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Most people have heard of the term inflammation, and it gets a bad rep. If you have had any chronic symptoms of discomfort, a doctor will likely prescribe drugs to reduce inflammation, or you have likely read numerous health blogs that tout natural ways to reduce inflammation. However, most people do not realize that inflammation does not simply have one catch-all cause; in fact, there are 3 different biochemical pathways to inflammation, and therefore there are also 3 different ways to de-inflame the body.
Inflammation is the body’s way of protecting itself from infection, illness, and injury; however, too much or ongoing inflammation lead to many uncomfortable symptoms and ongoing conditions. From arthritis to joint pain, many diseases are due to inflammation. Inflammation in the brain can lead to brain symptoms such as brain fog, inability to concentrate, depression, and even neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. Autoimmune diseases also lead to inflammation. Inflammation can also lead to cardiovascular disease. All chronic diseases have an element of inflammation. Stress, poor diet and hormone imbalance all leads to inflammation, which leads to the symptoms you’re experiencing. Simply put, you cannot just treat the inflammation; you absolutely must address the root cause of inflammation. In fact, people do not usually just have one way of being inflamed; often, individuals have multiple pathways of inflammation that makes isolating the source so tricky.
What are the 3 different ways of becoming inflamed?
It is first important to discuss the 3 different ways a person can become inflamed.
The first pathway is through the imbalance of T-regulatory cells. These are specialized immune cells that regulate your immune systems. Your immune system has what’s called a TH1 system that has killer cells, and a TH2 system that produces antibodies. The T-regulatory cells control both systems. For a balanced immune system, you want to support these T-regulatory cells as much as possible. Those with autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s, rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s diseases, multiple sclerosis, and Celiac disease have an immune system that has lost its balance. This essentially means that the immune system is consistently attacking itself due to the fact that the T-regulatory cells have lost their function, leading to the immune system being skewed to TH1 immune dominance or TH2 immune dominance. This dominance of one part of the immune system over the other is what ultimately leads to symptoms. When these cells have lost function, the cellular messengers of the immune system called cytokines lose control. This leads to your body to be in a state of constant inflammation. The inflammation is supposed to be short term, but when it becomes chronically inflamed, it leads to inflammatory diseases.
The second pathway of inflammation is what we call a “NFKb self-amplifying loop,” which causes a vicious inflammatory cycle. NFKb is a protein messenger that signals your DNA to trigger inflammatory responses. As we mentioned, inflammation is not necessarily good or bad, it is a healing response. When your cell is injured, chemicals are released that triggers inflammation to clear cellular debris and tell neighboring cells that there is damage and possible intruder. If and when this process occurs chronically or for too long, then you incur excessive cellular damage and oxidative stress. This leads to brain fog, depression, lethargy, anxiety, and other neurological symptoms that often don’t respond to medications.
Your prostaglandin response is the third pathway of inflammation. This pathway influenced by your omega-3 to omega-6 ratios. Omega 6 tends to promote arachidonic acid, which is pro-inflammatory, while omega 3 pathways tend to be inflammatory. The American diet is tilted towards omega 6. Some research shows this skew as up to 20:1. Ideally, your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio should be 1:1 or 1:2. If you have too much omega-6, your body is in a pro-inflammatory state. Then when you have an injury, your body will be inflamed much longer because you are already there. Omega 3 fatty acid can be found in flaxseed oil and fish oil, while trans fat and poly-unsaturated fatty acids tend to be high in omega 6. It is essential to immune health and inflammation to optimize your omega-6 to omega-3 ratios.
It is possible that you may be inflamed from all three of these pathways, and in fact, this is very common. When you don’t modulate toxicity, eat right, and detoxify your body, you trigger these underlying pathways to chronic inflammation.
What triggers the pathways of inflammation?
Lifestyle and environment such as a pro-inflammatory diet, stress, infection, toxins, autoimmune disease, chemical stress, inconsistent blood sugar issues, and injuries can cause the body to become constantly in a fight or flight response mode, catalyzing inflammatory pathways. For example, did you know an argument with your spouse can spike IL6, which is a type of inflammatory cytokine for up to 2-3 days?
When the body becomes constantly inflamed, you may develop problems such as leaky gut or brain fog. There are unfortunately no drugs or treatment for these non-medical and non-pathological conditions. Instead, your symptoms often gets labeled as chronic fatigue syndrome or IBS. However, none of these diagnosis tells you the root cause of your condition.
At the end of the day, you may just simply be chronically inflamed, by one, or more than one of the pathways. For example: if you take fish oil, it may not fix the problem you face, because it may not be addressing the correct pathway. Or, it may fix one pathway, but what about the other pathways? You must localize which pathway of inflammation is plaguing you, and address all pathways of inflammation.
What if we have inflammation from all 3 pathways? How do we address all 3?
We have created the D-Inflame Kit. This has nutraceutical compounds that address all 3 pathways. For example, to support the first pathway, we support with glutathione, one of the most important nutrients to support T-regulatory cell functions. Glutathione Synergy, which contains 2 different types of glutathione and N-Acetyl Cystein that may support T-regulatory cells which are often decreased in function in those with autoimmune. To address the NfKb pathway, we use Turmeric Potency, which may help wind down the vicious cycle of inflammation. This product is unique because it is formulated in a fat soluble form because turmeric has to be transferred in fat which increases its efficacy. For the last pathway, we shift the ratio of Omega fatty acid to favor Omega 3. We use Omega Pure Pro, an essential fatty acid that contains a high concentration of DHA and EPA.. This thoughtfully created, scientifically-backed bundle of products will effectively support all 3 different pathways of inflammation. This will in turn support cellular health, chronic pain, chronic inflammation, athletic injuries, and autoimmune reactions. You can save 10% when you purchase the bundle rather than buying the products individually.
It is important to be targeted in your supplements protocol, instead of just taking everything on the list that is good for you. Consulting with an experienced functional medicine doctor can short cut the process and get faster results because he or she can help identify these cellular pathways and the root causes.
Schedule a 15-minute free discovery call to learn how our virtual functional medicine consultation program can help you identify the root cause and reverse your symptoms. Click here to schedule: https//askdrkan.com/get-started.
The above information and statements are for education and information purposes only and have not been evaluated by the FDA. The information and products mentioned above are not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease. Please consult a qualified healthcare professional for the management of a medical condition or disease.
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