Recently, someone I knew died of a sudden heart attack. He was 41 with a wife and three kids. He had a bigger-than-life personality and was someone who everyone was happy to know. It’s sad and he will be missed. He wasn’t a patient of mine and I didn’t know him well enough to know all his intimate life details. I was, however, able to make some general observations. He was overweight, especially around the middle, he lost his dad less than a year ago, his gums were usually red, and his teeth never really looked clean. The truth is, I don’t know exactly what lead to his heart attack and death. What I do know is inflammation and how it affects us. To me it was obvious, this man, my friend, was inflamed.
The individual body responses to the inflammatory gene expression are dependent on multiple variables like environmental toxins, stress, leaky gut, diet, food sensitivities/allergies, pathogenic infections, genetic SNP’s, etc. A poor diet is one of the largest contributing factors to systemic inflammation but is accompanied by a load of other inflammatory factors. Oils like canola and vegetable oils (any oil with a high omega 6 content) cause inflammation in the body. Sugar, preservatives, flavor enhancers like monosodium glutamate, food coloring, heavy metals, environmental chemicals like glyphosate, and pharmaceuticals also contribute to inflammation. Poor sleep, stress, emotions kept in the body, and being sedentary are additional inflammation sources. These factors are triggers causing different host expressions which may progress to pathology if our physiology cannot dampen the disease process and allow the body to heal naturally. This is systemic inflammation.
Depending on the irritation, the body responds to the trigger with different immune system proteins that cause different types of reactions in the body. Check out the Celsus One™ report offered by OralDNA® Labs for insight into the genetic inflammatory response. Is the patient pro-inflammatory? Do they have a normal inflammatory response? The question begs to be asked; what can be done to keep the scales from tipping in the direction of disease and to keep the body healthy? Remember the “nutrients” I mentioned previously? Taking inventory of what we are consuming in all the ways is a great place to start. According to Catherine Shanahan MD, everything we do affects how our genes perform. Perhaps one area of inflammation that we have the most control over is our nutrition which we will discuss in more detail in