Archive for the ‘Inflammation’ Category
The Relationship between Sugar and Inflammation
Scientists have long linked oedema, arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease with inflammation. Only recently the medical community has implicated the process to diabetes, certain cancers and other unsolvable degenerative conditions. The latest research links heart disease more to various inflammatory conditions than to high cholesterol. Researchers are doing their best to come up with anti-inflammatory drugs and other cures for this inflammation.
Rather than try to find a cure, it might be wise to find out what causes inflammation and stop the cause rather than look for a cure. There are many things that cause inflammation in the body: viral and bacterial infections, surgery, a bruise, a broken bone, allergies, vaccinations, high blood pressure, oestrogen therapy, smoking, obesity, chronic fatigue, and dental problems, among others.
One of the biggest offenders of inflammation is ingestion of sugar. By sugar I mean table sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, turbinado sugar, honey (even raw), maple sugar, corn sweetener, dextrose, glucose, fructose and any other word that ends in an “ose”, barley malt, rice syrup, liquid cane sugar, concentrated fruit juice and others. Don’t be fooled by the name organic when it applies to sugar. Sugar is sugar, organic or not, and the following will explain exactly what can happen in the body when you eat as little as two teaspoons.
Every time a person eats as little as two teaspoons we can upset our body chemistry and disrupt homeostasis, the wonderful balance in the body needed for maintenance, repair and life itself. One of the many changes this upset body chemistry causes is for our minerals to change relationship to each other.(1)(2)
No mineral is an island: minerals can only function in relation to each other. When one of the mineral levels drops in the blood stream, it’s a sure thing that other minerals cannot function as well and can become toxic or deficient.
Although calcium and phosphorus give structure to our bodies through the formation of bones and teeth, most minerals function primarily as catalysts in enzyme systems within the cells and body fluids. As enzyme catalysts, the minerals are able to help our bodies grow and maintain themselves, regulate our body processes and supply us with energy. When there are very slight changes from the normal mineral composition inside the cell, this alteration may result in profound physiological consequences, without making any appreciable difference on the total mineral makeup of the body as a whole.(3)
One of the body processes for which enzymes are important is digestion. Enzymes help us break our food down into simple product which can then move easily from the digestive tract to the bloodstream. Enzymes break down fat to fatty acids, carbohydrates to simple sugar and protein into first, polypeptides and then into amino acids. Unfortunately enzymes can not function without minerals. You can deplete the enzymes when you eat sugar. Therefore, when the enzymes cannot function well, all of the protein in the food does not digest. This protein gets into the blood stream as partially digested protein, or polypeptides.(4,5)
Dr William Philpott, in his book BRAIN ALLERGIES says, “One of the most important systemic functions of the pancreas is to supply proteolytic enzymes (enzymes from the pancreas that aid in the digestion of proteins into polypeptides and then amino acids) which act as regulatory mechanisms over inflammatory reactions in the body. Poor digestion of proteins to amino acids occurs as a consequence of insufficient pancreatic proteolytic enzymes. As a result, unusable inflammation evoking protein molecules are absorbed through the intestinal mucosa and circulate in the blood, reaching tissues in partially digested form.
The medical community rejected this concept for years. As the old saying goes, first they ignore it, then they ridicule it, then they call it their own. Well, that is just what they have done. They call it the leaky gut syndrome, gut permeability and/or food allergy. As partially digested protein molecules (peptides), the immune system, which protects us from foreign invaders, sees these protein molecules as foreign invaders and responds the only way it knows how with inflammation. Depending on where this partially digested protein goes in the body, inflammation can set in any organ or tissue.(6)
This foreign matter, or partially digested protein, is in particles too large to be utilized by the cells. They can not get into the cell and function. This form of food allergy can cause havoc in our blood stream.(7) One of the things these particles can do is cause the classic symptoms of allergy, the inflammatory response, the runny eyes, sinusitis, sneezing and scratchy throat.(8),(9) These particles can go to the joints, tissues or bones and cause arthritis.(lO),(ll). They can go to the nervous system and cause multiple sclerosis.(l2) Medical research shows that this foreign matter can go to the skin and cause psoriasis,(13) hives,(14), and eczema.(15) The inflammatory process takes place in all these diseases.
From my clinical experience, acne and water retention also are caused by food allergy. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are also caused by undigested protein.(16) The nonusable protein can go anywhere in the blood and cause problems. At this time our immune system looks at this undigested food as a foreign invader, and our immune system comes to our defence and removes this foreign protein from our blood.(l7),(l8)
When we consume sugar over and over, we weaken our body tissues, our white blood cells
and our immune system.(l9),(20) Our white cells and other tissues need protein to function optimally. The cells can not get the correct protein when it is not digested and assimilated properly.
When our body tissues and immune system are weak, we can not fend off foreign invaders. Not only are we now susceptible to degenerative diseases but also infectious diseases. Whatever infectious disease we will get depends on what bacteria or virus is in the environment, and the weakness in our genetic blueprint determines what tissue will be affected and to which degenerative disease we are susceptible.
Sugar in the amount that we eat today (over 150 lbs, or over 1/2 cup a day,) continually upsets our body chemistry, causes the inflammatory process and leads to disease. The less sugar you eat, the less inflammation, and the stronger the immune system to defend us against infectious and degenerative diseases.
So what is there left to eat that is sweet? Lots. Whole fruits are healthy foods for healthy people. Melons and berries have the least amount of sugar. A glass of grape, orange or apple juice has the same amount of sugar as a soft drink of the same ounces and is just as detrimental. So eat your fruit whole. A mashed sweet potato is also a sweet food and is great mixed with carob or coconut milk and grated coconut. Eat just a small portion for a low carb diet. Some whipped cream with vanilla is a great topper for fruits or sweet potatoes.
For more information on sugar’s detrimental affects, a great sugarfree recipe and more on inflammation go to http://www.nancyappleton.com This information came from three of Dr. Appleton’s books: STOPPING INFLAMMATION, LICK THE SUGAR HABIT and LICK THE SUGAR HABIT SUGAR COUNTER.
Nancy Appleton, Ph.D.
1. Dr. Albrech, 1897, University of Missouri, found that minerals worked in relation to each other in the soil, then later realized that this was the same in the body.
2. Eck, Paul, Analytical Research Lahs Inc., 2338 West Royal Palm Road, Suite F,Phoenix, Arizona, 85021.
3. Ashmead, Dewayne. CHELATED MINERAL NUTRITION, Huntington Beach, Calif.; International Institute of Natural Health Sciences, Inc., 1979.
4. Ratner B.G and Gruehl, H.L. “Passage of Native Proteins through the Normal Gastrointestinal Wall”. JOURNAL OF CLINICAL INVESTIGATION, 1934; 13:517.
5. Warshaw, A.L., Walker, W.A. and K.J. Isselbacher. “Protein Uptake by the Intestine: Evidence for Absorption of Intact Macromolecules. GASTROENTEROLOGY, 1974;;66:987
6. Philpott, W.. BRAIN ALLERGIES. New Canaan, Conn.; Keats Publishing Inc., 1980.
7. Paganelli, R., Cavagni, G. and Francesco Pallone. “The Role of Antigenic Absorption and Circulating Immune Complexes in Food Allergy.” ANNALS OF ALLERGY. 57;1986:330_336.
8.Taylor b., Norman A.P, Orgel H.A. et al., “Transient IgA Deficiency and Pathogenesis of Infantile Atopy.” LANCET 1973;2:11
9. Stevens, W.J., and C.H. Bridts. “IgG_containing and IgE_containing Circulating Immune Complexes in Patients with Asthma and Rhinitis.” JOURNAL OF ALLERGY AND CLINICAL IMMUNOLOGY. 1979;63:297.
10. Catteral, W.E. “Rheumatoid Arthritis Is an Allergy.” ARTHRITIS NEWS TODAY, 1980.
11. Darlington, L.G., Ramsey N.W. and J.R. Mansfield. “Placebo_Controlled, Blind Study of Dietary Manipulation Therapy in Rheumatoid Arthritis.” LANCET, Feb. 6, l986. 236_238.
12. Jones, H.D., “Management of Multiple Sclerosis.” POSTGRADUATE MEDICINE. May 1952;2:415_422.
13. Douglas, J.M.. “Psoriasis and Diet.” WESTERN JOURNAL OF MEDICINE 133 (Nov. 1980)450
14. Brostoff J., Carini C., Wraith D.G. et al. “Production of IgE complexes by allergen challenge in atopic patients and the effect of sodium cromoglycate.” LANCET 1979;1:1267
15. Jackson, P.G., Lessof M.H., Baker, R.W.R., et al. “Intestinal permeability in patients with eczema and food allergy.” LANCET. 1981;1:1285
16. Wright, R., Truelove, S.C. “Circulating Antibodies to Dietary Proteins in Ulcerative Colitis.” BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL. 1965;2:142
17. Kijak, E., Foust, G. and R. Steinman “Relationship of Blood Sugar Level and Leukocytic Phagocytosis.” SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA STATE DENTAL
ASSOCIATION JOURNAL 32;9 (Sept.1964).
18. Sanchez, A., et al. “Role of Sugars in Human Neutrophilic Phagocytosis.” AMERICA et al., AMERICAN JOURNAL OF EPIDEMIOLOGY. r1992;135(8):895_903 N JOURNAL OF CLINICAL NUTRITION. Nov. 1973. 1180_84
19. Selye, H. THE STRESS OF LIFE. San Francisco: McGraw_Hill, 1978
20. Editorial. “Depression, Stress and Immunity.” LANCET I, (1987) 1467_1468.
21. PSYCHOSOMATIC MEDICINE. 49:435 & 450. (Sept._Oct. 1987).
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Encephalitis (from Ancient Greek , enkphalos brain, composed of , en, in and , kephal, head, and the medical suffix -itis inflammation) is an acute inflammation of the brain. Encephalitis with meningitis is known as meningoencephalitis. Symptoms include headache, fever, confusion, drowsiness, and fatigue. Further symptoms include seizures or convulsions, tremors, hallucinations, stroke, and memory problems. In 2013 encephalitis was estimated to have resulted in 77,000 deaths, down from 92,000 in 1990.
Adult patients with encephalitis present with acute onset of fever, headache, confusion, and sometimes seizures. Younger children or infants may present irritability, poor appetite and fever. Neurological examinations usually reveal a drowsy or confused patient. Stiff neck, due to the irritation of the meninges covering the brain, indicates that the patient has either meningitis or meningoencephalitis.
Viral encephalitis can occur either as a direct effect of an acute infection, or as one of the sequelae of a latent infection. The most common causes of acute viral encephalitis are rabies virus, HPV infection, poliovirus, and measles virus. Other possible viral causes are arbovirus (St. Louis encephalitis, West Nile encephalitis virus), bunyavirus (La Crosse strain), arenavirus (lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus) and reovirus (Colorado tick virus)
It can be caused by a bacterial infection, such as bacterial meningitis, or may be a complication of a current infectious disease syphilis (secondary encephalitis). Certain parasitic or protozoal infestations, such as toxoplasmosis, malaria, or primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, can also cause encephalitis in people with compromised immune systems. Lyme disease and/or Bartonella henselae may also cause encephalitis. Other bacterial pathogens, like Mycoplasma and those causing rickettsial disease, cause inflammation of the meninges and consequently encephalitis. A non-infectious cause includes acute disseminated encephalitis which is demyelinated.
Limbic encephalitis is a system onset indicated by cognitive decrease, especially memory decline as a result of the involvement of the limbic system, MRI evidence indicates particularly the hippocampus. A close depiction can result from autoimmune pathologies.
Autoimmune encephalitis signs are catatonia, psychosis, abnormal movements, and autonomic dysregulation. Anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate encephalitis and Rasmussen encephalitis are examples of autoimmune encephalitis; the fact that these are immune mediate changes to the treatment path.
Encephalitis lethargica is identified by high fever, headache, delayed physical response, and lethargy. Individuals can exhibit upper body weakness, muscular pains, and tremors, though the cause of encephalitis lethargica is not currently known. From 1917 to 1928, an epidemic of encephalitis lethargica occurred worldwide.
Diagnosing encephalitis is done via a variety of tests:
Treatment (which is based on supportive care) is as follows:
Vaccination is available against tick-borne and Japanese encephalitis and should be considered for at-risk individuals. Post-infectious encephalomyelitis complicating smallpox vaccination is avoidable as smallpox is now eradicated. Contraindication to Pertussis immunisation should be observed in patients with encephalitis.
The incidence of acute encephalitis in Western countries is 7.4 cases per 100,000 population per year. In tropical countries, the incidence is 6.34 per 100,000 per year. In 2013 encephalitis was estimated to have resulted in 77,000 deaths, down from 92,000 in 1990. Herpes simplex encephalitis has an incidence of 24 per million population per year.
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Encephalitis – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
What Is Inflammation?
When you think of arthritis, you think of inflammation. Inflammation is a process in which the body’s white blood cells and immune proteins help protect us from infection and foreign substances such as bacteria and viruses.
In some diseases, however, the body’s defense system (immune system) triggers an inflammatory response when there are no foreign substances to fight off. In these diseases, called autoimmune diseases, the body’s normally protective immune system causes damage to its own tissues. The body responds as if normal tissues are infected or somehow abnormal.
Some, but not all types of arthritis, are the result of misdirected inflammation. Arthritis is a general term that describes inflammation in joints. Some types of arthritis associated with inflammation include:
The most common form of arthritis called osteoarthritis (also known as degenerative arthritis) is a bit of a misnomer. It is not believed that inflammation plays a major role in osteoarthritis. Other painful conditions of the joints and musculoskeletal system that are not associated with inflammation include fibromyalgia, muscular low back pain, and muscular neck pain.
The symptoms of inflammation include:
Often, only a few of these symptoms are present.
Inflammation may also be associated with general “flu”-like symptoms including:
When inflammation occurs, chemicals from the body are released into the blood or affected tissues. This release of chemicals increases the blood flow to the area of injury or infection and may result in redness and warmth. Some of the chemicals cause a leak of fluid into the tissues, resulting in swelling. This process may stimulate nerves and cause pain.
Increased blood flow and release of these chemicals attract white blood cells to the sites of inflammation. The increased number of cells and inflammatory substances within the joint can cause irritation, wearing down of cartilage (cushions at the end of bones), and swelling of the joint lining (synovium).
Inflammation is a process by which the body’s white blood cells and substances they produce protect us from infection with foreign organisms, such as bacteria and viruses.
However, in some diseases, like arthritis, the body’s defense system — the immune system — triggers an inflammatory response when there are no foreign invaders to fight off. In these diseases, called autoimmune diseases, the body’s normally protective immune system causes damage to its own tissues. The body responds as if normal tissues are infected or somehow abnormal.
Some, but not all, types of arthritis are the result of misdirected inflammation. Arthritis is a general term that describes inflammation in the joints. Some types of arthritis associated with inflammation include the following:
Other painful conditions of the joints and musculoskeletal system that may not be associated with inflammation include osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, muscular low back pain, and muscular neck pain.
Symptoms of inflammation include:
Often, only a few of these symptoms are present.
Inflammation may also be associated with general flu-like symptoms including:
When inflammation occurs, chemicals from the body’s white blood cells are released into the blood or affected tissues to protect your body from foreign substances. This release of chemicals increases the blood flow to the area of injury or infection, and may result in redness and warmth. Some of the chemicals cause a leak of fluid into the tissues, resulting in swelling. This protective process may stimulate nerves and cause pain.
The increased number of cells and inflammatory substances within the joint cause irritation, swelling of the joint lining and, eventually, wearing down of cartilage (cushions at the end of bones).
Inflammatory diseases are diagnosed after careful evaluation of the following:
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About Inflammation – WebMD
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Updated March 25, 2015.
Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com’s Medical Review Board.
By reducing chronic inflammation also known as low-grade or systemic inflammation you may be able to boost your defense against several major diseases. In addition to fine-tuning your diet and overall self-care, you can reduce chronic inflammation with the help of certain natural substances and alternative therapies.
Here’s a look at several approaches to reducing inflammation naturally:
1) Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Maintaining a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids (naturally available in foods like fish oil and flaxseed oil) and low in certain omega-6 fatty acids found in foods like red meat and dairy products may help lower inflammation and guard against diseases like breast cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, and asthma, according to a research review published in 2002.
Shown to thwart the production of pro-inflammatory substances, omega-3 fatty acids are also available in supplement form.
Find out more about using Omega-3 Fatty Acids.
Preliminary research suggests that some herbs may help reduce inflammation. In an animal study published in 2007, for instance, scientists discovered that curcumin (a compound found in the curry spice turmeric) can overpower pro-inflammatory proteins called cytokines. And in test-tube research published in 2005, investigators found ginger may reduce inflammation more effectively than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as aspirin).
In fresh or dried form, both turmeric and ginger can be used in cooking. If you’re considering the use of any type of herbal supplement in your efforts to reduce inflammation, make sure you consult your physician before starting your supplement regimen.
People who regularly practice yoga may have reduced levels of interleukin-6 (a marker of inflammation), according to a 2010 study of 50 women.
Analyzing blood samples from the participants, researchers observed that those who practiced yoga had 41 percent lower levels of interleukin-6 than those who didn’t practice yoga.
More about the Health Benefits of Yoga.
4) Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Following a diet that focuses on anti-inflammatory foods is also considered essential to reducing inflammation. Find out more about foods to eat on an anti-inflammatory diet.
Making healthy changes to your diet and lifestyle should be your first step in reducing inflammation. The following approaches may have an inflammation-fighting effect:
Unlike acute inflammation (in which the immune system responds to infection or injury by activating inflammatory chemicals that combat foreign substances), chronic inflammation isn’t beneficial for the body. Often resulting from lifestyle factors like stress and poor diet, chronic inflammation occurs when the immune system continually releases those inflammatory chemicals — even when there are no foreign invaders to fight off.
By working to reduce chronic inflammation, you may be able to protect against a number of conditions shown to be inflammation-related, including:
If you’re considering using diet, supplement, or any form of alternative medicine for inflammation, make sure to consult your physician first. Self-treating any condition and avoiding or delaying standard care may have serious consequences.
Akiyama H, Barger S, Barnum S, Bradt B, Bauer J, Cole GM, Cooper NR, Eikelenboom P, Emmerling M, Fiebich BL, Finch CE, Frautschy S, Griffin WS, Hampel H, Hull M, Landreth G, Lue L, Mrak R, Mackenzie IR, McGeer PL, O’Banion MK, Pachter J, Pasinetti G, Plata-Salaman C, Rogers J, Rydel R, Shen Y, Streit W, Strohmeyer R, Tooyoma I, Van Muiswinkel FL, Veerhuis R, Walker D, Webster S, Wegrzyniak B, Wenk G, Wyss-Coray T. “Inflammation and Alzheimer’s disease.” Neurobiol Aging. 2000 21(3):383-421.
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Grzanna R, Lindmark L, Frondoza CG. “Ginger–an herbal medicinal product with broad anti-inflammatory actions.” Journal of Medicinal Food 2005 8(2):125-32.
Kiecolt-Glaser JK, Christian L, Preston H, Houts CR, Malarkey WB, Emery CF, Glaser R. “Stress, inflammation, and yoga practice.” Psychosom Med. 2010 72(2):113-21.
Mayo Clinic Health Letter, “Buzzed on Inflammation”.
Reyes-Gordillo K, Segovia J, Shibayama M, Vergara P, Moreno MG, Muriel P. “Curcumin protects against acute liver damage in the rat by inhibiting NF-kappaB, proinflammatory cytokines production and oxidative stress.” Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 2007 1770(6):989-96.
Simopoulos AP. “The importance of the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acids.” Biomed Pharmacother. 2002 56(8):365-79.
Van Hove CL, Maes T, Joos GF, Tournoy KG. “Chronic inflammation in asthma: a contest of persistence vs resolution.” Allergy. 2008 63(9):1095-109.
Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.
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Reducing Inflammation Ways to Reduce It Naturally
Proper diet may be an effective way to minimize systemic inflammation and improve your health.
If you’ve ever jammed your finger, scraped your knee, or sprained your ankle, you’re already familiar with inflammation. The accompanying redness, swelling, and pain are sure signs that inflammation is taking place. Inflammation is part of your body’s response to nearly any type of physical injury. It’s one of the ways that your body protects itself, and begins its repair process.
Inflammation is not always as obvious or benign as the above examples. It can silently involve every cell in your body and, over time, negatively affect your health and abilities. For example, allergies, joint pain, and premature aging are just a few of the common ailments linked to “systemic inflammation.” But if you can’t see inflammation, how do you measure it?
The levels of certain chemicals in your blood are known to increase with increased levels of inflammation. One of these chemical markers for inflammation is a protein called C-reactive protein (CRP). CRP is often measured in conjunction with other blood tests, and normal values are well established. From a clinical standpoint, a CRP level of less than 5 milligrams per liter of blood is considered normal. “Normal” may not be optimal, though. Many medical researchers believe that even slight elevations of CRP are tied to increased risk for heart attack, stroke, and many other diseases.
Your body creates both inflammatory and anti-inflammatory chemicals, called “prostaglandins” from nutrients in the food that you eat. Imbalances in your diet can lead to the creation of excessive amounts of inflammatory prostaglandins, which fuel your body’s inflammatory response. Conversely, the consumption of certain nutrients, like omega-3 fatty acids, allows your body to produce more anti-inflammatory prostaglandins, which it uses to reduce inflammation.
Modern nutrition experts, including Andrew Weil, Nicholas Perricone, and Barry Sears, have written many books about diet’s link to inflammation, and have promoted the increased consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and other nutrients that help control or reduce inflammation.
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Eating healthy foods is important for everyone. When you have arthritis or a related condition, getting the right nutrients can help to alleviate pain and inflammation and positively affect overall health. Research suggests that what you eat may influence the progression and symptoms of certain types of arthritis and related conditions.
A diet high in sugary, high-fat and processed food fuels inflammation and sets the stage for developing other chronic diseases as well as arthritis. Also, poor nutrition habits can cause you to become overweight or obese. Fat cells, or adipocytes, release proteins called cytokines that, in excess, cause constant, low-grade inflammation throughout the body. And excess weight puts added stress on painful and swollen joints.
Although there is no magic potion at the supermarket, studies have shown that certain foods have anti-inflammatory properties and specific benefits for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoarthritis, gout and osteoporosis symptoms.
Researchers have found a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and phytochemicals supplies the body with powerful anti-inflammatory nutrients. These foods are commonly part of a Mediterranean-style diet of fish, such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring and tuna;olive oil, fruits, vegetables, nuts/seeds and beans. This diet has been analyzed in small studies for its impact on RA symptoms. Results showed improvements in pain, morning stiffness, disease activity and physical function. Studies published in 2015 in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry and the European Journal of Nutrition looked at the benefits of oleocanthal, a key compound in extra virgin olive oil, for rheumatoid arthritis. Researchers found that this compound had a significant impact not only on chronicinflammationbut on acute inflammatory processes, and helps reduce joint cartilage damage. Earlier studies showed that the pain-relieving properties of oleocanthal, prevent the production of pro-inflammatory COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes the same way ibuprofen works.
In the 1990s, a combination vegetarian/vegan diet for arthritis was the focus of a small study of 53 RA patients. The participants started with a vegan diet that excluded gluten, refined sugar, citrus, meat, fish, eggs, dairy, alcohol, coffee, tea, salt, strong spices and preservatives. Milk, dairy and gluten were reintroduced after nine months for participants who didnt have an intolerance to these foods. After one year, participants sustained improvements in tender, swollen joints, pain, duration of morning stiffness and overall health causing study investigators to suggest that some people with RA may benefit from a vegetarian diet. Since then, additional small studies have reported symptom improvement among very small groups of patients.
The National Institutes of Health has funded animal studies on the impact of green tea for RA. The researchers found that green tea significantly reduced the severity ofarthritis by causing changes in various immune responses including suppressing cytokine IL-17 (an inflammatory substance) and increasing cytokine IL-10 (an anti-inflammatory substance). They also showed that an antioxidant in green tea called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) blocks the production of molecules that cause joint damage in people with RA. In May 2015, researchers reported in theInternational Journal of Rheumatic Diseases on the superior anti-inflammatory effect of green tea when compared with black tea.
C-reactive protein (CRP) in the blood is a marker of inflammation associated with RA. Several studies have reported that a high fiber diet helps to reduce CRP levels. Oatmeal, brown and wild rice, beans, barley and quinoa are excellent sources of whole grains.
Having a balanced, nutritious diet is an important part of achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. That’s good news for your joints, not just your wardrobe. A small study published in Arthritis in 2015 reported on a 6-week intervention of 40 individuals with osteoarthritis who were placed on a whole foods, plant-based diet of fruits, vegetables, legumes (beans, peas, lentils) and whole grains. The group experiencedsignificantly reduced pain and improved physical function.
Experts have long known that milk is good for bones, but its effects on joints were less clear. A study reported in Arthritis Care & Research in 2015 showed that women with knee OA who drank milk regularly had less OA progression than those who didnt. But high cheese consumption appeared to make OA worse.
An earlier study published in Arthritis & Rheumatism in 2013, revealed that a compound called sulforaphane, found in Brussels sprouts and cabbage but especially in broccoli, could be key inslowing the progress of OA and the destruction of joint cartilage.
A 2010 study in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders reported that people who regularly eat foods from the alium family like garlic, onions and leeks, showed fewer signs of early OA. Researchers think the compound diallyl disulphine found in these foods may limit cartilage-damaging enzymes in human cells making it a great choice if you have OA.
Of all the forms of arthritis, gout has the most obvious dietary link. When the body breaks down purine, a substance found in many foods, uric acid forms. People who have gout have trouble eliminating uric acid or they produce too much uric acid cause inflammation and severe pain in the joints.
A study published in the Scandanavian Journal of Rheumatology in 2012 showed that a Mediterranean diet decreased uric acid levels and the risk of getting gout. But there have been studies on a few key foods as well. Researchers suspect the anthocyanins in cherries have an anti-inflammatory effect and may help reduce the frequency of gout attacks. Anthocyanins are found in other red and purple fruits, including strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries (some of the best low-sugar fruits). However, tart cherries have higher levels.
Using data from the 14,809 participants in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, researchers from Harvard Medical School confirmed that coffee (but not tea) and low-fat dairy product consumption is associated with lower uric acid levels.
Avoiding foods that contain high levels of purines is a critical part of managing gout. These foods include meats (particulary beef, pork and lamb), most seafood (both fish and shellfish) and meat-based broths and gravies. Sugar-sweetened soft drinks and food with fructose also increase uric acid levels. There is a strong association between alcohol intake, especially beer, and an increased risk of gout attacks.
Protect bone health with calcium-rich foods, including low-fat dairy products; green, leafy vegetables; shellfish; and calcium-fortified foods. Vitamin D-rich foods, such as salmon, tuna and mackerel, cheese and egg yolks, are equally important since Vitamin D help your body absorb calcium from food. Unfortunately, its nearly impossible to get all of the vitamin D your body needs from food sources. On the plus side, the body can make 10,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D in just 15 minutes of unprotected exposure to sunshine. A staple of the Mediterranean diet, virgin olive oil, when combined with vitamin D, may protect against bone loss based on the results of an animal study published in the peer-reviewed journal, PLOSOne in 2014.
Inflammation is the new medical buzzword. It seems as though everyone is talking about it, especially the fact that inflammation appears to play a role in many chronic diseases. The July issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter highlights inflammation’s role in cardiovascular disease.
Of course, inflammation isn’t entirely bad. Acute inflammation the kind that protects and heals the body after an injury or infection is essential and normal. In the wake of a nasty cut or broken bone, the battle is on! Immediately, a biochemical cascade improves blood flow to the area. Nerve endings and other cells at the site of the injury or infection send out signaling molecules and other chemical components to recruit the body’s equivalent of the Superhero white blood cells that fight off foreign bodies. It’s an amazing process that from the surface looks like swelling and can hurt, but it’s all part of making things better. That’s acute inflammation. It’s necessary and normal for good health.
The other kind chronic inflammation, also known as low-grade or systemic inflammation can play a more puzzling and long-lasting role in the body. Consider the vast array of autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and polymyalgia rheumatica where the body’s immune system mistakenly initiates an inflammatory response even though there’s no apparent inflammation to fight off. Chronic inflammation plays a more obvious role in diseases such as asthma and the inflammatory bowel diseases ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
And what about the not-so-obvious role of chronic inflammation? Consider the possible connection between gum disease and cardiovascular disease. Research indicates that heart disease, clogged arteries, stroke and bacterial endocarditis may be linked to oral health. Although more study is needed to confirm this possible link, some scientists believe that bacteria from gum disease can enter the bloodstream and make its way to the heart.
Even less obvious but of enormous interest to researchers is the part inflammation plays in cancer. For instance, chronic bladder inflammation due to repeated urinary infections or cystitis may increase risk of a squamous cell bladder cancer. In some areas of the world, this type of cancer is linked to chronic inflammation caused by infection with a parasite.
Just what does all this mean for you? Can you actually do something to reduce your risk of chronic inflammation that may play a part in disease? That depends. At present, it’s still too early in the science to reasonably conclude that reducing inflammation leads to a reduction in cancer risk. Many of the questions concerning cause and effect with cancer have yet to be proven.
What you can do, though, is make a point to avoid certain things that cause inflammation and are proven unhealthy. Prime examples are smoking and excessive alcohol use.
Some people advocate an “anti-inflammatory diet.” Although there’s less evidence such diets work to directly thwart inflammation, most of the recommended foods are typical of the Mediterranean style of eating and in principle are good choices. Key components of the Mediterranean diet include:
You may wonder if nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen would be helpful, as the drug class name would seem to imply. Research is underway into NSAID use as a possible new strategy for potentially treating or preventing cancer. The prospects are intriguing, but the data isn’t solid. If you take aspirin or another NSAID under a doctor’s direction for a health-related concern such as preventing heart attack or relieving chronic pain, that’s an accepted and appropriate use for this class of drugs. As always, the risks of gastrointestinal bleeding have to be considered with regular NSAID use.
And then there’s the huge area of dietary supplements, which is largely uncharted when it comes to carefully done clinical trials for safety and effectiveness. Unlike prescription drugs, dietary supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration for safety and effectiveness. With that caveat, here are some that may be of interest:
My best advice concerning chronic inflammation is to stay tuned. This is a huge area of interest in the medical world and there are bound to be discoveries down the road that can improve well-being and the quality of health.
Go here to read the rest:
Buzzed on inflammation – Mayo Clinic
The inflammatory response is very familiar. TRY IT YOURSELF –A mild example can be produced at your convenience. Firmly scrape the skin on your forearm, and then watch as redness (with possibly some mild swelling and heat) develops over the next few minutes.
Inflammation is characterized by several familiar signs, redness, swelling, heat and pain. To understand inflammation is to understand how and why these signs develop.
These signs represent a response that is programmed into your tissue. This response is one of your body’s principal defense reactions, designed to anticipate, intercept and destroy invading microorganisms. Inflammation is best appreciated by understanding your body’s functioning at the level of cells and tissues. Subsequent processes of tissue repair (healing) involve cell growth and division, cell movement and differentiation, and manufacture of extracellular material.
We go through life separated from our environment by a cellular boundary. This boundary –including the epidermis of our skin and the epithelia of our various mucous membranes–covers all our body’s surfaces, even the internal surfaces of lungs, gut and glandular ducts. Nothing enters or leaves the body except by passing through or between the cells which form this epithelial boundary.
Whenever this epithelial boundary is broken, as it often is by scrapes and cuts and insect bites, two unfortunate things can happen. Good stuff like blood can leak out. And bad stuff like germs (microorganisms) can creep in. Plugging the leak can be fairly straightforward, with a quick patch (a blood clot) preventing significant loss of bodily substance. But a quick patch is not enough to prevent serious infection. Because germs are alive, they can grow and proliferate. So even a few microbes invading your body at the moment of injury could, if left unmolested, rapidly convert your warm, moist, well-oxygenated tissues into a thriving bacterial culture. Inflammation helps avoid this result.
Unfortunately, inflammation is uncomfortable. And inflammation can sometimes be triggered inappropriately (e.g., by allergies or autoimmune diseases). Many common medical treatments (e.g., aspirin and other “anti-inflammatory agents”) are intended to relieve the discomfort and/or reduce the attendant tissue disturbance that inflammation may cause.
Any tissue or organ can become inflamed. Inflammation of a particular body part is named according to the site, with the “-itis” suffix appended (e.g., tonsillitis, appendicitis, dermatitis, arthritis, sinusitis, etc.). Thus many disease names are really just words that identify sites of inflammation. (Examples)
Tissue repair. Following inflammation, injured tissue is usually replaced by new cells and extracellular materials, with undamaged surrounding cells proliferating and migrating to fill the void. Although some tissues, especially surface epithelium, can grow back quite efficiently, complex organization is seldom matched in the regenerated site. Gaps are quickly filled by collagen fibers produced by proliferating fibroblasts. A mass of collagen which replaces tissue that has been destroyed is known as a scar. Scars in the skin appear white because collagen is colorless, and healing often creates a more compact arrangement of collagen with fewer capillaries than the surrounding tissue. Scars in other organs also exist as firm masses of collagen in which normal organ function cannot occur. For example, cirrhosis of the liver represents extensive replacement by collagen of damaged liver cells.
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CARDINAL SIGNS OF INFLAMMATION
The four cardinal signs of inflammation –the four “ORs” — are:
Where do these signs come from? What is happening to your body during inflammation? As you understand inflammation, you should be able to answer the following specific questions.
PHYSIOLOGY OF INFLAMMATION
The four cardinal signs of inflammation are readily explained by the behavior of the underlying cells and tissues. The inflammatory response consists of several physiological processes (illustration from WebPath), all of which are triggered by the release of pharmacologically active substances such as histamine and heparin. These triggers of acute inflammation are released by mast cells, sensitive cells which are scattered throughout ordinary connective tissues and which react to tissue damage or other disturbance.
Chronic inflammation is maintained by more complex interactions among several cell types; diagram from WebPath.
The basic components of the inflammatory response are:
See illustration from WebPath.
Vasodilation (increased vascular perfusion).
Increased vascular permeability.
Note that edema can take a variety of forms. The following links will take you to gross images at WebPath.
Emigration of leukocytes.
Pain and/or itching (dolor) is caused by direct action on nerve endings of the chemical agents released during inflammation.
INFLAMMATORY INFILTRATE (Introduction to inflammation)
The inflammatory or leukocytic infiltrate consists of white blood cells which leave the blood and enter (infiltrate) the inflamed connective tissue
Cells of the inflammatory infiltrate include neutrophils, lymphocytes and monocytes. Immigration of these cells into peripheral tissues is one of the principal purposes for inflammation, bringing to a site of injury the immune-system cells which can combat infection and clean up damaged tissue.
Neutrophils (neutrophilic leukocytes) are the first white blood cells to enter the tissue during acute inflammation. Neutrophils are anti-bacterial cells which lyse (break down) bacterial cells by releasing lysosomal enzymes. Neutrophils recognize bacteria as foreign by the antibody molecules which have attached to the bacterial surface. Antibody molecules (molecules which bind to one specific antigen or foreign substance which the body has previously encountered) are found in blood plasma and interstitial fluid.
Neutrophils are the most numerous of the leukocytes, about 60% of the white blood cell count. They are about 12 m in diameter in blood smear preparations (about twice the size of red blood cells), and are polymorphonuclear (meaning their nuclei have a variable shape with several lobes; neutrophils are also called PMNs or polys, short for polymorphonuclear neutrophilic leukocytes). The cytoplasm contains many lysosomal granules (vesicles containing stored lysosomal enzymes) whose specific staining properties give these cells their name. The granules are neutrophilic, meaning they do not show a special affinity for either acidic or basic stains, but are stained mildly by both. This is in contrast to the specific granules of eosinophils, which stain red with eosin, and basophils, which stain with basic stains. Severe inflammation may increase the numbers of neutrophils in blood, resulting in neutrophilia(blood smear image from WebPath). To view an electron micrograph, see WebPath.
Neutrophils are only occasionally seen in tissue sections outside blood (except, of course, in inflamed tissue). Here they may be most easily recognized by their lobed nuclei. One neutrophil nucleus might be mistaken for a cluster of very small nuclei, but each of the lobes is much smaller than any whole nucleus–only two or three m across, much smaller than the nuclei of lymphocytes which are among the smallest cells.
[More on blood cells.]
Lymphocytes accumulate somewhat later during the inflammatory process. Their presence in large numbers indicates the continuing presence of antigen and thus may suggest an established infection. Lymphocytes produce the multitude of diverse antibody molecules (one specific type of antibody per lymphocyte) which provide the mechanism for chemical recognition of foreign materials (distinguishing between self and non-self) and so for mediating and regulating immune responses.
Lymphocytes travel in the blood, but they routinely leave capillaries and wander through connective tissue. Therefore, lymphocytes may be normally encountered at any time in any location. They even enter epithelial tissue, crawling between the epithelial cells. They reenter circulation via lymphatic system channels (hence their name). Lymph channels drain into lymph nodes, where dense aggregations of lymphocytes form lymph nodules. Each lymph nodule has a “germinal center”, where activated lymphocytes proliferate. Lymph nodules with proliferating lymphocytes also characterize the tonsils and the appendix and may be encountered in other sites as well.
[Recent research suggests that some types of lymphocytes are compartmentalized to particular tissues or body regions.]
Lymphocytes are small cells, 7-9 m in diameter in blood smears, and are the second most common white blood cell type (about 30% of the WBCs). They have a round heterochromatic (deeply staining) nucleus surrounded by a relatively thin rim of cytoplasm. Lymphocytes are most easily recognized in histological sections as small “naked” nuclei (the cytoplasm is usually inconspicuous) which occur here and there in most tissues and especially commonly near mucous membranes. Lymphocytes are found densely packed in lymphoid tissue–spleen and lymph nodes. To view an electron micrograph, see WebPath.
Plasma cells are lymphocytes which are specialized for mass production and secretion of circulating antibodies. Plasma cells have more extensive cytoplasm filled with rough endoplasmic reticulum (for synthesizing protein, specifically antibody molecules). This cytoplasm is distinctly basophilic, a consequence of the large numbers of ribosomes associated with the rER, and typically forms a lopsided bulge on one side of the nucleus. The heterochromatin of plasma cells is typically clumped in a characteristic “spoke-wheel” arrangement which also aids plasma cell recognition. To view an electron micrograph, see WebPath.
[More on blood cells.]
Monocytes are phagocytic cells which circulate in the blood. An equivalent cell type, called the macrophage, is a resident cell in connective tissue.
Monocytes/macrophages engulf and digest foreign microorganisms, dead or worn-out cells, and other tissue debris. They interact closely with lymphocytes to recognize and destroy foreign substances.
Resident macrophages normally remain at rest (rather than circulating in and out of tissues like the lymphocytes). But the normal number of fixed macrophages is supplemented during inflammation by the influx of many monocytes from the blood. When faced with a target too big for one cell, a splinter for example, several macrophages may fuse together for a single huge multinucleate mass called a “foreign body giant cell.”
Monocytes are the largest of the leukocytes, and constitute about 5% of the white blood cell population. Their nuclei are typically indented, with a kidney-bean shape, in blood smears. Tissue macrophages are diverse in appearance and not easily distinguished from the more common fibroblasts. Macrophages are generally larger, and may contain brown pigment granules which represent indigestible residue in tertiary lysosomes. In electron micrographs macrophages are generally recognized by the presence of numerous lysosomes of various sizes, including large heterophagic vesicles.
[More on blood cells.]
For more about the immune system, including outside links, see CRR Lymphatic System.
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EXAMPLES of inflammation
Microscopically, inflammation shows up most clearly as increased numbers of white blood cells (i.e., the inflammatory infiltrate which results from emigration of leukocytes).
Images of inflammatory infiltrate in skin.
The WebPath website offers a number of illustrative examples of inflammation, including:
Also see specimens at Virtual Slidebox of Histopathology, University of Iowa Department of Pathology.
Note that appreciating inflamed tissue samples, such as those listed above, calls for some prior familiarity with normal histological appearance.
For more about the immune system, see outside links and CRR Lymphatic System.
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Comments and questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
SIUC / School of Medicine / Anatomy / David King
http://www.siumed.edu/~dking2/intro/inflam.htm Last updated: 1 January 2013 / dgk
Inflammation is a localized protective response of a body’s living tissue to injury, infection, irritation, or allergy. Inflammation is characterized by the following quintet: Redness (rubor), heat (calor), swelling (tumor), pain (dolor), and dysfunction of the organs involved (functio laesa). The first four characteristics have been known since ancient times and are attributed to Roman encyclopedist Celsus (25 B.C.E.50); functio laesa was added to the definition of inflammation by Rudolf Virchow, in 1858.
Inflammation is part of the innate immune system, that is, the immediate “first-line” of defense to illness or pathogens, which is also known as a nonspecific defense. This is as opposed to the adaptive (acquired) immunity involving antibodies or T-cells that specifically target particular pathogens, but which takes time, usually days, to develop. Inflammation reveals a stunning complexity and harmony to the body, where such actions take place as blood vessels dilating upstream of an infection and constricting downstream, movement of fluid and white blood cells into the area, release of protein and peptide signaling compounds, and so forth.
Inflammation is usually indicated by using the English suffix “-itis,” such as appendicitis, laryngitis, pancreatitis, hepatitis, and encephalitis for inflammation of the appendix, larynx, pancreas, liver, and brain, respectively.
Inflammation is not “healthy” nor “unhealthy” on its own. Inflammation helps fight disease or injury, such as by removing pathogens and debris, and walling off infection from spreading. However, it comes at the cost of suspending the body’s normal immune and catabolic processes. In the short term, this is often a valid trade-off, but in the long term it causes progressive damage.
Inflammation is not a synonym for infection. Even in cases when it is caused by infection it is incorrect to use the terms as synonymsInfection is caused by an outside agent, while inflammation is the body’s response.
Inflammation has two main components: Cellular and exudative.
The cellular component involves the movement of white blood cells, or leukocytes, from blood vessels into the inflamed tissue. The white blood cells take on an important role in inflammation; they extravasate (filter out) from the capillaries into tissue, and act as phagocytes, picking up bacteria and cellular debris. They may also aid by walling off an infection and preventing its spread.
Various leukocytes are involved in the initiation and maintenance of inflammation. Generally speaking, acute inflammation is mediated by granulocytes or polymorphonuclear leukocytes, while chronic inflammation is mediated by mononuclear cells, such as monocytes and macrophages. These cells can be further stimulated to maintain inflammation through the action of an adaptive cascade involving lymphocytes: T cells, B cells, and antibodies. These inflammatory cells are:
The exudative component of inflammation involves the movement of fluid, usually containing many important proteins such as fibrin and immunoglobulins (antibodies). (An exudate is any fluid that filters from the circulatory system into lesions or areas of inflammation.) Blood vessels are dilated upstream of an infection (causing redness and heat) and constricted downstream, while capillary permeability to the affected tissue is increased, resulting in a net movement of blood plasma into the tissue, giving rise to edema or swelling. The swelling distends the tissues, compresses nerve endings, and thus causes pain. Inflammation can be recognized by nitric oxide.
If inflammation of the affected site persists, released cytokines IL-1 and TNF will activate endothelial cells to up-regulate receptors VCAM-1, ICAM-1, E-selectin, and L-selectin for various immune cells. (Cytokines are a group of proteins and peptides that are used in organisms as signaling compounds, allowing one cell to communicate with another.) Receptor upregulation increases extravasation of neutrophils, monocytes, activated T-helper, and T-cytotoxic, and memory T, and B cells to the infected site.
Neutrophils are characteristic of inflammation in the early stages. They are the first cells to appear in an infected area, and any section of recently inflamed (within a couple of days or so) tissue viewed under a microscope will appear packed with them. They are easily identified by their multilobed nuclei and granular cytoplasm and perform many important functions, including phagocytosis and the release of extracellular chemical messengers. Neutrophils only live for a couple days in these interstitial areas, so if the inflammation persists for a longer duration then they are gradually replaced by longer lived monocytes.
The outcome in a particular circumstance will be determined by the tissue in which the injury has occurred and the injurious agent that is causing it.
There are four possible results to inflammation:
When inflammation overwhelms the whole organism, systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) is diagnosed. When it is due to infection, the term sepsis is applied. Vasodilation (where blood vessels in the body become wider, reducing blood pressure) and organ dysfunction are serious problems that may lead to septic shock and death.
With the discovery of interleukins (group of cytokines, secreted signaling molecules), another concept of systemic inflammation developed. Although the processes involved are identical, this form of inflammation is not confined to a particular tissue but involves the endothelium (lining of blood vessels) and many other organ systems. High levels of several inflammation-related markers such as IL-6, IL-8, and TNF- are associated with obesity (Bastard et al. 2000, Mohamed-Ali 2001). These levels are reduced in association with increased levels of anti-inflammatory molecules within four weeks after patients begin a very low calorie diet (Clement 2004). The role of systemic inflammation as a cause and/or result of insulin resistance and atherosclerosis is the subject of intense research. It has little direct bearing on clinical care.
Inflammation is usually indicated by adding the suffix “-itis,” as shown below. However, some conditions such as asthma and pneumonia do not follow this convention.
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Inflammation – New World Encyclopedia
What do constant headaches, gum disease, sleep disorders, sore joints and other serious health conditions have in common? They all have chronic inflammation as the root cause.
Inflammation isnt always a bad thing. In fact, acute inflammation is normal for your body such aswhen you suffer a painful cut or bruise and your body fights to heal itself. The real trouble begins when inflammation becomes chronic. When this occurs, your immune system begins fighting against its own cells, leading to harmful effects on your health. (1)
Right now, if youre enduring one of the seven symptoms below, dont ignore them! These can be tell-tale signs that your body is chronically inflamed. Instead, try my favorite ways to help reduce inflammation and begin healing your body from the inside out.
Remember, one of the best things you can do to reduce overall inflammation is overhauling the way you eat. My healing foods dietwhich focuses on clean protein, healthy fats and low-glycemic carbohydrates is naturally anti-inflammatory. Give it a go if you have one of these seven symptoms!
If you find your head constantly throbbing, inflammation might be the cause. Not only are migraines and frequent headachesespecially painful, but they can also be precursors to more serious conditions. (2)
Help fight these headaches naturally by seeking out organic proteins like grass-fed beef and ingesting more high-fiber foods. In addition,because magnesium plays a vital role in keeping our bodies functioning properly and a deficiency can lead to headaches, takinga magnesium supplement mayhelp prevent recurring pains and reduce symptoms.
Constantly worried about bad breath or have you been diagnosed with gingivitis? Inflammation might be to blame. These periodontal diseases begin as bacterial infections that progress into inflammation. Not only are these conditions socially embarrassing, but they are also symptoms of inflammation that can lead to more widespread, systemic diseases in the body. (3)
Skip expensive treatments and help cure gum diseases naturally. Begin by flossing at least daily to get rid of errant food that can lead to bacterial growth. Usehomemade toothpaste,which can also help heal gum disease and even brighten teeth; or try coconut oil pulling to fight gum disease and keep gingivitis at bay.
Gut diseases are probably the most common of symptoms, andALL have inflammation at their roots. Unfortunately, these types of diseases are also becoming more common in society. (4) Things like preservatives in foods, toxin overload and an imbalance in bacteria are all to blame. (5,6)
My number one tried-and-true method of overcoming gut diseases is by sipping on bone broth. Its healing properties help sooth your guts lining, keeping toxins out of your bloodstream. Probiotics and enzymes are also useful in treating inflammatory bowel diseases naturally.
Have you been feeling the blues or been extra moody or anxious recently? Although it may surprise you, inflammation could be playing a role. Research shows that inflammatory cytokines, or proteins released by cells, can spur depression-like behavior. (7)
Help reduce anxiety by introducing ashwagandha, an adaptogenic herb, into your daily routine to ease stress. Eating more vitamin B-12 and omega-3 fatty foods are also great ways to fight depression and anxiety through nutrition.
Tossing and turning at night can also be attributed to inflammation. Persistent insomnia afflicts about 10 percent of American adults and has serious consequences; its been linked to a higher inflammation and a higher mortality rate. (8) (9)
Luckily, there are steps you can take to help fall asleep without habit-forming drugs. Setting the right room temperature, using essential oils and limiting caffeine can all help bring on the ZZZs. Check out my 20 favorite strategies to fall asleep fast.
No part of the body is safe from the effects of inflammation. Inflammation in other areas of the body can actually affect how tired you feel. One study found that in mice with inflamed livers behavioral changes like fatigue followed. (10) Gut inflammation is one of the symptoms that has also been linked with chronic fatigue syndrome. (11)
If youre just feeling plain ole drained all the time, try these 10 ways to boost energy levels. Those with chronic fatigue syndrome might opt for avoiding sugar, caffeine and gluten-containing grains, and instead addsuperfood powder and ashwagandha to their diets.
Both inflammatory arthritis (such as rheumatoid and psoriatic) and basic joint pain can be attributed to joint inflammation. (12) Help ease the effects of these taxing symptomsand reduce joint pain naturally by taking proteolytic enzyme supplements, eating more essential fatty acids, like those found in wild-caught salmon and grass-fed beef, and increasing your intake of potassium and sodium to revitalize your bodys cells and eliminate toxins.
Remember, your body is constantly communicating with you about what it needs its up to you to listen to what its saying!If you have any one of these symptoms, theres no need to suffer. Instead, start reducing inflammation and feeling better today.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) has been used for 4,000 years to treat a variety of conditions. Studies show that turmeric may help fight infections andsome cancers, reduce inflammation, and treat digestive problems.
Many studies have taken place in test tubes and animals. Turmeric may not work as well in humans. Some studies have used an injectable form of curcumin, the active substance in turmeric, and not all studies agree. Finally, some of the studies show conflicting evidence.
Turmeric is widely used in cooking and gives Indian curry its flavor and yellow color. It is also used in mustard and to color butter and cheese. Turmeric has been used in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine as an anti-inflammatory, to treat digestive and liver problems, skin diseases, and wounds.
Curcumin is also a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants scavenge molecules in the body known as free radicals, which damage cell membranes, tamper with DNA, and even cause cell death. Antioxidants can fight free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause.
In addition, curcumin lowers the levels of two enzymes in the body that cause inflammation. It also stops platelets from clumping together to form blood clots.
Research suggests that turmeric may be helpful for the following conditions:
Indigestion or Dyspepsia
Curcumin stimulates the gallbladder to produce bile, which some people think may help improve digestion. The German Commission E, which determines which herbs can be safely prescribed in Germany, has approved turmeric for digestive problems. And one double-blind, placebo-controlled study found that turmeric reduced symptoms of bloating and gas in people suffering from indigestion.
Turmeric may help people with ulcerative colitis stay in remission. Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disease of the digestive tract where symptoms tend to come and go. In one double-blind, placebo-controlled study, people whose ulcerative colitis was in remission took either curcumin or placebo, along with conventional medical treatment, for 6 months. Those who took curcumin had a significantly lower relapse rate than those who took placebo.
Turmeric does not seem to help treat stomach ulcers. In fact, there is some evidence that it may increase stomach acid, making existing ulcers worse. (See “Precautions” section.)
Because ofturmeric’s ability to reduce inflammation, researchers have wondered ifit may help relieve osteoarthritis pain. One study found that people using an Ayurvedic formula of herbs and minerals with turmeric, winter cherry (Withinia somnifera), boswellia (Boswellia serrata), and zinc had less pain and disability. But it’s impossible to know whether turmeric, one of the other supplements, or all of them together, was responsible for the effects.
Early studies suggested that turmeric may help prevent atherosclerosis, the buildup of plaque that can block arteries and lead to heart attack or stroke. In animal studies, an extract of turmeric lowered cholesterol levels and kept LDL (bad) cholesterol from building up in blood vessels. Because it stops platelets from clumping together, turmeric may also prevent blood clots from building up along the walls of arteries. But a double-blind, placebo-controlled study found that taking curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, at a dose of up to 4 g per day did not improve cholesterol levels.
There has been a great deal of research on turmeric’s anti-cancer properties, but results are still very preliminary. Evidence from test tube and animal studies suggests that curcumin may help prevent or treat several types of cancers, including prostate, breast, skin, and colon cancer. Tumeric’s preventive effects may relate to its antioxidant properties, which protect cells from damage. More research is needed. Cancer should be treated with conventional medications. Don’t use alternative therapies alone to treat cancer. If you choose to use complementary therapies along with your cancer treatment, make sure you tell all your doctors.
Bacterial and Viral Infections
Test tube and animal studies suggest turmeric may kill bacteria and viruses, but researchers don’t know whether it would work in people.
A preliminary study suggests curcumin may help treat uveitis, an inflammation of the eye’s iris. Preliminary research suggests that curcumin may be as effective as corticosteroids, the type of medication usually prescribed. More research is needed.
Tumeric’s powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and circulatory effects may help prevent and treat neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, multiple sclerosis, and other conditions.
A relative of ginger, turmeric is a perennial plant that grows 5 to 6 feet high in the tropical regions of Southern Asia, with trumpet-shaped, dull yellow flowers. Its roots are bulbs that also produce rhizomes, which then produce stems and roots for new plants. Turmeric is fragrant and has a bitter, somewhat sharp taste. Although it grows in many tropical locations, the majority of turmeric is grown in India, where it is used as a main ingredient in curry.
The roots, or rhizomes and bulbs, are used in medicine and food. They are generally boiled and then dried, turning into the familiar yellow powder. Curcumin, the active ingredient, has antioxidant properties. Other substances in this herb have antioxidant properties as well.
Turmeric is available in the following forms:
Bromelain increases the absorption and anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin, so it is often combined with turmeric products.
Turmeric supplements haven’t been studied in children, so there is no recommended dose.
The following doses are recommended for adults:
The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. However, herbs can trigger side effects and may interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, you should take herbs with care, under the supervision of a health care provider.
Turmeric in food is considered safe.
Turmeric and curcumin supplements are considered safe when taken at the recommended doses. However, taking large amounts of turmeric for long periods of time may cause stomach upset and, in extreme cases, ulcers. People who have gallstones or obstruction of the bile passages should talk to their doctor before taking turmeric.
If you have diabetes, talk to your doctor before taking turmeric supplements. Turmeric may lower blood sugar levels. When combined with medications for diabetes, turmeric could cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
Although it is safe to eat foods with turmeric, pregnant and breastfeeding women should not take turmeric supplements.
Because turmeric may act like a blood thinner, you should stop taking it at least 2 weeks before surgery. Tell your doctor and surgeon that you have been taking turmeric.
If you are being treated with any of the following medications, you should not use turmeric or curcumin in medicinal forms without first talking to your health care provider.
Blood-thinning medications — Turmeric may strengthen the effects of these drugs, raising the risk of bleeding. Blood thinners include warfarin (Coumadin), clopidogrel (Plavix), and aspirin, among others.
Drugs that reduce stomach acid — Turmeric may interfere with the action of these drugs, increasing the production of stomach acid:
Diabetes Medications — Turmeric may strengthen the effects of these drugs, increasing the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
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Rakel D. Rakel: Integrative Medicine, 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012.
Rao CV. Regulation of COX and LOX by curcumin. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;595:213-26.
Sharma RA, Ireson CR, Verschoyle RD. Effects of dietary curcumin on glutathione S-Transferase and Malondialdehyde-DNA adducts in rat liver and colon mucosa: relationship with drug levels. Clin Cancer Res. 2001;7:1452-1458.
Sharma RA, Steward WP, Gescher AJ. Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of curcumin. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;595:453-70.
Shehzad A, Khan S, Shehzad O, Lee YS. Curcumin therapeutic promises and bioavailability in colorectal cancer. Drugs Today (Barc). 2010;46:523-32. Review.
Shehzad A, Lee J, Lee YS. Curcumin in various cancers. Biofactors. 2013; 39:56-68.
Shehzad A, Rehman G, Lee YS. Curcumin in inflammatory diseases. Biofactors. 2013; 39:69-77.
Shishodia S, Singh T, Chaturvedi MM. Modulation of transcription factors by curcumin. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;595:127-48.
Su CC, Lin JG, Li TM, Chung JG, Yang JS, Ip SW, et al. Curcumin-induced apoptosis of human colon cancer colo 205 cells through the production of ROS, Ca2+ and the activation of caspase-3. Anticancer Res. 2006;26:4379-89.
Suryanarayana P, Satyanarayana A, Balakrishna N, Kumar PU, Reddy GB. Effect of turmeric and curcumin on oxidative stress and antioxidant enzymes in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rat. Med Sci Monit. 2007;13:BR286-92.
White B, Judkins DZ. Clinical Inquiry. Does turmeric relieve inflammatory conditions? J Fam Pract. 2011;60:155-6. Review.
Zafir A, Banu N. Antioxidant potential of fluoxetine in comparison to Curcuma longa in restraint-stressed rats. Eur J Pharmacol. 2007;572:23-31.
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Turmeric | University of Maryland Medical Center
Acellular vaccine: Listen [MP3] A vaccine containing partial cellular material as opposed to complete cells.
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS): A medical condition where the immune system cannot function properly and protect the body from disease. As a result, the body cannot defend itself against infections (like pneumonia). AIDS is caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). This virus is spread through direct contact with the blood and body fluids of an infected individual. High risk activities include unprotected sexual intercourse and intravenous drug use (sharing needles). There is no cure for AIDS, however, research efforts are on-going to develop a vaccine.
Active immunity: The production of antibodies against a specific disease by the immune system. Active immunity can be acquired in two ways, either by contracting the disease or through vaccination. Active immunity is usually permanent, meaning an individual is protected from the disease for the duration of their lives.
Acute: Listen [MP3] A short-term, intense health effect.
Adjuvant: Listen [MP3] A substance (e.g. aluminum salt) that is added during production to increase the body’s immune response to a vaccine.
Adverse events: Undesirable experiences occurring after immunization that may or may not be related to the vaccine.
Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP): A panel of 10 experts who make recommendations on the use of vaccines in the United States. The panel is advised on current issues by representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration, National Institutes of Health, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Medical Association and others. The recommendations of the ACIP guide immunization practice at the federal, state and local level.
Allergy: A condition in which the body has an exaggerated response to a substance (e.g. food or drug). Also known as hypersensitivity.
Anaphylaxis: Listen [MP3] An immediate and severe allergic reaction to a substance (e.g. food or drugs). Symptoms of anaphylaxis include breathing difficulties, loss of consciousness and a drop in blood pressure. This condition can be fatal and requires immediate medical attention.
Anthrax: Listen [MP3] An acute infectious disease caused by the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Anthrax most commonly occurs in hoofed mammals and can also infect humans.
Antibiotic: Listen [MP3] A substance that fights bacteria.
Antibody: Listen [MP3] A protein found in the blood that is produced in response to foreign substances (e.g. bacteria or viruses) invading the body. Antibodies protect the body from disease by binding to these organisms and destroying them.
Antigens: Listen [MP3] Foreign substances (e.g. bacteria or viruses) in the body that are capable of causing disease. The presence of antigens in the body triggers an immune response, usually the production of antibodies.
Antitoxin: Listen [MP3] Antibodies capable of destroying toxins generated by microorganisms including viruses and bacteria.
Antiviral: Literally “against-virus” — any medicine capable of destroying or weakening a virus.
Arthralgia: Listen [MP3] Joint pain.
Arthritis: A medical condition characterized by inflammation of the joints which results in pain and difficulty moving.
Association: The degree to which the occurrence of two variables or events is linked. Association describes a situation where the likelihood of one event occurring depends on the presence of another event or variable. However, an association between two variables does not necessarily imply a cause and effect relationship. The term association and relationship are often used interchangeably. See causal and temporal association.
Asthma: A chronic medical condition where the bronchial tubes (in the lungs) become easily irritated. This leads to constriction of the airways resulting in wheezing, coughing, difficulty breathing and production of thick mucus. The cause of asthma is not yet known but environmental triggers, drugs, food allergies, exercise, infection and stress have all been implicated.
Asymptomatic infection: Listen [MP3] The presence of an infection without symptoms. Also known as inapparent or subclinical infection.
Attenuated vaccine: Listen [MP3] A vaccine in which live virus is weakened through chemical or physical processes in order to produce an immune response without causing the severe effects of the disease. Attenuated vaccines currently licensed in the United States include measles, mumps, rubella, polio, yellow fever and varicella. Also known as a live vaccine.
Autism: A chronic developmental disorder usually diagnosed between 18 and 30 months of age. Symptoms include problems with social interaction and communication as well as repetitive interests and activities. At this time, the cause of autism is not known although many experts believe it to be a genetically based disorder that occurs before birth.
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B cells: Small white blood cells that help the body defend itself against infection. These cells are produced in bone marrow and develop into plasma cells which produce antibodies. Also known as B lymphocytes.
Bacteria: Tiny one-celled organisms present throughout the environment that require a microscope to be seen. While not all bacteria are harmful, some cause disease. Examples of bacterial disease include diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, Haemophilus influenzae, and pneumococcal.
Bias: Flaws in the collection, analysis or interpretation of research data that lead to incorrect conclusions.
Biological plausibility: A causal association (or relationship between two factors) is consistent with existing medical knowledge.
Bone marrow: Soft tissue located within bones that produce all blood cells, including the ones that fight infection.
Booster shots: Additional doses of a vaccine needed periodically to “boost” the immune system. For example, the tetanus and diphtheria (Td) vaccine which is recommended for adults every ten years.
Brachial neuritis: Listen [MP3] Inflammation of nerves in the arm causing muscle weakness and pain.
Breakthrough infection: Development of a disease despite a person’s having responded to a vaccine.
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Causal association: Listen [MP3] The presence or absence of a variable (e.g. smoking) is responsible for an increase or decrease in another variable (e.g. cancer). A change in exposure leads to a change in the outcome of interest.
Chickenpox: See Varicella.
Chronic health condition: A health related state that lasts for a long period of time (e.g. cancer, asthma).
Combination vaccine: Two or more vaccines administered in a single dose in order to reduce the number of shots given. For example, the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine.
Communicable: That which can be transmitted from one person or animal to another. Also known as infectious.
Crohn’s disease: Listen [MP3] A chronic medical condition characterized by inflammation of the bowel. Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, loss of appetite and weight loss. The cause of Crohn’s disease is not yet known, but genetic, dietary and infectious factors may play a part.
Community immunity: A situation in which a sufficient proportion of a population is immune to an infectious disease (through vaccination and/or prior illness) to make its spread from person to person unlikely. Even individuals not vaccinated (such as newborns and those with chronic illnesses) are offered some protection because the disease has little opportunity to spread within the community. Also known as herd immunity.
Conjugate vaccine: Listen [MP3] The joining together of two compounds (usually a protein and polysaccharide) to increase a vaccine’s effectiveness.
Conjunctivitis: Listen [MP3] Inflammation of the mucous membranes surrounding the eye causing the area to become red and irritated. The membranes may be irritated because of exposure to heat, cold or chemicals. This condition is also caused by viruses, bacteria or allergies.
Contraindication: Listen [MP3] A condition in a recipient which is likely to result in a life-threatening problem if a vaccine were given.
Convulsion: See Seizure.
Crib or Cot Death: See Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
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Deltoid: Listen [MP3] A muscle in the upper arm where shots are usually given.
Demyelinating disorders: Listen [MP3] A medical condition where the myelin sheath is damaged. The myelin sheath surrounds nerves and is responsible for the transmission of impulses to the brain. Damage to the myelin sheath results in muscle weakness, poor coordination and possible paralysis. Examples of demyelinating disorders include Multiple Sclerosis (MS), optic neuritis, transverse neuritis and Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS).
Diabetes: A chronic health condition where the body is unable to produce insulin and properly breakdown sugar (glucose) in the blood. Symptoms include hunger, thirst, excessive urination, dehydration and weight loss. The treatment of diabetes requires daily insulin injections, proper nutrition and regular exercise. Complications can include heart disease, stroke, neuropathy, poor circulation leading to loss of limbs, hearing impairment, vision problems and death.
Diphtheria: Listen [MP3] A bacterial disease marked by the formation of a false membrane, especially in the throat, which can cause death.
Disease: Sickness, illness or loss of health.
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Efficacy rate: Listen [MP3] A measure used to describe how good a vaccine is at preventing disease.
Encephalitis: Listen [MP3] Inflammation of the brain caused by a virus. Encephalitis can result in permanent brain damage or death.
Encephalopathy: Listen [MP3] A general term describing brain dysfunction. Examples include encephalitis, meningitis, seizures and head trauma.
Epidemic: Listen [MP3] The occurrence of disease within a specific geographical area or population that is in excess of what is normally expected.
Endemic: Listen [MP3] The continual, low-level presence of disease in a community
Erythema Multiforme: Listen [MP3] A medical condition characterized by inflammation of the skin or mucous membranes (including the mouth, throat and eyes). Erthema Multiforme has been reported following infection. Symptoms persist anywhere from 2 days to 4 weeks and include skin lesions, blisters, itching, fatigue, joint pain and fever.
Etiology: Listen [MP3] The cause of.
Exposure: Contact with infectious agents (bacteria or viruses) in a manner that promotes transmission and increases the likelihood of disease.
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Febrile: Listen [MP3] Relating to fever; feverish.
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Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS): Listen [MP3] A rare neurological disease characterized by loss of reflexes and temporary paralysis. Symptoms include weakness, numbness, tingling and increased sensitivity that spreads over the body. Muscle paralysis starts in the feet and legs and moves upwards to the arms and hands. Sometimes paralysis can result in the respiratory muscles causing breathing difficulties. Symptoms usually appear over the course of one day and may continue to progress for 3 or 4 days up to 3 or 4 weeks. Recovery begins within 2-4 weeks after the progression stops. While most patients recover, approximately 15%-20% experience persistent symptoms. GBS is fatal in 5% of cases.
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Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib): Listen [MP3] A bacterial infection that may result in severe respiratory infections, including pneumonia, and other diseases such as meningitis.
Hepatitis A: A minor viral disease, that usually does not persist in the blood; transmitted through ingestion of contaminated food or water.
Hepatitis B: A viral disease transmitted by infected blood or blood products, or through unprotected sex with someone who is infected.
Hepatitis C: is a liver disease caused by the Hepatitis C virus (HCV), which is found in the blood of persons who have the disease. HCV is spread by contact with the blood of an infected person.
Hepatitis D: is a defective virus that needs the hepatitis B virus to exist. Hepatitis D virus (HDV) is found in the blood of persons infected with the virus.
Hepatitis E: is a virus (HEV) transmitted in much the same way as hepatitis A virus. Hepatitis E, however, does not often occur in the United States.
Herd immunity: See Community immunity.
Herpes Zoster: A disease characterized by painful skin lesions that occur mainly on the trunk (back and stomach) of the body but which can also develop on the face and in the mouth. Complications include headache, vomiting, fever and meningitis. Recovery may take up to 5 weeks. Herpes Zoster is caused by the same virus that is responsible for chickenpox. Most people are exposed to this virus during childhood. After the primary infection (chickenpox), the virus becomes dormant, or inactivated. In some people the virus reactivates years, or even decades, later and causes herpes zoster. Also known as the shingles.
Hives: The eruption of red marks on the skin that are usually accompanied by itching. This condition can be caused by an allergy (e.g. to food or drugs), stress, infection or physical agents (e.g. heat or cold). Also known as uticaria.
Hypersensitivity: Listen [MP3] A condition in which the body has an exaggerated response to a substance (e.g. food or drug). Also known as an allergy.
Hyposensitivity: Listen [MP3] A condition in which the body has a weakened or delayed reaction to a substance.
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Immune globulin: Listen [MP3] A protein found in the blood that fights infection. Also known as gamma globulin.
Immune system: The complex system in the body responsible for fighting disease. Its primary function is to identify foreign substances in the body (bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites) and develop a defense against them. This defense is known as the immune response. It involves production of protein molecules called antibodies to eliminate foreign organisms that invade the body.
Immunity: Protection against a disease. There are two types of immunity, passive and active. Immunity is indicated by the presence of antibodies in the blood and can usually be determined with a laboratory test. See active and passive immunity.
Immunization: Listen [MP3] The process by which a person or animal becomes protected against a disease. This term is often used interchangeably with vaccination or inoculation.
Immunosupression: Listen [MP3] When the immune system is unable to protect the body from disease. This condition can be caused by disease (like HIV infection or cancer) or by certain drugs (like those used in chemotherapy). Individuals whose immune systems are compromised should not receive live, attenuated vaccines.
Inactivated vaccine: Listen [MP3] A vaccine made from viruses and bacteria that have been killed through physical or chemical processes. These killed organisms cannot cause disease.
Inapparent infection: The presence of infection without symptoms. Also known as subclinical or asymptomatic infection.
Incidence: The number of new disease cases reported in a population over a certain period of time.
Incubation period: The time from contact with infectious agents (bacteria or viruses) to onset of disease.
Infectious: Capable of spreading disease. Also known as communicable.
Infectious agents: Organisms capable of spreading disease (e.g. bacteria or viruses).
Inflammation: Redness, swelling, heat and pain resulting from injury to tissue (parts of the body underneath the skin). Also known as swelling.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): A general term for any disease characterized by inflammation of the bowel. Examples include colitis and Crohn’s disease. Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, loss of appetite and weight loss.
Influenza: A highly contagious viral infection characterized by sudden onset of fever, severe aches and pains, and inflammation of the mucous membrane.
Intussusception: Listen [MP3] A type of bowel blockage that happens when one portion of the bowel slides into the next, much like the pieces of a telescope; it is treated in a hospital and may require surgery.
Investigational vaccine: A vaccine that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in clinical trials on humans. However, investigational vaccines are still in the testing and evaluation phase and are not licensed for use in the general public.
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Jaundice: Listen [MP3] Yellowing of the skin and eyes. This condition is often a symptom of hepatitis infection.
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Lesion: Listen [MP3] An abnormal change in the structure of an organ, due to injury or disease.
Live vaccine: A vaccine in which live virus is weakened (attenuated) through chemical or physical processes in order to produce an immune response without causing the severe effects of the disease. Attenuated vaccines currently licensed in the United States include measles, mumps, rubella, shingles (herpes zoster), varicella, and yellow fever. Also known as an attenuated vaccine.
Lupus: A disease characterized by inflammation of the connective tissue (which supports and connects all parts of the body). Chronic swelling of the connective tissue causes damage to the skin, joints, kidneys, nervous system and mucous membranes. The disease begins with fever, joint pain and fatigue. Additional symptoms continue to develop over the years including nausea, fatigue, weight loss, arthritis, headaches and epilepsy. Problems with heart, lung and kidney function may also result. This condition is diagnosed most frequently in young women but also occurs in children.
Lyme disease: A bacterial disease transmitted by infected ticks. Human beings may come into contact with infected ticks during outdoor activities (camping, hiking). Symptoms include fatigue, chills, fever, headache, joint and muscle pain, swollen lymph nodes and a skin rash (in a circular pattern). Long-term problems include arthritis, nervous system abnormalities, irregular heart rhythm and meningitis. Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics. A vaccine was available from 1998 to 2002.
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I’m truly excited to be bringing you this information today about the miraculous healing abilities of aloe vera. First off, in case you don’t know, let me emphasize that I don’t sell aloe vera products of any kind, I haven’t been paid to write this article, and I don’t earn any commissions from the sale of any products mentioned here. I am, however, an enthusiastic supporter of natural medicine, and I personally grow and eat aloe vera plants in Tucson, Arizona.
In fact, my yard is an aloe farm, and each day before I make my superfood breakfast smoothie, I walk out to my yard, slice off an aloe vera leaf, thank the plant for granting me its healing medicine, then I fillet the leaf and drop the aloe vera gel into my blender. A few minutes later, I’m enjoying the most impressive medicinal herb that nature has ever created. (Click here to see the new PhotoTour showing step-by-step pictures of how to fillet aloe vera and remove the inner gel.)
When I say aloe vera is the most impressive medicinal herb invented by nature, I don’t make that statement lightly. Of all the herbs I’ve ever studied — and I’ve written thousands of articles on nutrition and disease prevention — aloe vera is the most impressive herb of them all. (Garlic would be a close second.) There is nothing on this planet that offers the amazing variety of healing benefits granted by aloe vera. In a single plant, aloe vera offers potent, natural medicine that:
Halts the growth of cancer tumors. Lowers high cholesterol. Repairs “sludge blood” and reverses “sticky blood”. Boosts the oxygenation of your blood. Eases inflammation and soothes arthritis pain. Protects the body from oxidative stress. Prevents kidney stones and protects the body from oxalates in coffee and tea. Alkalizes the body, helping to balance overly acidic dietary habits. Cures ulcers, IBS, Crohn’s disease and other digestive disorders. Reduces high blood pressure natural, by treating the cause, not just the symptoms. Nourishes the body with minerals, vitamins, enzymes and glyconutrients. Accelerates healing from physical burns and radiation burns. Replaces dozens of first aid products, makes bandages and antibacterial sprays obsolete. Halts colon cancer, heals the intestines and lubricates the digestive tract. Ends constipation. Stabilizes blood sugar and reduces triglycerides in diabetics. Prevents and treats candida infections. Protects the kidneys from disease. Functions as nature’s own “sports drink” for electrolyte balance, making common sports drinks obsolete. Boosts cardiovascular performance and physical endurance. Speeds recovery from injury or physical exertion. Hydrates the skin, accelerates skin repair.
Truly, there is nothing else that compares to the medicinal potential of aloe vera. And yet most people only know about the topical applications of aloe vera gel. They think it’s only good for sunburns. In reality, aloe vera is useful for both external and internal use. In this article, I’ll discuss both.
After a rain in the desert, you can actually watch the succulents swell to 130% their usual size as they take in water. During periods of drought, they slowly shrink back to normal as the excess water locked in their gel matrix is consumed.
It is these succulents we’re interested in here, and it’s only the inner gel that we’re focused on, because this inner gel has medicinal properties you’d be surprised to learn. For starters, there’s the fact that all succulents have self-repairing abilities. They don’t simply store water in a giant internal “water tank” that leaks out if torn or punctured: Their internal gel repairs any cut or tear by automatically shrinking the wound and creating a new water-tight seal. This gel matrix is comprised of hundreds of different phytochemicals that not only store water and repair injury; they also grant notable medicinal effects to humans who consume them.
Until now, there was only one good way to get aloe vera gel: Grow it yourself. I’ve done that for years, and when I’m making a smoothie, I often cut a large aloe vera leaf out of my yard, slice off the thick green skin of the leaf, and drop the large gel piece into a blender. You can see how this works in the aloe vera PhotoTour. The piece of aloe vera gel you see in the last picture is what I ate.
The reason I’m writing about aloe vera now is because a company I know here in Arizona called Good Cause Wellness (www.GoodCauseWellness.com) has launched a line of low-temperature dried aloe vera & berry products that you can use as ingredients in any smoothie. It’s the next best thing to growing your own fresh aloe vera leaves. It’s a high-grade, pesticide-free, highly concentrated aloe vera gel powder (just the gel, not the leaf) available in two mixtures: Aloe Vera + Raspberry Powder and Aloe Vera + Blueberry Powder. This makes aloe vera gel available to everyone, not just those who live in the desert.
You see, until now, I’ve been a strong proponent of the health benefits of aloe vera, but I had no advice for teaching others how to take the product. The typical aloe vera liquids available in retail are very weak, and some contain almost no aloe vera juice whatsoever. Many are mixed with food thickeners to make them look like a gel, but most have been heated, destroying a significant portion of their healing effects. This new aloe vera gel powder is the best form of aloe vera I’ve seen yet, and it’s in a convenient format that’s perfect for using in your own smoothies.
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The aloe vera miracle: A natural medicine for cancer …
Debra Torres says
September 10, 2012 at 2:13 pm
Wow. Its so amazing how just some small indications in mice can create a product that tempts people to actually buy it. I know that joint pain can really be a problem and inhibit movement. I have Psoriatic Arthritis and, when it flares up, it hurts. Thankfully, this form of arthritis pain jumps around and doesnt stay in one place forever. (My elbow is now pain free again.) Thanks for the research here, Joe. And, for all of the helpful links. Your blog is amazing.
September 11, 2012 at 8:55 am
Please review Protandim:)
September 15, 2012 at 3:27 pm
Im a 50 year old male and have been using a low dose (~3-4mg/day) of Anatabloc since April (2012). It has helped reduce my eczema issues considerably but it hasnt cured anything. I still like it though and have recently increased to the recommended dose (6mg/day) to see if it makes any difference. Ive noticed no negative side effects, but have noticed an absence of swelling in my hands and feet at the end of the day.
Also noticed that I recover faster from aches and pain associated with activities like gardening etc. Also noticed that my finger joint pain (I have not been diagnosed with arthritis) is much less. I had my blood tested before taking Anatabloc and plan to see if there is any effect on the measurements at my next annual checkup.
Inflammation (Latin, inflammatio) is part of the complex biological response of body tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants.
Inflammation is a protective response that involves immune cells, blood vessels, and molecular mediators. The purpose of inflammation is to eliminate the initial cause of cell injury, clear out necrotic cells and tissues damaged from the original insult and the inflammatory process, and to initiate tissue repair.
The classical signs of acute inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Inflammation is a generic response, and therefore it is considered as a mechanism of innate immunity, as compared to adaptive immunity, which is specific for each pathogen.
Too little inflammation could lead to progressive tissue destruction by the harmful stimulus (e.g. bacteria) and compromise the survival of the organism. In contrast, chronic inflammation may lead to a host of diseases, such as hay fever, periodontitis, atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and even cancer (e.g., gallbladder carcinoma). Inflammation is therefore normally closely regulated by the body.
Inflammation can be classified as either acute or chronic. Acute inflammation is the initial response of the body to harmful stimuli and is achieved by the increased movement of plasma and leukocytes (especially granulocytes) from the blood into the injured tissues. A series of biochemical events propagates and matures the inflammatory response, involving the local vascular system, the immune system, and various cells within the injured tissue. 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.
Inflammation is not a synonym for infection. Infection describes the interaction between the action of microbial invasion and the reaction of the body’s inflammatory defensive response the two components are considered together when discussing an infection, and the word is used to imply a microbial invasive cause for the observed inflammatory reaction. Inflammation on the other hand describes purely the body’s immunovascular response, whatever the cause may be. But because of how often the two are correlated, words ending in the suffix -itis (which refers to inflammation) are sometimes informally described as referring to infection. For example, the word urethritis strictly means only “urethral inflammation”, but clinical health care providers usually discuss urethritis as a urethral infection because urethral microbial invasion is the most common cause of urethritis.
It is useful to differentiate inflammation and infection as there are many pathological situations where inflammation is not driven by microbial invasion – for example, atherosclerosis, type III hypersensitivity, trauma, ischaemia. There are also pathological situations where microbial invasion does not result in classic inflammatory responsefor example, parasitosis, eosinophilia.
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Inflammation – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Endocarditis is an inflammation of the inner layer of the heart, the endocardium. It usually involves the heart valves. Other structures that may be involved include the interventricular septum, the chordae tendineae, the mural endocardium, or the surfaces of intracardiac devices. Endocarditis is characterized by lesions, known as vegetations, which is a mass of platelets, fibrin, microcolonies of microorganisms, and scant inammatory cells. In the subacute form of infective endocarditis, the vegetation may also include a center of granulomatous tissue, which may fibrose or calcify.
There are several ways to classify endocarditis. The simplest classification is based on cause: either infective or non-infective, depending on whether a microorganism is the source of the inflammation or not. Regardless, the diagnosis of endocarditis is based on clinical features, investigations such as an echocardiogram, and blood cultures demonstrating the presence of endocarditis-causing microorganisms. Signs and symptoms include: fever, chills, sweating, malaise, weakness, anorexia, weight loss, splenomegaly, flu like feeling, cardiac murmur, heart failure, patechia of anterior trunk, Janeway’s lesions, etc.
Since the valves of the heart do not receive any dedicated blood supply, defensive immune mechanisms (such as white blood cells) cannot directly reach the valves via the bloodstream. If an organism (such as bacteria) attaches to a valve surface and forms a vegetation, the host immune response is blunted. The lack of blood supply to the valves also has implications on treatment, since drugs also have difficulty reaching the infected valve.
Normally, blood flows smoothly past these valves. If they have been damaged (from rheumatic fever, for example) the risk of bacteria attachment is increased.
Rheumatic fever is common worldwide and responsible for many cases of damaged heart valves. Chronic rheumatic heart disease is characterized by repeated inflammation with fibrinous resolution. The cardinal anatomic changes of the valve include leaflet thickening, commissural fusion, and shortening and thickening of the tendinous cords. The recurrence of rheumatic fever is relatively common in the absence of maintenance of low dose antibiotics, especially during the first three to five years after the first episode. Heart complications may be long-term and severe, particularly if valves are involved. While rheumatic fever since the advent of routine penicillin administration for Strep throat has become less common in developed countries, in the older generation and in much of the less-developed world, valvular disease (including mitral valve prolapse, reinfection in the form of valvular endocarditis, and valve rupture) from undertreated rheumatic fever continues to be a problem.
In an Indian hospital between 2004 and 2005, 4 of 24 endocarditis patients failed to demonstrate classic vegetation. All had rheumatic heart disease and presented with prolonged fever. All had severe eccentric mitral regurgitation. (One had severe aortic regurgitation also.) One had flail posterior mitral leaflet.
Nonbacterial thrombotic endocarditis (NBTE), also called marantic endocarditis is most commonly found on previously undamaged valves. As opposed to infective endocarditis, the vegetations in NBTE are small, sterile, and tend to aggregate along the edges of the valve or the cusps. Also unlike infective endocarditis, NBTE does not cause an inflammation response from the body. NBTE usually occurs during a hypercoagulable state such as system wide bacterial infection, or pregnancy, though it is also sometimes seen in patients with venous catheters. NBTE may also occur in patients with cancers, particularly mucinous adenocarcinoma where Trousseau syndrome can be encountered. Typically NBTE does not cause many problems on its own, but parts of the vegetations may break off and embolize to the heart or brain, or they may serve as a focus where bacteria can lodge, thus causing infective endocarditis.
Another form of sterile endocarditis, is termed Libman-Sacks endocarditis; this form occurs more often in patients with lupus erythematosus and is thought to be due to the deposition of immune complexes. Like NBTE, Libman-Sacks endocarditis involves small vegetations, while infective endocarditis is composed of large vegetations. These immune complexes precipitate an inflammation reaction, which helps to differentiate it from NBTE. Also unlike NBTE, Libman-Sacks endocarditis does not seem to have a preferred location of deposition and may form on the undersurfaces of the valves or even on the endocardium.
Examination of suspected infective endocarditis includes a detailed examination of the patient, complete history taking, and especially careful cardiac auscultation, various blood tests, ECG, cardiac ultrasound (echocardiography). In the overall analysis of blood revealed the typical signs of inflammation (increased erythrocyte sedimentation rate, leukocytosis). It is also necessary to sow twice venous blood in order to identify the specific pathogen (this requires two samples of blood). Negative blood cultures, however, does not exclude the diagnosis of infective endocarditis. The decisive role played by echocardiography in the diagnosis (through the anterior chest wall or transesophageal), with which you can reliably establish the presence of microbial vegetation, the degree of valvular and violations of the pumping function of the heart.
Endocarditis at DMOZ
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Endocarditis – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
It started in 2009, lump in throat feeling did barium swallow test whihc was notmal, and had blood test which was normal except ESR slightly high, aske d to take Valprim 2mg and symptoms disappeared after a week or so, Again Sept 2011 felt like I had something in throat, went to doctors, gave me did an gastrocscopy, came clear, also did ultrasound for thyroid right side was in the upper limit s of normal, left was normal, also had some pain in stomach around that time did bariumtest and contrast for MRI to which I was anaphalactic, and had to give a cortizone, also sent me to ENT, during that time I had this white pimple,( have had them previously which ws not often but since 2011 they were there quite often), looking things on right side of tonsil no pain just botherend me making me feel like I need to gag, and sometimes when I coughed it came out other times I had to press on it to get the darn thing out, they were like white heads only two in the same spot all the time, ENT and doctor said food particles believe me they were not I thingk they were tonsil stones, found out through, med help. ENT Dec 2011 ,sent camera through nose said have a drip, I have alleries to hayfever andasthma asked to do a scan , did not do it immediately, until end of March when I woke up and felt that my vison was double digits, was worried as there is glucoma in family, and my previous eye pressure in FEb 2011,check was 19, Since March before I got the blurry vion hadnt been sleeping well, also notedfor getting a lot, putting things in wrong place, sometimes forget what I was looking for as well, had astammer at one time, which I never had but now not often only sometimes, if I am stressed trying to think of words maybe due to lack of slee. Ayway went to emergency did normal test to make sure not a stroke due to double vion and was asked to go toemergency ENT next day, Had terrible headache and went eye pressure was done igt was in 20 and 21, as I was also vomiting, did not have headace when I had the blurry vision, just . They asked if I get sius problems said yes, so they checked it with camera and said may have polyps and do a scan tomake sure hospital put me on antibiotics which had some acid in it made breathing a bit hard felt like something was stuck in chest and itchiness here and there, did scan said have polyps.Went back to GP put me on doxy for 3 weeks while on doxy got me to do a scan of the thyroid and said that it came out normal also did another blood test that came out normal. While on doxy noted the pimples in right side cleared up, but there is a flesh coloured slighly raisedlump on that side, so put finger in there to check it was a small lump size of pea doesnot hurt, but noticed after the doxy was over that it had enlarged , was worried showed it to doctor who said dont worry, been in an oout of doctors, who says my glands are swollen, everytime mentioned it to him but not worried, checked mouth with popsicle stick and light, mentioned to him that it has grown but docotor is not concerned, went back to entwith the report of scan mentioned to him he too said may be due to nasal drip, nasal drip, is back of throat this is in front of the arch where the pimples were,Tthe throat scan for thyroidsdid not show or mention, anything about this lump, as I was on antibiotics at the time, Feel neck is heavy, tightness, so went to chiro who took Xrays of the back top to bottom while on antibiotics, chiro said had a small bend but nothing to worry about, feel a lot of tension in neck area and sometimes a uncomfortable feeling, On the weekend was on bed on the computer, felt the pressure on both side of the neck as if I was going to get choked, have had this dry coughcough too that has started, for some times now but havent taken notice of it as I do have asthma, but it not asthmatic, had breakfast in bed and then got up was in the kitchen felt vision going blurry , as my neck felt tightening on both sides, went and put my feet up for some time took some time for the feeling to leave 20 -30 mts or more. Went back to Dr and mentioned about this, also noted that I had a slightloss of bladder control and did not know until I felt something wet, but was too shy to tell the doctor I am forgetting alotnot sure because of the stress of the lump, my sinus feels fine sometimes get the drip and stuffed nose but not all the time, could it be the lump inside throat that is causing but it is only on the right not left but the compression was on both sides,took a nurofen, yesterday, I am stressed oiut about the lump pressure was fine but my hear rate was 81 and should have been 66 or below, I checkd my poulse when I felt thistightening and it was 99, but when I went to the doctorit was normal, All I want is to get this lump out of my throat so I dont stress anymore, I want to do the polyps but they said they will have to straighten themiddleof nose too, and read that polyps can comeback if you dont know what is causing it so want to get allergy test done, as well as want the doctor to take this lump out at the same time how can I make him do it he is only concentraing on the sinus., will I need my doctor to ask him to remove it too, as it is causing me to stress, sinus not too bad but the vison thing together with the back of neck discomfort, and the side s of throat tightness, is frightening me. when I move the neck around I can hear this funny sound like a crunch noise.do you thing if I go to the dentist will she might be able to help me with this lump on the inside of the neck, I am not sure what to do if anyone can let me know if they have the same problem, I too thought it might be the arteries on the side of neck that is causing this, the doctor said if I get the blur vion next time she will get a scan done, note not sinus when I had the second blured vision. ENT asked me to take prednosoloan, and an antibiotic, not sure for what is if it is for the drip or the lump, as I was sneezing a lot the day I went for the second ENT Please help
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Inflammation of Carotid artery and neck pain – Undiagnosed …
An Interesting Finding
Susceptible strains of rodents fed high-fat diets overeat, gain fat and become profoundly insulin resistant. Dr. Jianping Ye’s group recently published a paper showing that the harmful metabolic effects of a high-fat diet (lard and soybean oil) on mice can be prevented, and even reversed, using a short-chain saturated fatty acid called butyric acid (hereafter, butyrate). Here’s a graph of the percent body fat over time of the two groups:
The butyrate-fed mice remained lean and avoided metabolic problems. Butyrate increased their energy expenditure by increasing body heat production and modestly increasing physical activity. It also massively increased the function of their mitochondria, the tiny power plants of the cell.
Butyrate lowered their blood cholesterol by approximately 25 percent, and their triglycerides by nearly 50 percent. It lowered their fasting insulin by nearly 50 percent, and increased their insulin sensitivity by nearly 300 percent*. The investigators concluded:
I found this study thought-provoking, so I looked into butyrate further.
Butyrate Suppresses Inflammation in the Gut and Other Tissues
In most animals, the highest concentration of butyrate is found in the gut. That’s because it’s produced by intestinal bacteria from carbohydrate that the host cannot digest, such as cellulose and pectin. Indigestible carbohydrate is the main form of dietary fiber.
It turns out, butyrate has been around in the mammalian gut for so long that the lining of our large intestine has evolved to use it as its primary source of energy. It does more than just feed the bowel, however. It also has potent anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects. So much so, that investigators are using oral butyrate supplements and butyrate enemas to treat inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. Some investigators are also suggesting that inflammatory bowel disorders may be caused or exacerbated by a deficiency of butyrate in the first place.
Butyrate, and other short-chain fatty acids produced by gut bacteria**, has a remarkable effect on intestinal permeability. In tissue culture and live rats, short-chain fatty acids cause a large and rapid decrease in intestinal permeability. Butyrate, or dietary fiber, prevents the loss of intestinal permeability in rat models of ulcerative colitis. This shows that short-chain fatty acids, including butyrate, play an important role in the maintenance of gut barrier integrity. Impaired gut barrier integrity is associated with many diseases, including fatty liver, heart failure and autoimmune diseases (thanks to Pedro Bastos for this information– I’ll be covering the topic in more detail later).
Butyrate’s role doesn’t end in the gut. It’s absorbed into the circulation, and may exert effects on the rest of the body as well. In human blood immune cells, butyrate is potently anti-inflammatory***.
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Butyric Acid: An Ancient Controller of Metabolism …
Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids: They are necessary for human health but the body cant make them — you have to get them through food. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut, other seafood including algae and krill, some plants, and nut oils. Also known as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), omega-3 fatty acids play a crucial role in brain function, as well as normal growth and development. They have also become popular because they may reduce the risk of heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish (particularly fatty fish such as mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, and salmon) at least 2 times a week.
Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be important for cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral function. In fact, infants who do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids from their mothers during pregnancy are at risk for developing vision and nerve problems. Symptoms of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency include fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings or depression, and poor circulation.
It is important to have the proper ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 (another essential fatty acid) in the diet. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation, and most omega-6 fatty acids tend to promote inflammation. The typical American diet tends to contain 14 – 25 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids, which many nutritionally oriented physicians consider to be way too high on the omega-6 side.
The Mediterranean diet, on the other hand, has a healthier balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Many studies have shown that people who follow this diet are less likely to develop heart disease. The Mediterranean diet emphasizes foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, including whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, olive oil, garlic, as well as moderate wine consumption.
Clinical evidence is strongest for heart disease and problems that contribute to heart disease, but omega-3 fatty acids may also be used for:
People who follow a Mediterranean style diet tend to have higher HDL or good cholesterol levels, which help promote heart health. Inuit Eskimos, who get high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids from eating fatty fish, also tend to have increased HDL cholesterol and decreased triglycerides (fats in the blood). Several studies have shown that fish oil supplements reduce triglyceride levels. Finally, walnuts (which are rich in alpha linolenic acid or ANA, which converts to omega-3s in the body) have been reported to lower total cholesterol and triglycerides in people with high cholesterol levels.
High blood pressure
Several clinical studies suggest that diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids lower blood pressure in people with hypertension. An analysis of 17 clinical studies using fish oil supplements found that taking 3 or more grams of fish oil daily may reduce blood pressure in people with untreated hypertension. Doses this high, however, should only be taken under the direction of a physician.
by Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN NP
Systemic or chronic inflammation has a domino effect that can seriously undermine your health. So how does it all begin?
Many experts now see inflammation as arising from an immune system response thats out of control. When you catch a cold or sprain your ankle, your immune system switches into gear. Infection or injury trigger a chain of events called the inflammatory cascade. The familiar signs of normal inflammation heat, pain, redness, and swelling are the first signals that your immune system is being called into action. In a delicate balance of give-and-take, inflammation begins when pro-inflammatory hormones in your body call out for your white blood cells to come and clear out infection and damaged tissue. These agents are matched by equally powerful, closely related anti-inflammatory compounds, which move in once the threat is neutralized to begin the healing process.
Acute inflammation that ebbs and flows as needed signifies a well-balanced immune system. But symptoms of inflammation that dont recede are telling you that the on switch to your immune system is stuck. Its poised on high alert even when you arent in imminent danger. In some cases, what started as a healthy mechanism, like building scar tissue or swelling, just wont shut off.
Are you walking around on simmer? Just yesterday I saw Nancy, a patient who has been with me for years. When she first came to see me, her triglycerides were sky-high (in the 400s!), her cholesterol was elevated, and she was overweight, unhappy and stressed. Her face was flushed and chapped, her lips were dry, and she seemed fluttery and agitated. On the surface she looked like a heart disease candidate, but when I probed deeper I saw a woman on fire from the inside out.
Currently there is no definitive test for inflammation the best that conventional medicine can do is measure blood levels of C-reactive protein (a pro-inflammatory marker) and the irritating amino acid called homocysteine. I use the high-sensitivity CRP test now available at most labs. Anything above 1 mg/dL with this test is too high in my book. With the older tests a reading of between 25 mg/dL was considered normal. (If youve been tested, be sure to ask your doctor for the results). Newer ways to assess risk early on for future inflammatory disease include markers such as the apolipoprotein B to A1 ratio (ApoB/ApoA-1). This and other tests are in experimental use and only available through a few labs.
When I first ran Nancys tests, I was surprised to see that her CRP levels were normal (this was before the high-sensitivity CRP test was widely available as it is today). This was good news for her heart, since elevated CRP and cholesterol increase your risk of heart disease threefold. But her homocysteine levels were high and all of her other symptoms pointed to inflammation. I prescribed an anti-inflammation diet, essential fatty acids, other anti-inflammatory supplements, and a daily exercise regime (for more information, read our article Reducing Inflammation The Natural Approach.) When Nancy next came in, her triglycerides were down by 200 points, her skin was clear, and her mood was much better. Later tests revealed her cholesterol had gone down, too.
A year went by, and as Nancy entered a stressful period in her life, she again began snacking on unhealthy food and going for days without exercise. Her cholesterol crept back up and she started having irritable bowel symptoms. After a brief pep talk, she got back on track and today shes feeling great. When I saw her yesterday she looked like a different person. Her blood tests all looked good and her inflammation was back under control. Nancys fires are well-tended now, and I feel confident she knows what to do if they start to flare up again.
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Causes Of Inflammation | Women to Women
Can you please explain why inflammation is now thought to be so harmful and what to do about whole-body inflammation?
Answer (Published 10/27/2011)
Inflammation in the body is a normal and healthy response to injury or attack by germs. We can see it, feel it and measure it as local heat, redness, swelling, and pain. This is the body’s way of getting more nourishment and more immune activity into an area that needs to fend off infection or heal. But inflammation isn’t always helpful. It also has great destructive potential, which we see when the immune system mistakenly targets the body’s own tissues in (autoimmune) diseases like type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
Whole-body inflammation refers to chronic, imperceptible, low-level inflammation. Mounting evidence suggests that over time this kind of inflammation sets the foundation for many serious, age-related diseases including heart disease, cancer and neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Recent evidence indicates that whole-body inflammation may also contribute to psychological disorders, especially depression – for more on this, see my new book, Spontaneous Happiness, which will be released November 8, 2011.
The extent of this chronic inflammation is influenced by genetics, a sedentary lifestyle, too much stress, and exposure to environmental toxins such as secondhand tobacco smoke. Diet has a huge impact, so much so that I believe that most people in our part of the world go through life in a pro-inflammatory state as a result of what they eat. I’m convinced that the single most important thing you can do to counter chronic inflammation is to stop eating refined, processed and manufactured foods.
You can also try my anti-inflammatory diet, as illustrated by my anti-inflammatory diet and food pyramid. This isn’t a weight-loss diet (though you can lose weight if you follow it). Instead, it is designed to help you reduce chronic inflammation by eating fresh, healthy and delicious foods. One of the most important things the diet does is provide balanced amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Most people consume an excess of omega-6 fatty acids, which the body uses to synthesize compounds that promote inflammation. You get a lot of omega 6 fatty acids from snack foods and fast foods. Omega-3 fatty acids – from oily fish, walnuts, flax, hemp and to a lesser degree canola oil and sea vegetables – have an anti-inflammatory effect.
If you look at the food pyramid on this site you’ll see that it emphasizes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes, fish and sea food, whole soy foods, and tells you how much of these foods to eat daily or weekly. You get a wide variety of fresh foods on this diet, plus some red wine daily, if you so desire, and healthy sweet treats such as dark chocolate (make sure it has a minimum content of 70 percent cocoa). Along with influencing inflammation, this diet will provide steady energy and ample vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, dietary fiber, and protective phytonutrients. What’s more, I think you’ll enjoy it.
Andrew Weil, M.D.
Learn more about Dr. Weil’s new book and online program: Spontaneous Happiness
Can you please explain why inflammation is now thought to be so harmful and what to do about whole-body inflammation?
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Reducing Whole Body Inflammation? – Ask Dr. Weil
Components of an Anti-inflammatory Diet (focus on meats, fish, eggs and leafy vegetables) Note: All food is unhealthy without gut bacteria adapted to the food. See other posts on repair of gut flora. Low starch and other simple sugars — insulin and high blood glucose are inflammatory; so use complex polysaccharides (not starch); starch only in small portions (1/2 banana or one side of a hamburger bun) and preferably in unprocessed, less available forms, e.g. coarse ground or fat coated — bread with butter; less than 30 gm in any meal, less is healthier, grains are frequently a problem — gluten intolerance No high fructose corn syrup — high free fructose (in contrast to sucrose) is inflammatory and contributes to crosslinking of collagen fibers, which means prematurely aged skin; sucrose is much better than alternative sweeteners High ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats — most vegetable oils (olive oil is the exception) are very high in omega-6 fats and are inflammatory and should be avoided; omega-3 fats from fish oil cannot have their full anti-inflammatory impact in the presence of vegetable oils; omega-3 supplements are needed to overcome existing inflammation — take with saturated fats No trans fats — all are inflammatory Probiotics and prebiotics — the bacteria in your gut are vitally important in reducing inflammation; most of the bacteria that initially colonize breastfed babies and are also present in fermented products seem to be helpful; formula quickly converts baby gut bacteria to inflammatory species and should be avoided completely for as long as possible to permit the babys immune system to mature (at least 6 months exclusive breastfeeding.) Saturated fatsare healthy and reduce the peroxidation of omega-3 fatty acids at sites of local inflammation, e.g. fatty liver. Saturated fats should be the major source of dietary calories. Vegetable antioxidants — vegetables and fruits, along with coffee and chocolate supply very useful, anti-inflammatory anti-oxidants Sensible daily supplements: 1,000 mg vitamin C; 2,000-5,000 i.u vitamin D3 (to produce serum levels of 60ng/ml); 750 mg glucosamine Associated anti-inflammatory lifestyle components:
exercise (cardiovascular and muscle building),
minimizing body fat,
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Cooling Inflammation: Anti-inflammatory Diet
Vasculitis (plural: vasculitides) is a group of disorders that destroy blood vessels by inflammation. Both arteries and veins are affected. Lymphangitis is sometimes considered a type of vasculitis. Vasculitis is primarily caused by leukocyte migration and resultant damage.
Although both occur in vasculitis, inflammation of veins (phlebitis) or arteries (arteritis) on their own are separate entities.
Possible symptoms include:
Vasculitis can be classified by the cause, the location, the type of vessel or the size of vessel.
According to the size of the vessel affected, vasculitis can be classified into:
Some disorders have vasculitis as their main feature. The major types are given in the table below:
Takayasu’s arteritis, polyarteritis nodosa and giant cell arteritis mainly involve arteries and are thus sometimes classed specifically under arteritis.
Furthermore, there are many conditions that have vasculitis as an accompanying or atypical symptom, including:
Several of these vasculitides are associated with antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies. These are
In this table: ANA = Antinuclear antibodies, CRP = C-reactive protein, dsDNA = double-stranded DNA, ENA = extractable nuclear antigens, RNP = ribonucleoproteins; VDRL = Venereal Disease Research Laboratory
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Vasculitis – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Nephritis Classification and external resources MeSH D009393
Nephritis is inflammation of the kidneys and may involve the glomeruli, tubules, or interstitial tissue surrounding the glomeruli and tubules. The term nephritis is derived from the Greek word for kidney, .
Nephritis is often caused by infections, toxins, and autoimmune diseases. It can be caused by infection, but is most commonly caused by autoimmune disorders that affect the major organs. For example, those with lupus are at a much higher risk for developing nephritis. In rare cases nephritis can be genetically inherited, though it may not present in childhood.
Nephritis is the most common producer of glomerular injury. It is a disturbance of the glomerular structure with inflammatory cell proliferation. This can lead to reduced glomerular blood flow, leading to reduced urine output (oliguria) and retention of waste products (uremia). As a result, red blood cells may leak out of damaged glomeruli, causing blood to appear in the urine (hematuria). Low renal blood flow activates the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS), causing fluid retention and mild hypertension.
Nephritis is a serious medical condition which is the eighth highest cause of human death. As the kidneys inflame, they begin to excrete needed protein from the body into the urine stream. This condition is called proteinuria. Loss of necessary protein due to nephritis can result in several life-threatening symptoms. The most serious complication of nephritis can occur if there is significant loss of the proteins that keep blood from clotting excessively. Loss of these proteins can result in blood clots causing sudden stroke.
less than 40
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Nephritis – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia