Inflammation diagnosis and treatment
Picking up any basic science book would teach that inflammation is identified by “swelling, redness, heat and pain”, but this is simply outdated and only pinpoints a small category of trauma and infections. The truth is that inflammation is either promoted or regulated by everything our bodies encounter. The foods we eat can either drive a pro-inflammatory state or an anti-inflammatory state. Our environment can either promote inflammation or help regulate it. Our sleep can either help promote healing or inhibit it. Exercise can either promote a “de-flamed” state or our sedentary lifestyle can promote an inflamed, diseased state. While there are many factors controlling inflammation in our bodies, there is one truth concerning inflammation that everyone should know. And that is that almost every disease process we can name has the same cause – inflammation. How that inflammation displays itself in each person is largely dependent on our genetics. One inflamed body may develop diabetes while the next may be cancer or thyroid disease, all based on our genetics. This is why not everyone with the BRCA gene develops breast cancer but also why a poor diet and lifestyle puts us at risk for the exact same diseases of our parents and grandparents. What makes this truth so powerful is knowing that if we can help our bodies regulate inflammation, we can help manage (or sometimes even reverse!) almost any disease process. There are also ways to assess total body inflammation with blood markers like high sensitivity-CRP, which measures a protein found in the blood when there is inflammation or infection. These markers are great for monitoring progression of treatment in any disease process, and we can help find those triggers promoting disease progression.