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What Does Inflammation Mean?

We hear more and more about inflammation, but do you ever ask yourself, what does that really mean Today?

I will answer the questions, what is the meaning of inflammation?

How does inflammation occur in the body?

Can inflammation be beneficial and negative?

And can inflammation be supported by supplements or food only?

And lastly, what does inflammation or how does inflammation play the role in our immune system and our gut health?

Inflammation is a natural defense mechanism of our body that responds to an injury or infection.

It's really a complex biological process that involves various cells, chemicals, as well as immune responses in our body.

So therefore, understanding the meaning of inflammation will help us understand the role it plays in our body and in our health.

But first, let me introduce myself. My name is Marcy Vasque. I'm a functional medicine nutritionist with Oswald Digestive Clinic, where I see a lot of clients who struggle with inflammation.

I'm going to link our website down here where you can easily make an initial appointment if inflammation is something that's bothering you.

And as well, I'll link our free guide to 5 ways to improve your gut health here.

[Video Transcript Below Video - it is the same information]

What Does Inflammation Mean?

So back to answering the question of what does inflammation mean?

Inflammation is really the body's protectant from itself against pathogens, infections, or injuries.

You'll often see it characterized as a bit of swelling or redness or irritation. So if you've cut yourself and you can watch that get red and sore, that's our immediate response of our immune system trying to get to the point of rid the infection or injury and so that your body has a chance to heal.

Inflammation occurs in our body when our body detects an infection or an injury and it actually releases these chemicals that helps to trigger our immune system response.

And as I mentioned, they go to the site where that's see that swelling or redness. And really what it's doing is it's increasing our blood flow and fluids so that our body has that chance to do the healing process.

Inflammation Process

And the process of inflammation is really quite fascinating.

It actually has several stages. And the first stage is what I just mentioned a moment ago, is that it starts with a chemical release.

And these chemicals are histamines and prostaglandins, and these chemicals actually create our blood vessels to dilate and become more permeable.

When our blood vessels are more permeable, it helps the immune cells be able to enter more easily and work more effectively.

So our immune cells, which include our white blood cells, will engulf and destroy the pathogen and clear out any damaged cells.

Now, the role of inflammation in our immune system is very critical in response to any kind of pathogen or injury.

So this immune response actually helps to isolate any pathogens, eliminate them, and then also prevent the spread of infection and increase our ability for tissue repair.

So you can see that without some sort of inflammation, our body would be very much compromised in the way that it heals and it protects itself. But there's a couple different kinds of inflammation. And so there is acute inflammation and then there's chronic inflammation.

Inflammation Is Good?

Now, acute inflammation is where you get a cut or a scrape, and that's where you'll see that big reaction quite quickly. And then it dissipates.

Why Is Inflammation Bad

And chronic inflammation is where we have this low grade inflammatory response going on in our body.

And chronic inflammation can really be around for years from, and it's kind of in response to any long-term infections, autoimmune disorders, as well as just a prolonged exposure to toxins.

Now, in response to the acute or chronic inflammation that we might have in our body, there are different symptoms of what inflammation might look or feel like.

Now, as I said, if it's more of an acute inflammatory response, you're going to have a lot more of that redness or swelling, maybe pain and some heat or warmth at the site, maybe even loss of function, but in a more systemic inflammatory response, this is where you're going to oftentimes see things like fever or prolonged fatigue.

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You may also see lack of appetite or other symptoms like headaches.

So if things are getting worse and persisting, obviously you want to be seeing a medical practitioner to make sure everything is okay, but really checking in and noticing is it acute inflammatory response or is it more of this long-term chronic systemic response.

Body Inflammation Causes

Now along with those MI or myriad of different symptoms that you might have from inflammation, inflammation's also caused by many things as well.

Obviously what we initially see, an acute injury or infection, but also sometimes in these chronic inflammatory states that could be from a residual viral infection or even a bacterial infection.

And these long-term, chronic inflammatory states just sit there and constantly create our body to feel inflamed and just not working well, always kind of setting off that immune response as the body is trying to heal itself. And at Oswald Digestive Clinic, of course, we see a lot of individuals that have inflammation in their guts and gut inflammation can be caused by many things as well.

And I think some of the things that we see the most are going to be just infections, pathogens, it could be from autoimmune disorders or even caused from food sensitivities.

And common gut inflammation will look and feel like constipation or diarrhea, abdominal pain, also bloating, gas. And so these are just ways that your gut is trying to tell you, Hey, I am inflamed. I need some help.

So of course, if you feel like your gut is screaming at you and it's inflamed, you're going to want to figure out what you need to do.

Gut Inflammation Diet

And there are some simple techniques that you can actually put in right today.

And of course, you know what I'm probably going to say being a nutritionist is that look at your diet.

If you are eating a lot of processed packaged foods, that's going to definitely inflame your gut. So you want to get to eating more whole real foods, more proteins, more healthy fats, vegetables and fruits, and definitely hydrating.

These things can be extremely impactful when we have gut inflammation.

In addition to that, making sure that you have a good and healthy microbiome.

Sometimes with a lot of gut inflammation, we are going to have a compromised gut microbiome.

That means the environment where we have all our flora in our intestinal tract. And so you can always try implementing fermented foods or even supplementing with a probiotic.

Now, those are just a few ways specific to the gut that you can bring down inflammation.

Chronic Inflammation Treatment

But what if your gut feels okay, but you feel like you've got a lot more inflammation just in your body, your muscles, your joints, maybe you're having a lot of headaches, and so what are some ways that we can treat inflammation?

And most of the time it's really going to be coming back to number one, getting to the root cause of what is inflaming you?

Is it environmental toxins?

Are you having food sensitivities?

Do you have a leaky gut?

There's so many things that may be contributing to inflammation in the body, but particularly what I mentioned a moment ago about our diet, if you're really consuming a diet high in processed packaged foods, damaged fats, high fructose corn syrup, or even an excess alcohol can be creating a lot of inflammation in the body.

So going back to the basics, dietarily is going to be of one place that everybody can begin. If your inflammation doesn't seem like it's calming down, then maybe it's time to work with a practitioner who specializes in whatever symptom you may be having, whether it's gut health or it may even be just muscle or bone pain.

But a lot of times I see a lot of clients that have muscle and bone pain, and then you take a look at the diet or their gut and well, it makes a lot of sense why they might have.

That could be a lack of mineral and vitamin deficiencies.

So just really getting back to the root can help you eliminate what is creating the inflammation in the first place.

And in addition to dietary changes, and I always recommend you do that first.

There are supplements that can be helpful when it comes to inflammation, and some of 'em will be, ginger is amazing, so you can supplement with ginger or you can just put it in your food.

Supplementing with omega fatty or omega fish oil is one of the best anti-inflammatories out there can be super helpful (here's a quality option).

Also, the herb turmeric is going to be an anti-inflammatory herb that can be very helpful (here's a quality option).

So you can supplement with it via capsule or powder or another.

It's also, you could just put it on your food just like the ginger.

And so utilizing some of these easy supplementation or just dietary food supports can help remove or dispel some of that inflammation in your body.

So just to sum up the video today, inflammation, like I said, is something we hear about all the time and sometimes even with clients.

I feel like I'm saying inflammation all the time, and it's such a broad term, but I hope today help to give you more information about acute inflammation, chronic inflammation, and how inflammation actually works in the body as of course being beneficial.

But that chronic long-term inflammation is where we're really going to see a lot more disease states and a lot more symptoms.

And so taking a look at what your symptoms may be and acting accordingly, change your diet if you need to, maybe you need to throw in some of those anti-inflammatory supplements, and if none of that really seems to be working, then again reach out to a functional practitioner to help you get to the root cause of what your inflammation is.

Thanks for watching.

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If you'd like to explore any of this information further or obtain an individualized nutrition plan, you can schedule an initial appointment at our clinic.  We also take insurance and some of our clients get full coverage, which is great.

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Or you can just start by downloading our FREE GUIDE: 5 WAYS TO IMPROVE GUT HEALTH  

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