....Inflammation and Joint Health explained....facts about your joints exposed.....
What is inflammation?
Inflammation is the body's natural response to harm and is a vital part of the body's immune response. It allows the body to heal itself after an injury, defend itself against viruses and bacteria, and repair damaged tissue. There are two types inflammation: acute and chronic.
Acute inflammation occurs when you bang your knee, cut your finger or get a sore throat. Your immune system dispatches an army of white blood cells to surround and protect the area, creating visible redness and swelling. Acute inflammation is generally perceived as "good," because it is the body’s attempt to heal itself after an injury.
Chronic inflammation occurs in response to long term stressors in the body such as toxins, stress and excess fat cells (especially in the belly area). Chronic inflammation is generally perceived as "bad" because it is a long term stressor that can eventually cause diseases such as cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.
Acute Vs Chronic Inflammation Summary
|Acute Inflammation||Chronic Inflammation|
|Caused by||Tissue injury or pathogenic bacteria||Long term stressors such as poor diet, lack of exercise, food sensitivities and environmental toxins|
|Duration||A few days||Months to Years|
|Outcome||The tissue returns to normal or the inflammation progresses to chronic inflammation||Tissue death|
Inflammation And Joint Pain
Inflammatory joint pain is characterized by morning stiffness or stiffness that worsens with long periods of inactivity, and pain that is improved with movement or anti-inflammatory drugs.
Inflammatory chemicals from the body are released into the blood and flow to the area of joint pain. The inflammatory substances within the joint cause joint swelling, increased joint fluid and cartilage damage. The inflammatory chemicals may also activate nerves though out the body which is why joint pain is often associated with muscle pain.
What Causes Inflammation?
- Stress – Mental and physical stress raise cortisol levels, your body’s “fight or flight” hormone. During constant stress, this “fight or flight” response becomes a normal state and triggers chronic inflammation as a result of the adrenals glands constantly being stimulated.
- Poor diet –Poor muscle insulin sensitivity and high blood glucose levels are associated with inflammation.
- Food sensitivities - Specific food triggers such as casein (found in dairy) and gluten (found in wheat) can cause an inflammatory response in the digestive tract.
- Hormone imbalance - Unbalanced levels of certain hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone can cause inflammation.
- Synthetic fibers and cleaning chemicals - Many individuals will experience an inflammatory response to synthetic fibers found in products like latex, adhesives, and plastics. Chemical cleaning products, cosmetics, or air fresheners are another common source of inflammation.
Foods That Cause Inflammation
- Sugar and high fructose corn syrup
- Saturated and trans fats
- Omega-6 fatty acids – Excess consumption of omega-6s can trigger the body to produce pro-inflammatory chemicals. These fatty acids are found in oils such corn, safflower, sunflower, grapeseed, soy, and peanut.
- Refined carbohydrates – Such as white bread, white pasta and white rice.
- Mono-sodium glutamate (MSG) – An artificial flavor enhancer found commonly found in Chinese food, potato chips, frozen dinners, cold cuts, gravies, and dressings.
- Gluten – Found in wheat, rye and barley.
Foods That Reduce Inflammation
- Wild caught fish – Wild caught fish are one of the best natural sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Avocados - Avocados naturally contain anti-inflammatory compounds such as phytosterols, carotenoid antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids and polyhydroxolated fatty alcohols.
- Cruciferous vegetables – Cruciferous vegetables contain sulforaphane, a compound that blocks enzymes in the body that are linked to joint deterioration and inflammation.
- Watermelon - Watermelon contains lycopene and choline, which inhibite various inflammatory processes and neutralize free radicals.
- Walnuts – Walnuts are another great natural source of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Onions - Onions are a good source of quercetin, which inhibits histamines known to cause inflammation.
- Berries – The dark red pigments in berries contain polyphenol compounds which reduce inflammation levels in the body.
- Spices - Ginger, rosemary, turmeric, oregano, cayenne, cloves and nutmeg possess natural anti-inflammatory compounds.
Supplements That Reduce Inflammation
- Bromelain - Bromelain is a powerful enzyme found in pineapple that reduces inflammation and joint pain.
- Turmeric – Turmeric is a root that contains an anti-inflammatory compound called curcuminoids. Amazingly, a 2009 study found that turmeric eased joint pain as much as ibuprofen did in patients with arthritis .
- Devil's Claw - Devil's claw is a root that contains the natural anti-inflamattory compound iridoid glycosides.
- White Willow Bark - White willow bark contains salicin, a compound very similar to aspirin. Aspirin actually contains a chemically synthesized version of willow bark’s salicin.
- Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA)- Alpha-lipoic acid is a fatty acid that plays a key role in metabolism and energy production. It also functions as an antioxidant and reduces blood levels of several inflammatory markers such as Interleukin 6 (IL-6) and Intercellular Adhesion Molecule 1 (ICAM-1).
- Fish oil – Fish oil contains the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which are vital to good health and have strong anti-inflammatory properties. In one study, levels of the inflammation marker IL-6 were 32% lower in people who took 2 grams of fish oil, compared to a control group 
- Ginger – Ginger naturally contains the anti-inflammatory compounds gingerol and zingerone. There's also evidence supporting that ginger decreases muscle soreness after exercise.
Want help with inflammation? read more about N2Joint RX HERE.
What About Anti-inflammatory Drugs?
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as aspirin, naproxen (Aleve) and ibuprofen (Advil and Motrin) work by blocking the enzyme cyclooxygenase. This keeps the body from making a molecule called prostaglandin, which generates inflammation.
While NSAIDs may seem like the best option, they promote gastrointestinal bleeding which can lead to ulcerations. One study out of Holland found that taking aspirin on a regular basis increases the incidence of micro-bleeding in the brain—which can lead to micro-strokes. Furthermore, Aspirin has been associated with the development of the disease Reye’s syndrome in children. NSAIDs are also liver toxic which can lead to toxic hepatitis.
Fortunately, there are a lot of very effective natural anti-inflammatory supplements that will reduce inflammation without side effects.
Join the Evolutionary.org forums and have your say on inflammation! Read more about Inflammation and joints on our forums:
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- Does ibuprofen work for performance?
- Kuptniratsaikul, V., Dajpratham, P., Taechaarpornkul, W., Buntragulpoontawee, M., Lukkanapichonchut, P., Chootip, C., . . . Laongpech, S. (2014). Efficacy and safety of Curcuma domestica extracts compared with ibuprofen in patients with knee osteoarthritis: A multicenter study. Clinical Interventions in Aging,451. doi:10.2147/cia.s58535
- Dilorenzo, F. M., Drager, C. J., & Rankin, J. W. (2014). Docosahexaenoic Acid Affects Markers of Inflammation and Muscle Damage After Eccentric Exercise. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research,28(10), 2768-2774. doi:10.1519/jsc.0000000000000617
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