Inflammation refers to your body’s healing response to infections, injuries, and toxins – by activating your immune system to release antibodies and proteins, as well as increasing blood flow to the damaged area.
In the case of acute inflammation, this whole process usually lasts for a few days – but in the case of chronic inflammation, your body can stay stuck in a constant state of alert… and in turn lead to a host of problems affecting your tissues and organs, driving a range of conditions, from cancer to psoriasis to Alzheimer’s.
If you don’t deal with chronic inflammation, you’ll stay in the red zone all the time, and put yourself on the fast track toward chronic disease.
So many people suffering from chronic inflammation just don’t understand why they feel just plain CRAPPY – which is no wonder because the immune system is always in overdrive.
Most of it is not their fault because they don’t realize that it’s caused by their highly polluted environment, what they eat, and what they put on their bodies in the form of cosmetics and even clothes.
One of the best ways to see where you are on the “inflammation scale” is to get your c-reactive proteins tested. CRP is a protein made by your liver that is part of the “alarm system” made to fight disease and foreign invaders that can harm you.
But it’s nonspecific because meaning it can react to direct injury but also when we have too much toxic overload in the body.
For practitioners, your CRP levels are a marker of hidden inflammation in the body. It gives an immediate “inside peak” to your level of risk for things like heart disease and other illnesses.
It should be less than 1.0 (but better if your levels are around 0.7). Most patients that work with me are around 3 when we start, which is serious stuff!!
In my practice, we focus on food as medicine, so with the following tweaks we can leverage foods to bring down systemic inflammation (mainly by shifting the balance of omega-6s in favor o omega-3s):
✳️ Refined processed oils tip the balance to the inflammation side (we consume now 1000x more soybean oil that’s high in omega-6s than we did 100 years ago). It’s in ALL processed foods and most of the time, you don’t even realize you’re eating it. Plus, unless you are doing all-organic, you are also getting a dose of pesticides and GMOs. So by reducing soybean, safflower, and corn oil, you’re going in the right direction.
✳️ Reduce high levels of sugar. This one might seem like a no-brainer but many people still eat plenty of foods with hidden sugars like morning oatmeal, protein bars, yogurts, bottled condiments like salad dressing, and energy drinks.
✳️ Boost sources of omega-3s which most people don’t get nearly enough of. You can supplement this or simply add foods like wild-caught salmon, walnuts, flax, and sardines.
Curious to know what other foods and lifestyle factors crank up your CRP levels? If you’re interested in learning more, sign up for a free discovery call to chat with someone from our team.
To your health,
Dr. Wanda Bedinghaus, MD, IFMCP