Foods To Avoid For Inflammation. But Are You Really Just Thirsty?
Let’s start with “What is inflammation?”
To remember about inflammation
- Inflammation is your body’s attempt at self-protection. Your body is attempting to remove harmful stimuli. It is trying to begin the healing process
- This first stage of inflammation is often referred to as irritation, which can then become inflammation.
- Suppuration ( discharging of pus) the next stage of inflammation
- Next the granulation time. (forming in wounds of tiny, rounded masses of tissue during healing.)
- Acute inflammation – starts and quickly becomes severe.
- Chronic inflammation – is long-term inflammation, can last for several months and even years.
- Your wounds and any damage to tissue would never heal without inflammation – tissue would become more and more damaged and the body would eventually perish.
Chronic inflammation can eventually cause several diseases and conditions. Being aware is the first step in helping your body counteract these diseases.
Watch for the long-term forms of inflammation.
Some long-term inflammations can result in:
- some cancers
- hay fever
- atherosclerosis ,
- heart disease and several other illnesses ( what actually drives inflammation in the first place is still a mystery.)
Remember that inflammation is an important part of the healing process.
Treat or allow to heal by itself
Sometimes reducing inflammation is necessary, but maybe not every time it occurs.
So, let’s look at other information about inflammation.
Inflammation is an extremely important part of the body’s immune response. Kind of like the siren on the fire truck. It lets you know what is coming. Can be the first time you are aware of the responders.
This is how the body attempts to heal itself after an injury. Your body goes into the defensive mode to protect itself against foreign invaders. Viruses and bacteria need to be dealt with. This is making you aware of the damaged tissue that you body needs to be replaced.
If there was no inflammation, wounds would fester. They would become infections. Infections could become deadly. Inflammation can also cause other problems. These problems lay the foundation for some chronic diseases to develop.
So yes, you need to pay attention to inflammation.
What does it look like
Symptoms of inflammation are:
- Sometimes pain
- Even some mobility loss
For example, when you stub your toe, biochemical processes release proteins called cytokines. These act as “emergency signals” that activate your body’s immune cells. As well as the hormones and nutrients to fix the problem.
With this call to action, your arteries dilate and blood flow increases. Your capillaries become more able to absorb what is needed. White blood cells along with the hormones and nutrients can move into the spaces between cells.
White blood cells should swarm the injured area and absorb germs, dead or damaged cells and other foreign materials to help heal the body. Hormones try to heal the damaged tissue and remove them when healing is finished. They also trigger pain and fever as part of the healing process.
Swelling happens. Why? Fluid accompanies the white blood cells, hormones, and nutrients. A part of this fluid will diffuse into the area. This causes swelling. This swelling is what can cause increased pressure to your nerve endings. This, in turn, will usually produce pain.
“Pus” is an accumulation of white blood cells. The ones that have died after absorbing the threatening materials. This is the way your body expels those no-longer-needed cells.
When you are dehydrated the fluid needed to allow your body to work efficiently to heal itself is not there. All of these calls to action go into effect and have to work without enough water to help make the blood the proper thickness to circulate.
Do you give your body all the water it needs on a daily basis? Or have you lived in a state of dehydration most of your life?
Differences in acute inflammation and chronic inflammation.
Let’s talk about the two types of inflammation. They are labeled as acute infection and chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is sometimes called systemic inflammation.
Examples of acute inflammation
This is what happens after a cut or scrape in the skin. Or if you have an infected ingrown nail. This can also include a sprained ankle or acute bronchitis. If you have a sore throat, tonsillitis. A pain in your lower stomach, appendicitis. This is all short-term. Effects go away after a few days. They are relatively short term inflammations.
With Chronic Inflammation
Chronic inflammation is set for the long-term. This kind of inflammation occurs in “wear and tear” conditions. When you develop osteoarthritis. Or maybe one or more of the autoimmune diseases, like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
Then there are also allergies, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease as well as Crohn’s disease.
These diseases are usually the first to show up in dehydrated bodies. Again, when the body does not have what it needs to work with, it does the best it can.
Lifestyle habits and results
Your lifestyle habits, such as excess weight, poor diet, lack of exercise, stress, smoking, poor oral health and excessive alcohol consumption, can also lead to chronic inflammation.
What if an improved lifestyle included drinking enough water?
In the evaluation, you must consider environmental factors like pollution. Air quality. And water contamination as well.
Is inflammation good or bad
Acute inflammation is thought of as “good,” because it’s the body’s attempt to heal itself after an injury.
This inflammation is calling your attention to the fact that there may be more to the accidental fall, the bump on the elbow.
Chronic inflammation is considered bad and needs attention.
However, the medical world says this is not a useful distinction.
Whether acute or chronic, inflammation is the body’s natural response to a problem. You are being made aware of issues that you might not otherwise acknowledge.
Repeated attacks of inflammation are your body’s call for attention.
Low-grade inflammation happens when your body sends an inflammatory response to an internal threat that does not require an inflammatory response.
Your white blood cells rush to the trouble spot with nothing to do and nowhere to go, and they sometimes eventually start attacking internal organs or other necessary tissues and cells.
When dehydrated, your repair cells are already working with a handicap.
Other times, the threat is real but you do not feel it nor do you feel the inflammatory response, and the inflammation can persist forever.
The threat is there. Persistent inflammation is linked to a variety of ailments, including heart disease. Often associated with environmental causes like pollution.
Then you will find lifestyle habits like smoking and a poor diet. This brings the nutritionists to work with helping to heal.
Foods to Avoid for inflammation
There are 6 food groups to consider not eating when working with a chronic inflammation and improving lifestyle. This is a basic list. Due to the complexities of these food groups, and the amount of information to share about these parts of helping ourselves, the groups are listed here. There will be a follow-up of how and why at a later date.
- Alcohol – The medical profession is still debating the good, bad, and the ugly about alcohol. Consume only in moderation.
- MSG – Added to so many boxed or prepared food packages, and Asian foods.
- Gluten and Casein – Found in grain and dairy products.
- Refined Sugar
- The Fats Saturated and Transfats – Fast food, fried food, cheese, pizza, full-fat dairy products
- Omega 6 fatty acids – Vegetable oil, sunflower oil, soy products, salad dressings
Now we get to the better diet part
Health experts speak of an “anti-inflammatory diet.” The low-grade, chronic inflammation is the one they typically hope to help.
An anti-inflammatory diet may also be helpful for those suffering from arthritis. Arthritis Foundation.
Chronic, low-grade inflammation often does not have noticeable symptoms. Doctors can test for C-reactive protein levels (CRP). These increase when the body becomes inflamed. Tests happen as doctors try to diagnose a disease. (lupus, arthritis or heart disease.)
Risks with chronic inflammation
Scientists are still working to understand all the implications of chronic inflammation on the body’s health, but it is clear that it affects the body in myriad ways.
Some of these ways may be:
Chronic inflammation is linked to the cardiovascular diseases.
These inflamed blood vessels and growing fatty plaque can cause blockages and blood clots. These blockages and clots can in time cause heart attacks.
Dangers to your heart.
If you have chronic inflammation caused by an autoimmune disorder, you may be at greater risks for heart disease. A large-scale study at Stanford University discovered that coronary artery disease risk might be linked to genes associated with inflammation.
Additionally, some scientists theorize that the bacteria from gum disease can make its way to the heart or blood vessels. This action triggers your system causing inflammation that can increase the chance of a heart attack.
DiabetesAccording to a 2009 report, cytokines can interfere with insulin signaling. This will in time result in increased insulin resistance along with spiked blood sugar. These spikes trigger white blood cells to attack, and inflammation continues.
As well as increasing your risk for diabetes, when you have insulin resistance, there can also be an increase in the risk of weight gain.
Those who have diabetes will benefit when they drink enough water on a daily basis.
Chronic inflammation in the lungs is a factor causing many problems. Asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, (COPD) are 2 diseases which can also include chronic bronchitis and emphysema, as well as some infections, according to the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute.
When lungs become inflamed, fluids can accumulate. The airways can narrow. The result is that breathing will become difficult.
Dehydrated will cause this fluid can become thick and heavy and difficult for your lungs to work with.
Bone health is affected
Chronic inflammation is associated with increased bone loss and lack of bone growth. (a 2009 article in the Journal of Endocrinology)
Scientists theorize that cytokines in the blood change the bone “remodeling,” process in which old, damaged pieces of bones will replace new ones.
While dehydrated, your system will not be able to replace the bone as it should.
Furthermore, inflammation in the gut will decrease the absorption of nutrients that are important to bone health, like calcium and vitamin D.
When you do not drink enough water on a daily basis, the process becomes inefficient. Then problems will develop.
A 2015 study in JAMA Psychiatry found that with depression, you usually have a 30 percent more brain inflammation those who are not depressed.
Tests find that most of the emergency mental issues involving admission to a medical facility to be dehydrated, most severely.
Inflammation is linked to symptoms of depression:
- Including feeling sick
- Lack of desire for involvement in life
- Loss of appetite
- Sleep problems.
Mayo Clinic, it is not fully clear if chronic inflammation can be considered a contributing factor in developing cancer. However, scientists are working in this field.
According to Cancer Research UK, your immune cells will attack these beginning tumors as part of their response to an inflammatory trigger. These immune cells will be absorbed by the tumor.
Instead of killing it, the tumor uses the nutrients and oxygen that are part of the inflammatory response to grow and survive.
These immune cells will be absorbed by the tumor. Instead of killing it, the tumor uses the nutrients and oxygen that are part of the inflammatory response to grow and survive.
Dehydration in your body
Being dehydrated, your body will not respond properly to a cry for help.
Additionally, a repeated chronic inflammatory response can trigger the loss of proteins involved in DNA repair. This will, in turn, lead to gene mutations, according to a 2011 study done in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
How to help yourself
These are major drains on our nation’s health industry. How do we help ourselves? One approach is a healthy lifestyle. Include drinking enough water is this healthy lifestyle.
Anti-inflammatory diet and foods
Anti-inflammatory diets have become popular in recent years. Hard evidence is lacking concerning the effectiveness of these diets in reducing inflammation, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Regardless, guidelines of an anti-inflammatory diet are healthy ones.
The recommended foods are typical of a healthy Mediterranean diet.
This includes eating more:
- Vegetables and fresh fruits
- Healthy fats and Moderate portions of nuts
- Drinking moderate amounts red wine
- Very little red meat
To have the benefits of this healthier way to eat, your foods should come from these groups:
- Avocados: Have great anti-inflammatory properties. They also contain phytosterols, carotenoid antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids plus polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols. These are compounds that help reduce inflammation.
- Cold-water fish: These are among the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon, herring, tuna, and mackerel were better choices. Consuming two or three servings (about 12 ounces or 340 grams) per week.
- Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, Brussels sprout, kale and cauliflower and other green leafy veggies contain sulforaphane. This is associated with blocking enzymes linked to joint deterioration. As well as improving chronic inflammation. Studies suggest that Sulforaphane might prevent or reverse some damage. The damage to blood vessel linings with chronic blood sugar problems and inflammation.
- Watermelon: Watermelon contains lycopene, a cellular inhibitor for various inflammatory processes. It also works as an antioxidant to neutralize free radicals. Additionally, watermelon contains choline, which helps keep chronic inflammation down.
- Onions: Their anti-inflammatory properties have made them a popular home remedy for asthma for centuries. Onions are a good source of quercetin, which inhibits histamines known to cause inflammation.
- Walnuts and most other nuts: A great source of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Olive oil and canola oil: Using these as primary cooking oils, because they are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Berries: Help to moderate your inflammation. The berries have polyphenol compounds, particularly anthocyanins, which produce dark red pigments. Berries are important.
- Certain spices: The University of Wisconsin has a good round up here.
- along with other guidelines
- Whole grains: Whole grains, like brown rice, quinoa, and bulgur wheat. These whole grains are associated with decreased CRP levels. There is also fiber in whole grain that helps control beneficial gut bacteria.
They treat fever, pain, and swelling.
These drugs are for short-term pain relief needs, like headaches, fevers that associated with colds and flu. Reoccurring monthly menstrual periods, strained or sprained muscles usually responsive to aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen.
They are also in use to treat more chronic conditions. As in arthritis and back pain, though often this will be at a doctor’s discretion.
In prescription doses, some time can use for post-surgery pain relief.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).
Blocking the enzyme cyclooxygenase, which produces prostaglandins, according to MedicineNet. Without cyclooxygenase, the swelling, pain, and fever of inflammation do not happen.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs include corticosteroids, which are in inhalers for people with asthma.
Corticosteroids reduce inflammation and swelling by reducing the production of chemicals involved in inflammation. They reduce the activity of white blood cells, too, thereby possibly affecting immunity, according to the Cleveland Clinic. (Information found at this link will help explain how these drugs work)
What can you do
For people and concerns about chronic inflammation:
- Should adopt diet and lifestyle changes.
Do not wait for drugs, says the Harvard Medical School, These drugs are “a long way off, certain to be expensive and will almost certainly come with undesirable side effects.”
So what about supplements?
Varieties of dietary supplements are associated with anti-inflammatory responses.
The Mayo Clinic says that supplements need regulation by the Food and Drug Administration for safety and effectiveness.
Please keep this in mind if considering supplements.
Some of the popular supplements include:
- Cat’s claw: Claimed to ease rheumatoid arthritis joint pain and osteoarthritis knee pain
- Devil’s claw: In Europe, important as an anti-inflammatory agent, studies suggest it is effective in the short-term treatment of pain associated with osteoarthritis.
- Frankincense: A well-known anti-inflammatory used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine, It helps prevent chemical reactions occurring in inflammation.
- Turmeric: A well-known spice important for its anti-inflammatory compounds, called curcuminoids,
- Willow bark: This supplement can ease pain and inflammation, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. It contains salicin, a chemical similar to that in aspirin. Aspirin actually contains a chemically synthesized version of willow bark’s salicin.
So, the jury is still gathering information about how to help inflammation heal. It is in our DNA. Your body will heal itself. We must figure out how to allow these building block to work automatically and efficiently.