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Causes: Silent Inflamation


Silent Inflammation
The study of inflammation has evolved rapidly in recent years, and the results have overturned much of what todays physicians learned in medical school about the origins of diseases as diverse as atherosclerosis, cancer, and Alzheimers disease.

The literal definition of inflammation is to "set on fire."  Inflammation has long been recognized as the bodys principal line of defense against infection, causing a constellation of local and systemic signs and symptoms: redness, heat, swelling, and pain.  It is the life-saving component of your immune system that helps fend off bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microbial invaders.  It also helps damaged tissue repair itself from injury. Without inflammation, we would be sitting ducks in a very hostile world, with no way to repair the damage constantly being inflicted on us.

When Inflammation Persists

You probably think of wellness as simply the absence of chronic disease.  If you are not sick, then you must be well.  That definition simply is inadequate because it can take years, if not decades, for diseases like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimers to finally emerge.  Having increased levels of silent inflammation means you are not in a state of wellness

Silent inflammation is simply inflammation that falls below the threshold of perceived pain.  Ironically, while inflammation is the life-saving component of your immune system that helps fend infections and helps damaged tissue repair itself from injury, it also has a dark side if it is not turned off.  Sometimes the whole complex process doesnt shut down.  Instead, it persists and transforms into chronic silent inflammation. This constant generation of silent inflammation may be due to a genetic predisposition or a lifestyle factor like obesity, poor diet, or smoking.  Healthy tissues, cells, and blood vessels come under continuing attack.

Silent inflammation, also known as chronic low-grade inflammation, can smolder silently within your body for decades without causing any obvious outward problems.  It can activate potentially harmful genes.  Overall, it erodes your health and takes years from your life. Nearly 80% of our healthcare costs go to pay for disease conditions strongly associated with silent inflammation.

Silent inflammation is responsible for:

●    Arterial damage.
●    Destabilized cholesterol deposits in blood vessels.
●    Destruction of nerve cells in the brain. (e.g. Alzheimers Disease or Dementia)
●    Depression of the immune system. (Infections, Cancer)
●    Promotion of cancers.
●    Activation of / or damage to DNA genes.

Causes of Chronic Inflamation include:

●    SMOKING AND OTHER ENVIRONMENTAL TOXINS: promote inflammation and oxidative stress.
●    STRESS: Responding to events in our life with stress raises cortisol levels. Cortisol is the link between stress and inflammation.  While cortisol is intended to be a net anti-inflammatory hormone, when produce to chronically elevated levels, cortisol accelerates inflammation by increasing insulin levels, body fat, and by reducing lean body mass.
●    HORMONE IMBALANCE: Hormones are the primary system for controlling cellular functions, turning cell functions and genetic expression on and off.
●    INACTIVITY:  Inactivity creates a vicious cycle of promoting inflammation, which promotes loss of muscle strength and mass.
●    DIET: The food we eat is the most important source of silent inflammation for most of us, upsetting the balance of hormones.
●    FREE RADICALS AND OXIDATIVE STRESS
●    GLYCATION (Chronic elevations of blood sugar) To get an idea of what glycation does inside your body imagine what happens when you bake a ham.  First, you might coat the ham with honey or brown sugar. Then you bake it in the oven.  Remember what the outer surface of the ham is like when you slice into it after it has finished baking?  The surface has suddenly changed; it is thick and tough.  Why?  The ham is protein, for the most part.  You coated it with sugar (glucose) and then baked it. Guess what happens to the blood vessels of your body when subject to high blood sugars, body temperature, and time?  You got it... Loss of elasticity, rigidity and ultimately high blood pressure and its disease states.
●    OBESITY: Fats cells are not benign.  Aside from the mechanical stress on our skeleton, fat cells secrete hormones that create chronic inflammation.
●    EXCITOTOXICITY: Chronic Stress, Artificial Sweetners (Aspartame), Toxins, Others...
●    FATTY ACID IMBALANCE: A surgeon general report noted that excesses or imbalances of fats are related to 70% of all deaths in the U.S.  This is a strong statement to make. Yet it points out what may be one of the most fundamental problems we face in this country. The problem with fats in particular relates to essential fatty acids and the ratio of healthy to harmful fats (which give rise to specific hormones known as eicosanoids that can get out of balance.)