinicalkey.com/#!/browse/book/3-s2.0-C20101648729
He enjoys working in a variety of modalities to help patients of all ages and sexes improve their health and wellbeing. He can be reached via www.greenlakenaturalmedicine.com