How controlling inflammation can help reduce depression

Inflammation can be acute (high and sudden) or chronic (low and continuous).

Most doctors will immediately treat “acute inflammation”, because its symptoms are obvious and extreme (pain, discomfort, etc).

However “chronic inflammation” often goes unnoticed because symptoms are less obvious. 

These include chronic fatigue (feeling tired all the time), inability to lose weight, cravings, bloating / indigestion, headaches, auto-immune conditions (Thyroid dysfunction, Rheumatoid Arthritis), difficulty in controlling blood sugar (pre-diabetes) and much more.

BUT WHAT IS CHRONIC INFLAMMATION?

Chronic means “continuous”. 

Chronic inflammation is a low level of inflammation that never stops, so it just keeps attacking your body every minute of every day a little bit at a time. 

And since the cause chronic inflammation is often multiple triggers working together, your body will be under continuous attack 24 hours a day from “within”.

HOW TO TEST FOR INFLAMMATION

The best way to test for inflammation is to get a full blood workup that includes hs-CRP, homocysteine and fibrinogen (note however that fibrinogen will sometimes be elevated anyway for athletes during training periods).

WHAT’S THE LATEST IN RESEARCH?

Recent studies have now also revealed that chronic inflammation can also cause depression, mood swings, and other similar psychological symptoms. 

Scientists have discovered that they could reduce symptoms of depression by giving patients “anti-inflammatory” medication.

SO HOW DO I REDUCE INFLAMMATION?

The best way to reduce inflammation is to avoid the “triggers that cause inflammation” in the first place. Why treat the symptom (with medication which has numerous side-effects) when you can treat the CAUSE.

TRIGGERS OF INFLAMMATION INCLUDE

Things we eat

  • Processed foods and chemical additives. 
  • Food (meat / dairy) which comes from animals fed soy/corn & given hormones.
  • Pesticides & herbicides: buy organic when possible or wash with products which remove chemicals.
  • Too much sugar & carbs elevated blood sugar is a common cause of inflammation (test your fasting blood glucose and make sure it’s always under 90, ideally under 85mg/dl).
  • Alcohol: a very well known inflammation trigger.
  • Foods we are sensitive to: grains are a very common cause of inflammation for many people, as is dairy.
  • Always make sure your body has all the nutrients it needs to fight inflammation (that you’re not deficient in vitamins & minerals, test at least once a year)
  • Bodyfat: fat cells in humans & animals produce “inflammatory cytokines”, molecules that trigger inflammation. So losing fat automatically reduces inflammation. 

Things we expose our body to

  • Environmental toxins: beauty & skin products full of chemicals which disrupt hormonal balance (especially in women)
  • Air quality in our homes: invest in a good quality air purifier, especially in the bedroom where you spend 7-9 hours
  • Stress (physical stress, mental, sleep deprivation). Stress causes elevated cortisol (stress hormone) which automatically triggers higher blood sugar and inflammation.

WHAT CAN I TAKE TO REDUCE INFLAMMATION

There are numerous natural compounds which are known to have strong anti-inflammatory properties.

These include:

  • Curcumin (make sure you take Curcumin also includes Piperine for far better absorption)
  • Garlic extract
  • Cinnamon 
  • Anti-oxidants
  • Omega 3 (make sure it’s a high quality cold-processed supplement and always keep it in the fridge)
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