Did you know that there’s a difference between “good” inflammation and “bad” inflammation? Have you ever burned yourself and gotten blisters, redness and puffiness? Those blisters, redness and puffiness are all caused by inflammation not the burn itself. See, our white cells go into action when we’re either injured or when there’s a sign of “danger” in our body. White cells produce chemicals. Those chemical’s job is to clean, throw out, heal, repair, etc. And inflammation’s job is to get us back to normal and healthy as quickly as possible.
But there’s a difference between acute inflammation and chronic inflammation. Acute inflammation is what happens to you when you burn or injure yourself. It’s also what happens when we have a flu or cold (sore throat, fever, body aches, are all caused by inflammation while our body is fighting the virus). But we live in a society that has fallen victim to chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is caused by eating the wrong foods (or food-like products). Chronic inflammation can be silent, because many times we’re not aware that we even have it until it’s too late. Obesity and heart disease are caused by chronic inflammation.
Another interesting fact is that cortisol is also known to cause inflammation. Why? Because cortisol is the “stress hormone” so when we are under ANY type of stress, be it external (like work-related, financial, relationships, etc.) or internal (such as in the case of a burn, injury, illness or infection), cortisol levels will rise in order to deal with the “emergency”.
So what causes chronic inflammation? Food – or food-like products. Processed food. Sugar and/or foods that we’re sensitive to (that we might not be aware of). The interesting thing is that many times, we have intolerances and sensitivities to foods that are actually considered “healthy”. I for example, am highly sensitive to legumes (such as beans, lentils and peanuts), as well as ALL dairy (even yogurt).
What is fascinating about food sensitivities and inflammation, is that there are several health conditions that are linked to them, such as:
So how do you find out if you have a food sensitivity? A simple way is to try an elimination diet for 30 days. I like this approach better than juice cleanses because when you juice, you remove all the beneficial fiber from the vegetables and fruit, making the juice higher in sugar. I am in no way saying that juicing is not good for you, but if you’re going to juice, make sure that you also have some good-quality protein with your juice, so you don’t end up with blood sugar imbalances.
There’s also a lab test that you can run to find out what foods your sensitive to, such as LEEP which has helped my clients find answers quickly. The good thing is that many times, you don’t have to eliminate foods forever, just during the time you’re focusing on healing. If you DO have food sensitivities, more than likely, you might have a case of leaky gut.
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