Article I published on the Wellness Universe Blog Sept 21, 2018
Inflammation is your body’s defense system.
Its job is to remove damaged cells, viruses, bacteria, etc. so that the body can heal itself. When you get a cut or a virus, your immune system immediately comes to your defense to remove the foreign invader.
However, an overactive immune system can begin to attack healthy cells. This is caused by a slow burn that accumulates over the years until it erupts, hence the terms inflammation and autoimmune.
A Few of the Common Signs of Inflammation:
Do you have pain? Headaches? Brain fog? Skin problems? Hay fever? Asthma? Digestion issues? Are you puffy? Fatigued? Constipated? Are you gaining weight?
If you are struggling with these symptoms, you have inflammation. If it is allowed to continue to burn, it leads to autoimmune disease and to chronic pain. It can take as long as 20 years from when it begins until it becomes a chronic illness. Lowering your inflammation is the key to your return to wellness.
Chronic inflammation is at the root of all of our chronic illnesses.
In this article, I want to discuss the inflammation that causes chronic pain; how chronic inflammation occurs and what to do about it.
Let’s Start Here:
Toxins → Leaky Gut.
Leaky gut → Inflammation.
Inflammation → Disease.
Autoimmune disease → Chronic Pain.
“Occurs when the body tissues are attacked by its own immune system. The immune system is normally designed to “seek and destroy” invaders of the body, including infectious agents. Patients with autoimmune diseases frequently have unusual antibodies circulating in their blood that target their own body tissues.” [i]
It’s all about toxic load, and it begins with something called “Leaky Gut.”
So, what is Leaky Gut?
60-80% of our immune system is in the gut. The gut has a wall that is only one cell thick. The bacteria in the gut break our food down into amino acids. A healthy gut lining allows amino acids to go into our system as particles that are recognized by our immune system as friendly particles.
If our digestion isn’t working properly or if we don’t have enough “good” bacteria, large chunks of food in the gut are not broken down into amino acids.
These larger particles push up against the gut wall. Leaky gut is when your gut wall rips, and holes allow these larger food particles to pass through the wall and into your bloodstream. These holes remain open, allowing the larger food particles to pass through. As these particles enter your bloodstream your immune system can’t identify them and reacts, seeing them as the enemy, and attacks.
These holes need to be healed and closed for the disease to stop progressing.
Over time, you can build up antibodies against any food that is slipping through, chicken, tomatoes or a long list of other foods that become your sensitivities, so your immune system perceives more and more particles as the enemy.
These particles do a form of molecular mimicry. Our immune system sees them as foreign invaders but similar to other cells in the body. These particles could look like thyroid tissue, or skin or intestines or muscles, and our immune system attacks not only the “foreign” invader, (the food particle that is slipping through) but also the tissue that is being mimicked. Our immune system starts to attack our own body. Chronic inflammation causes healthy body functions to break down.
What Causes Digestion to Fail so that the Gut Wall is Punctured?
There are several factors which include:
5% of getting a disease is in your genetics, and the rest depends on how healthy your microbiome is. Cleaning up the toxins and eating real food are the best things you can do to control your destiny.
- Environmental Triggers.
- Food sensitivities: Common foods that create sensitivities are corn, soy, dairy, gluten, grains, legumes, eggs, and nightshades.
- Wheat-Gluten is the wrong size molecule and tears your gut lining wall.
- Smoke in the air from local fires, indoor and outdoor air pollution.
- Sugar, alcohol, caffeine, GMOs, Roundup are believed to contribute to leaky gut.
- Toxic Metals.
- Some drugs, steroids, antacids, NSAIDs, acid blockers.
- Infections, parasites, candida.
- Not enough good bacteria or too much bad bacteria in the gut.
The disease begins when the body-burden from all of these toxic factors becomes too great for the body to handle. Your gut heals itself every seven days, but eventually, it can’t keep up.
What You Can Do to Help Your Body and Heal A Leaky Gut:
- Get a food sensitivity test done, and then avoid them like the plague. I recommend the Meridian Valley Food Sensitivity Test [ii], which you can order directly and self-administer. Food can be the slowest form of poison if your body has become sensitive to it.
- Eliminate toxins in your life. They are in conventional produce, GMOs, some of your cooking oils, conventionally farmed meats, dairy, can linings, sugar, both real and fake, over the counter drugs, cosmetics, your cooking supplies, your cleaning supplies and may include your water. To find where they are, you can research on the EWG database [iii], or buy my book, It Feels Good to Feel Good, Learn to Eliminate Toxins, Reduce Inflammation and Feel Great Again. [iv]
- Increase the good gut bacteria. You will need good probiotics and good prebiotics. Probiotics add the good guys to your lower intestine. Prebiotics feed the good bacteria.
- There are also good prebiotics and probiotic supplements to take. I personally take Klare.
Foods that Help Heal the Gut:
- Healthy Fats:
Ghee, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil.
A good source comes from pastured animal protein, such as beef and chicken. Also found in beans, raw cabbage, beets, raw spinach, and parsley. You can also purchase glutathione supplements.
- Organic Bone Broth:
Only from grass-fed cows or pastured chickens and turkeys.