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Inflammation is usually caused by tissue injury. Pain, redness, heat, swelling or the loss of motion, are symptoms of inflammation. In the skin we see Inflammation in such conditions as Rosacea, Acne and Psoriasis and Eczema.
As a result of inflammation, fluid may accumulate in specific parts causing swelling, and in the body cause compression of nerves and thus creating excruciating pain. Inflammation is the skin & body’s protective response to tissue injury, pain or to an immune challenge and chronic. Acute Inflammation occurs when the skin or body is alarmed by harmful stimuli (i.e. injury or illness). Chronic inflammation becomes progressively worse over a period of time. The tissue at the site of the inflammation is in the process of being destroyed while trying to heal at the same time.
Research suggests that Vitamin D deficiency may contribute to the development of inflammation. However, there are several other factors, which may be viewed as triggers for inflammation.
The following are examples:
- Food Allergies: Gluten and Casein promote inflammation in the gut. Foods such as corn, soy, safflower oil, sunflower oil, strawberries, egg, cheese, peanuts and sugar may be responsible for instigating inflammation within the digestive system.
- Toxic chemicals/fumes that are absorbed through the nose membrane and skin reached bloodstream and caused painful conditions within the body.
- Polluted Water
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (joint pains)
- Autoimmune Diseases (Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus)
- Digestive problems (support proper digestion with herbs & probiotics)
- Stress (emotional/physical)
- Improper posture
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Obesity may cause inflammation in swollen areas
- Hormonal imbalance (women in menopause which develop osteoporosis)
- Cigarette smoking
- Allergy to plastics or latex
- Inadequate nutrition: foods high in sugar, processed or fatty foods aggravate inflamed conditions.
Lifestyle changes which may inhibit Inflammation:
- Exercise regularly
- Engage in yoga, meditation and swimming for stress relief
- Consume heart-healthy foods (Omega-3’s)
- Therapeutic massages with olive oil/essential oils
- Hot/cold compresses
Turmeric and natural solutions for treating Inflammation
There are several conventional therapies, which may alleviate the symptoms and severity of chronic inflammation. Alternative therapies seem to provide the least side effects and may yield long-term benefits.
Curcumin is an active ingredient found in Turmeric and is the best known of the curcuminoids. Currently, Curcumin is one of the most highly researched natural substances. Studies have found that curcumin is effective in reducing inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Curcumin prevents pain flare-ups and works as an NSAID (pain reliever) but without adverse side effects. Curcumin therapy minimizes joint swelling, stiffness, promotes flexibility and may help to relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
Curcumin has the potential to reverse chronic inflammatory symptoms, thus providing relief from degenerative diseases. Curcumin is also a powerful antioxidant. Recent and promising animal studies suggested that curcumin has anti-cancer and neuroprotective properties.
Unfortunately, curcumin from dietary turmeric is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream. Dietary fat and black pepper can enhance absorption. To ensure a therapeutic dose is achieved, good quality supplements will be in a form that is easily absorbed like a complex of Curcumins to improve absorption.
Besides curcumin, there are a number of other natural substances, which can also be used to help ease inflammation. Fish oil, Vitamin C and green superfoods with anti-inflammatory reds are noteworthy:
Fish Oil: Treats ailments associated with ageing. Eases joint pain and swelling. May prevent nerve damage in patients with diabetes and decrease inflammation associated with nerve disorders. Along with protecting the skin and cellular membranes from oxidative stress, this oil is essential for lowering the ration of omega 6’s in the diet which are often plentiful.
It is a good practice to include supplements such as Vitamin C and Curcumin when trying to maintain an anti-inflammatory regiment.
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