Inflammation: The Root Cause of Disease and What To Do About It
There are many patients who live with suboptimal health. They get annual physicals and are told everything is fine, so they go about living their normal lives.
The problem with the conventional healthcare system is that unless the body reaches a state of disease, nothing much is offered other than medications.
Even after a life altering diagnosis, it’s reactive medicine at best.
Personally, it took 18 months of unrelenting symptoms that took me in and out of the hospital to finally get diagnosed with Lupus.
It was as if the Doctors waited for the body to be diseased and when I was finally diagnosed, the treatments they offered worsened in toxicity.
The diagnosis simply allowed them more choices of drugs to treat and mask my symptoms.
This was the case 19 years ago and nothing much has changed today.
Recently, I’ve had similar cases of patients that sought out my care due to such experiences.
A patient who’s had symptoms for over 20 years with CT scans, labs, and MRI’s that indicate pathology, but not enough to be diagnosed with a disease.
She knew something was terribly wrong and has been to multiple specialists, but nothing was offered other than medications to keep symptoms under control.
The problem is that she’s become so sensitive to certain medications because of the chronicity of her inflammation.
To add to the problem, due to the pain, degeneration, hormonal imbalance, and fatigue, she’s progressively gained weight, which perpetuates her symptoms.
It’s a feed forward cycle of dysfunction.
Her labs indicate inflammation and fatty liver but not a single Doctor intervened with a clear cut lifestyle prescription to enable this patient to easily get her body back in balance.
Don’t Give Your Power Away
At the core, I believe we give too much authority and power to our Doctors.
I too used to hang on my Doctor’s every word and did exactly as I was told until I realized that was not the way to getting healthy again.
I was abundantly clear of their role in my health. It’s to manage my incurable disease, and at every visit, they never let me forget that it is incurable.
Every Doctor I’ve seen emphasized how serious Lupus can be, and the way to “treat” it was to decrease inflammation and modulate my immune system with toxic meds that could cause irreversible damage to my body, creating yet another disease.
The sad part is that many Lupus patients give too much credence to what the Doctors say and give their power away.
They become the passive bystander and let the Doctors manage their disease.
They live a life with a new identity of being a “Lupus” patient, as if it’s a badge of honor.
I was personally horrified at the potential consequence of my disease so much so that I needed to find another way.
Before I go any further, I need to let you know that if you are going through an acute flare, we need medical intervention, so it’s important to be responsible and seek care from your Doctor.
Our approach is to understand what Lupus is, how it affects our bodies, and learn how to strengthen our bodies so that we can not only recover from flares easily, but prevent flares for good.
Refer to this blog I wrote about having a healing mindset.
Inflammation as the Root Cause
Inflammation is at the core of our disease, driving pathological metabolic consequences that can potentially affect our entire body.
At some point, a triggering event such as a viral infection like the flu, Epstein Barr, or other stressful event caused our bodies to become off balance and activated an immune response.
Normally, our immune system is able to be activated, resolve any issues, and then shut off.
There are byproducts formed when the immune system destroys any invaders, and typically the body is able to eliminate these byproducts on it’s own.
But if the inflammation becomes chronic and our immune system does not shut off, then the metabolites of cellular destruction accumulate, further activating our immune system.
These metabolites are our very own DNA fragments that need to be cleared out, but over time, they further signal and activate our immune system.
And in the body’s efforts to clear out these fragments, it mistakenly begins to destroy our own DNA because it views it as toxins or pathogens.
This is how autoimmunity is initiated.
How this autoimmunity plays out is different for each of us. It depends on our genetics, lifestyle, stress levels, environment, age, gender, and overall health status.
What are the Solutions for Inflammation?
Knowing this fact, rather than believing that this is simply an “incurable” disease and accepting it, I became increasingly curious about the inflammatory process as I came to understand that if we can decrease inflammation, then logically we can alter our disease significantly.
Why couldn’t we decrease the inflammatory “signals” to our immune system by using supplements like EPA/DHA (fish oil), curcuminoids, CBD oil, LDN, mushrooms, food and diet, vitamins, minerals, and various herbs to regulate and resolve this situation, rather than using toxic immune suppressing drugs that have consequences?
The answer is you absolutely can do this.
Proof is in the lives that are being changed everyday. These are the people who believe they can heal and are doing exactly that.
Before you do anything though, the most important thing to change is your mindset and beliefs.
Did you know your beliefs have a biochemical affect in your body?
If you believe in healing and adapt a positive attitude, your body can be flushed with all the necessary chemicals we need to have an anti-inflammatory effect to match your belief.
However, if you believe you are diseased for life, then you will produce the chemicals to perpetuate the stress signals that keep you sick.
The new movie on Netflix called “HEAL” explains the miraculous power our bodies have when it comes to healing. Please watch and share with us your takeaways from the movie.
Anti-Inflammatory Mindset Shift
I strongly believe our mindset is the most important predictor of our disease outcome.
If you believe you can heal, you can. If you believe you can’t heal, then you can’t. Read how you can choose to heal here.
I hope you feel empowered enough to take actions today to begin to take steps forward to improve your health state.
I’ve been at this for 19 years going on 20. I’ve experienced serious hurdles and obstacles that seemed insurmountable, but I was able to weather the storm and rise above them stronger and healthier.
I hope you find this blog helpful and motivating enough to change your mindset and get on a path to healing and recovery.
If you enjoyed this blog, I’d love to hear from you.
See you next week.
About the Author
Dr. Connie has suffered from Lupus for the last 16 years. As a result, she discovered that a holistic minded approach to health was most beneficial for herself in battling Lupus and for her patients, who battle everything from Autoimmune Disease to Weight Loss. Dr. Connie holds a Doctorate in Physical Therapy and a Masters in Public Health (Nutrition) from the renowned Loma Linda University School of Allied Health Professions. She is also a Registered and Licensed Dietitian in the State of Georgia. Additionally, Dr. Connie is a Functional Medicine Practitioner (Certification Pending 2017), a Registered RYT-200 Yoga Teacher & School (Yoga Alliance) and Certified Pilates Teacher (Pilates Method Alliance).