How to reverse general pain, stiffness and inflammation 

We experience pain as we age. This can be stiffness and joint issues as well as auto immune diseases like arthritis, asthma, IBS, bloating, lupus etc.  Pain is often the pre-cursor to diabetes and obesity. Lack of movement can then follow which magnifies the problem by a sedentary lifestyle. If any of these sounds like you, we can fix it, but it will take more than just swallowing a pill to get the fundamental reasons why this has happened, and subsequent reversal of those issues. 

Ask your doctor for a set of blood work. In particular a test for C Reactive Protein (CRP) would be helpful. This will show a level of inflammation present in the body. This way we can see where we are now and where we can get, after making changes to lifestyle and diet.

It would also be good to know your fasting glucose numbers. On waking with an empty stomach we should be comfortably under 100, preferably around mid-80’s. Also it would be helpful to know if you have any insulin resistance. You can check this by determining the rate at which your blood sugar returns to a normal range 2 hours after eating a meal. Two hours after eating, your blood sugar should be back down to the sub 135 number or even better under 100.  If 2 hours after eating your blood sugar is over 140 then you may well be pre-diabetic which is easily reversed by adopting changes in your diet and lifestyle. Even full blown diabetes is managed and reversed by adopting more aggressive lifestyle changes. 

It is well know that processed foods and refined sugars are at the root cause of inflammation and possibly top of that list is wheat and bread. Check the label of any bread product and you will see up to 25 different ingredients; the majority of which are likely to provoke an inflammatory response. This would apply to nearly all bought breads regardless of whole-wheat or white, since the flour is ground down to refined grains and are akin to eating raw sugar. The huge insulin spike which follows will inflame the gut lining and this is where inflammation starts and auto immune diseases thrive.

A simple slice of toast can be very inflammatory. When you also factor in the sugar spike and insulin required to get this spike down, it would be worth making your own bread from a natural unprocessed source. 

The links here can be used if viewing the Costa Cálida Chronicle online. This link is to alternative breads you can make which will immediately eliminate one potential source of the inflammation.  https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-ways-to-replace-bread#TOC_TITLE_HDR_2

Any food containing a label is usually heavily processed and as such the best source of inflammation possible. The added chemicals as we already know are highly inflammatory and this would include things like a pizza where chemicals and seed oils are also added to ensure ‘shelf life’. Oils in any processed food are very high in Omega 6 (Omega 3 is anti-inflammatory) and this is known to cause inflammation. Hidden oils used in nearly all processed foods are a major source of inflammation. 

If you continue to eat dairy foods, try to get the organic variety as this may induce lower inflammatory markers.  The link below is an explanation of how some dairy could also be causing more inflammation

The ‘fasting mimicking diet’ described in chapter 16 works like a complete body reset. We switch from sugar-burning to fat-burning and get into ketosis where ‘autophagy’ takes place. This is where worn out cells are replaced and new stem cells created. The ‘5 day fast’ should make a big difference to pain levels once we reduce the inflammatory foods that could be causing this. For more details on this ‘5 day fast’, take a look at Dr Walter Longo’s research and how amazing this is. This link to a 4 minute video shows the science of how just one fast every 3 months can have long lasting effects.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4qLPCxJUU0

Cronometer.com (FREE) would be helpful to chart your normal food intake for a day. This way we can check the macro (fats, protein, fibre and carbohydrates) and micro nutrients (vitamins and minerals) you are getting from your existing diet. You should be careful to add everything that would be typical for you on a daily basis. Once you go to cronometer.com it looks like the screen shot below. You simply click on ‘add food’ and then enter everything that you eat for the day. The result should look similar to the chart below with no obvious deficiencies or excesses. 

We also need to be aware of lactic acidosis. There is a huge amount of research and information on this. Blood PH balance is strictly regulated in a tight range, but once the PH dips to the lower regions we become more acidic – this too can provoke inflammatory responses. The Wim Hof breathing technique before sleep and again first thing in the morning will correct this to a more alkaline state. This also helps with the lymphatic system. This is vital and responsible for clearing out the ash from burnt calories and general waste from the process of digestion. If the lymphatic system becomes sluggish we get weight gain and this is a sign of stored toxicity. The use of the diaphragm in the breathing exercises adds to the lymphatic flow being more effective at clearing away the toxic load.

The elephant in the room with general pain however will always be stress-related. Most of us are bombarded with stresses on a daily basis and it can start the moment you wake up. We tend to react to stress differently as we age. If our lives are much simplified once we are more financially secure, our relationship can be strong, we have a good family network and enjoy hobbies, then finding no tea bags when desiring a nice ‘cuppa’ could actually be a stresser! 

Stress can cause inflammation to flare up?

The longer you are exposed to stress, the more destructive the inflammation can become. Stress triggers hormonal changes and this prevents a balanced and appropriate immune response. Many studies show people with Rheumatoid Arthritis identified stress as a trigger for disease flare-ups.

There is no better way to realistically combat stress than good breathing techniques like that described in chapter 8.

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