When you injure yourself or have an infection, your immune system naturally comes to the rescue. While you may experience some warmth, tenderness or swelling after say, cutting your finger or spraining an ankle, these symptoms usually disappear after the body heals itself. Not so with chronic inflammation, which persists and harms your body’s tissues instead of helping them. Over time inflammation can cause serious illnesses such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s, autoimmune disease, diabetes, autism and even cancer. Inflammation often accompanies elevated homocysteine, making it a problem those with MTHFR could come into contact with. There are, however, other causes of inflammation that can sabotage anyone.
The list of potential root causes for inflammation is similar to that of the diseases it causes. Major offenders include stress, weight, diet, allergies, low cortisol, thyroid deficiency, smoking, heavy metals and our old friends viruses, bacteria, fungus and parasites. You may have troubling symptoms or you may not have any. This has earned inflammation the often used title of “silent killer.” But you may have little clues that you just don’t know how to interpret. For example, inflammation can be a reason why you’re reacting poorly to methylfolate because the methylfolate will aggravate existing inflammation.
You can determine whether you have inflammation by testing. Six helpful marker tests are:
- High Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (HS-CRP)
- SED Rate
- Serum Glucose
- Antibody Assessment Panels from US BioTek Laboratories
- HLA DR/DQ from Labcorp (test #012542)
If you discover that you have inflammation it is crucial that you work on it. There are a number of steps you can take and I’ve collected some helpful articles here to get you on the right track:
Inflammation is not always your friend! – Stop The Thyroid Madness (Provides an action plan with a particular focus on inflammation in those with thyroid and adrenal dysfunction.)
Five Ways To Reduce Inflammation Naturally – Huffington Post
Flame Thrower: Top 10 Natural Ways To Reduce Inflammation – Mark’s Daily Apple
Diet will become an important weapon in your arsenal. Here are some battle plans:
Dr. Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Diet – Dr. Weil
Fighting Inflammation (includes exercise tips as well) – Experience Life
This is really interesting! In late January, I decided to get off pravastatin (since a statin hurt my dad’s liver) and stop eating inflammatory foods. I cut out: refined sugar, all sweeteners (honey, stevia, agave, etc) – mostly because they are sweet triggers for me, white flours, and fats high in omega-6 fatty acids (soybean, canola, grapeseed, etc). I’ve lost 13 lbs just from that in combination with 30 min of walking a day. I’m not even really trying hard – I eat saturated fat and plenty of avocado, nuts, and peanut butter. Get this – my total cholesterol went down from 252 to 226!!! I really recommend cutting out inflammatory foods. I also stopped eating bread, fried food, chips, and commercial salad dressings, which are next to impossible to find free of sugar and canola oil.
Andrea Post author
That’s awesome, Margarita – way to go and thanks for sharing!