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What everyone needs to know about Inflammation!

I bet that at some point in your health journey you have been told "inflammation" is the cause of your issues. But what exactly is "inflammation" and is it really to blame?

Firstly let's me make it clear that inflammation in itself is not bad, in fact it's the body natural defence mechanism, the issues lies with CHRONIC INFLAMMATION!

Our immune system is constantly acting as a surveillance system & when it notices something that the body perceives as a threat (infection, viruses, bacteria, injury, radiation, pollution, toxins, stress etc) it will active the inflammatory response & chemicals from our white blood cells will enter into our blood or tissue to protect the body from the invader or threat.

The 5 classic signs of inflammation are -

  1. Heat

  2. Redness

  3. Pain

  4. Swelling

  5. Loss of function

This is a totally natural process & one that should not be hindered or interfered with as it the bodies defence & healing mechanism.

So, you may ask, how could this inflammation be the cause of my sluggish thyroid? PMS? infertility? heart disease? or even my weight gain?

This is where we come back to CHRONIC INFLAMMATION!

Which is basically when our inflammatory process doesn't switch off, it is this slow, long term inflammation, leaving the body in a constant state of alert & hyper function.

The symptoms of this chronic inflammation can be more subtle, making them easier to be overlooked & thus unaddressed! And when we live with chronic inflammation this inflammatory response can start damaging our healthy tissue, cells & organs & even cause DNA damage!

Nearly every health condition has a link to this chronic inflammation & thus to truely heal from it we need to understand the common causes of chronic inflammation -

They include (but are not limited to)-

  • Chronic emotional & mental stress

  • Gut imbalances

  • Toxic overload

  • Immune disregulation

  • Food sensitivities

  • Mineral imbalances

  • Stealth infections

  • Lifestyle factors like - smoking or drinking excess alcohol

  • Over exercising at your maximum intensity for too long or not exercising at all

  • Being obese or having excess visceral fat

So once you have identified the reasons behind your chronic inflammation you are in the best position to be able to stop this process & heal the body from chronic inflammation! In fact this it the most important step!

Here are some other tips to manage chronic inflammation & reduce it's affects on the body -

  • Eating an anti-inflammatory diet - the Mediterranean diet is the most researched diet in it's benefits to combatting chronic inflammation - enjoying foods like - olive oil, organic yoghurt, legumes, berries, oily fish & grass fed organ meats, leafy greens.

  • Using herbs & spices that have natural anti - inflammatory benefits like - turmeric, ginger, chamomile. We even have some herbs that have a steroid like reaction in the body to combat inflammation - liquorice root, ginseng & wild yam.

  • Managing your stress levels - meditating, finding joy everyday, showing gratitude, spending time in nature, grounding all have profound ways to reduce your stress levels & reduce chronic inflammation.

  • Prioritising sleep -aiming for 8 hours every night of solid, uninterrupted, rejuvenating sleep. Ideally going to bed before 10pm!

  • Deep breathing exercises - to calm the nervous system & oxygenate the body - breathing in for 4 counts, holding for 4 counts & breathing out to 8 counts - doing this multiple times daily is essential.

  • Physical movement that is restorative not exhaustive to the body

  • Reducing your exposure to environmental toxins - buying organic produce, using a water filter that removes chlorine & fluoride, using natural makeup, cleaning products & avoid perfume.

Unfortunately approximately one in three Australian's have a condition that is linked to chronic inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes. But the good news is that health is in your control & the body has the innate ability to heal itself, sometimes it just needs to be given an extra hand.

If you would like personalised health support for any of your health conditions, book a consultation with me through the services page of this website, I would love to assist you to find a natural approach to health & wellness!

In health & happiness

Sarah Emily Herbalist

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