Chronic pain, fatigue, and rashes are some of the most common complaints that I see in my practice. These symptoms, as well as: muscle and joint pain, headaches, edema, PMS, and digestive complaints can all be symptoms of chronic inflammation. The intelligent human body has the innate ability to heal itself and inflammation is part of the healing process. When damage occurs our body produces cytokines, such as interleukins and prostaglandins. These immune mediators act as messengers and help to move white blood cells and immunglobulins to the damaged area and cleanse the waste. Due to increasing blood flow we often notice redness, heat, and swelling. Without this process healing would never occur! But what happens when the inflammation goes too far or occurs too frequently? Inflammation in itself can be damaging as well. Why does inflammation occur when we have no history of accidents or trauma?
Searching for the underlying cause of inflammation means figuring out what is creating damage to the body. This can be the most difficult part of dealing with inflammation. Without this step, the damage continues to occur as does inflammation. The long-term effects are auto-immune diseases such as Hashimoto's hypothyroidism, psoriasis, joint destruction, fibromyalgia, atherosclerosis, and cancer.
So, what causes inflammation? Allergies, hormonal imbalances, food intolerances, stress, inflammatory foods and poor nutrition, injury, and infectious diseases are some of the most common culprits. Each individual is different and has a different inflammatory profile. Fortunately, we have effective, clinically proven, methods for reducing inflammation and advanced testing for food allergies, yeast, and reproductive and adrenal hormones. We also have increasingly accurate testing for infectious diseases such as Lyme and other tick born infections through private testing centers making it much more likely that you will be able to find disease and treat it before it causes more harm to your body.
There is no reason to feel less than optimal but it takes time, commitment, and patience. We all know that there is more that we can be doing for our health but the question is, where to start? I believe that finding a strong and knowledgable healthcare specialist, such as a holistic health coach or a naturopathic doctor will get you started. Many of my patients have experienced increased well-being and a decrease in pain and symptoms by making positive changes in their lifestyle. Best wishes on your health journey!
Dr. Emily Miller, ND - Specializing in Naturopathic Medicine and Holistic Family Healthcare at The Luna Center for Natural Health. www.TheLunaCenter.com