Inflammation… Good or Bad?
Hi, I’m Dr. Marie Starling
At The Healing Center Denver, we help people like you reach their full potential.
Inflammation is part of the body’s immune system. It is the body’s normal, biological response when something harmful or irritating affects a part of our body.
There are two classifications: acute inflammation, which occurs over seconds, minutes, hours, and days, and chronic inflammation, which occurs over a longer period of time.
Although acute inflammation is a healthy physiological response indicative of wound healing, chronic inflammation has been directly implicated in a wide range of degenerative human health disorders encompassing almost all present day diseases including autoimmune diseases, obesity, diabetes and atherosclerosis.
In the book, Chronic Inflammation: Molecular Pathophysiology, Nutritional and Therapeutic Interventions by Sashwati Roy; Debasis Bagchi; Siba P. Raychaudhuri, University of California, Davis, USA and VA Medical Center Sacramento, California, USA, the authors cover several pathologies associated with inflammation, including aging, allergies, autoimmune disorders, atherosclerosis, cancer, chronic wounds, metabolic syndrome, and obesity.
“For many years, chronic and acute inflammatory processes were thought to be driven by different causes, through the activity of different cells and inflammation mediators, and to result in quite different outcomes. However, a more modern view suggests that these processes are interlinked. Moreover, in the setting of acute inflammation, well-regulated tissue healing can go awry and drive a chronic inflammation process intertwined with fibrosis and related processes. In hepatic, pancreatic, and gastrointestinal issues, among others, this pro inflammatory pro-fibrotic environment can stimulate carcinogenesis which in turn, can lead to an altered immune/inflammatory milieu.”
Acute Inflammation (THE Good KIND)
Acute inflammation is the early stage of inflammation. The most immediate signs of acute inflammation are:
- Loss of function
These symptoms are due to the increased blood flow and increased permeability of the vasculature which are bringing the neutrophils to the affected site as rapidly as possible. This protects the injured areas from further harm while the body goes into overdrive to fend off bacteria, viruses, pathogens, damaged cells, or other irritants. It not only kills off the invaders, but damaged tissue as well, until your body wins the battle. Without inflammation, wounds and infections would never heal.
Chronic Inflammation (the Bad kind)
Prolonged inflammation, known as chronic inflammation, leads to a progressive shift in the type of cells present at the site of inflammation and is characterized by simultaneous destruction and healing of the tissue from the inflammatory process. It can result from:
- Failure to eliminate whatever was causing an acute inflammation.
- An autoimmune response to a self antigen – the immune system attacks healthy tissue, mistaking it for harmful pathogens.
- A chronic irritant of low intensity that persists
Now here’s the unfortunate part…Chronic inflammation typically will not produce symptoms until actual loss of function occurs somewhere. This is because chronic inflammation is low-grade and systemic, often silently damaging your tissues over an extended period of time. This is a process that can go on for years without you noticing, until a disease suddenly sets in.
How can the healing center help?
As your Functional Medicine specialist in Denver, we see many patients with chronic inflammation and autoimmune diseases. We support each patient to reduce the inflammation or manage the autoimmunity through diet, supplements, and allergy clearings.
Diet accounts for about 80 percent of the health benefits you reap from a healthful lifestyle, and keeping inflammation in check is a major part of these benefits. It’s important to realize that dietary components can either trigger or prevent inflammation from taking root in your body.
Supplements such as fish oil, turmeric and probiotics are just a few that can reduce inflammation along with an anti-inflammatory diet. Using these products or others can ramp up the inflammation diet for faster results.
Allergy Clearings are a non-invasive elimination of food, seasonal, and environmental allergies using applied kinesiology and acupressure providing a whole body solution to disease care.
In addition, we have access to comprehensive blood lab testing through Cyrex Labs to find antibodies present in the different stages of autoimmunity. Having these labs can provide the information needed to either stop destruction of the tissue or catch it before it begins.
The Stages of Autoimmunity:
- Silent Autoimmunity – present antibodies, no symptoms
- Reactive Autoimmunity – present antibodies with symptoms
- Autoimmunity – present antibodies with destruction of tissue