Inflammation and Chronic Disease
In years long gone, we used to die relatively quickly from an infection. Now, since the wide-spread use of antibiotics, we die slowly of chronic non-infectious diseases.
In westernised countries, our high tech health systems keep us alive but with progressive unwellness, and this is at a huge cost to the country's health budget. These chronic, non-infectious diseases include things such as heart disease, strokes, hypertension, dementia, diabetes, and cancer.
However, all these different diseases are produced by the same three biochemical processes:
- Oxidative stress
- Immune dysfunction
If we can stop these 3 processes occurring in our bodies, we are very unlikely to suffer from the resulting chronic, non-infectious diseases.
In this article, I will discuss inflammation.
Many things can cause inflammation in the cells of our body. And a lot of the above diseases will also cause high inflammation.
Cancer, auto-immune diseases, Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Poly-Myalgia-Rheumatica all cause very high inflammation.
Two of the greatest risk factors for females:
- Cancer of the Breast, are NOT genetic, but due to a combination of being overweight (leads to chronic low grade inflammation)
- Drinking excess alcohol (creates oxidative stress)
How many women over the age of 40, do both these two things?
The risk of Chronic disease can be driven by high inflammation, or from low grade inflammation which lasts for many many years.
Low grade chronic inflammation is often caused by common, seemingly insignificant things like Irritable Bowel syndrome, Periodontitis, and Obesity. Inflammation, or the-risk of getting cellular Inflammation, can also be genetically determined:
- We have pro inflammatory genes (which idealy need to be inactive), and
- anti-inflammatory genes (which need to be activated)
Medically, we can now test for these pro-& anti-inflammatory genes through FIT GENES, and then if needed- switch the anti-inflammatory genes on ,and switch the pro-inflammatory genes off. This new frontier of medicine is known as Nutri-Genomics or Epigenetics.
The best blood test to have to determine the level of cellular inflammation in your body, is the HS-CRP test. Most GP's test the CRP and not the HS-CRP.
HS stands for "high sensitivity". The CRP result will come back as <5 or <1; whereas the hsCRP will give the exact value, eg; 3.8, or -0.6
My very healthy patients regularly have HS CRP results of 0.1!!! The lower the CRP, the healthier that person is, and lower the risk of getting a chronic non-infectious disease.
But to be sure of staying well as you age, you also need to aim for NO Oxidative Stress, and a perfectly normal functioning Immune system.
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