It’s What You
By Dianne Pettis
The Truth Contributor
Would you keep your
hand over an open flame, though it’s burning your skin? Or
would you intentionally pour acid onto an open wound? Of
course not! That would burn, right? That would cause a lot
of damage that could change your body forever.
Even if the burn, or acid
happened accidentally, surely you wouldn’t want to
experience that pain again. I would imagine that you would
avoid those situations at all costs.
That’s sort of
graphic, but think INFLAMMATION. If your body experiences a
burn, or anything harmful, your body attempts to protect
itself. As a part of the acute healing process, the body
tries to remove whatever is trying to harm it, then heal
itself. In the case of a burn, pain results because
chemicals are released that stimulate nerve endings.
Capillaries in the
area fill up with blood, attempting to flush the area. This
extra blood causes redness and swelling; the area is
irritated. Next in the healing process, comes pus when the
immune system is activated. Then granulation (new) tissue
forms. In the short term, inflammation is a good thing. Our
wounds would never heal without the inflammation process.
The same process
happens on the inside of our bodies when there is an
irritant, such as a poison, bacteria, virus, toxin, or a
damaged cell. You just can’t see the protection, healing,
and inflammatory process that goes on – but it happens
continuously. When there is a short-term or acute irritant,
the body handles it.
At times you may
experience a little heartburn, a little headache; or an
increase in pulse; but most of the time you don’t notice the
effects of the inflammation process. The body is designed to
handle an issue, then go back to normal.
When there is a
constant or repeated offense to the body, that inflammation
process persists. Just as if you were to keep putting your
hand over that open flame; it never gets a chance to totally
heal. The tissue, the organ, the cell, the blood vessel,
the nerve - becomes damaged.
Sometimes there is
irreversible damage. This is the cause of chronic illnesses
such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, some
cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, autoimmune disorders,
and inflammatory bowel disease. Chronic inflammation =
Some of the irritants
that can affect us are difficult to avoid in today’s world.
The thing we can control is what we put into our bodies in
the form of what we call food. One of the top “foods” that
cause inflammation is sugar. In diabetes for example, it’s
the high amount of circulating glucose (sugar) that damages
the nerves in eyes – causing blindness; and in hands and
feet – causing neuropathy. It damages blood vessels –
causing high blood pressure and kidney damage – leading to
dialysis or amputation of limbs.
Other top offending
“foods” are (stop reading now if you really don’t want to
know), most common cooking oils, trans fats, deep fried
foods, dairy products, commercially raised animal meats, red
meats, processed meats (bacon, lunch meats, hot dogs), meats
grilled at high temperatures (bar-b-que), alcohol, refined
grains, and artificial food additives.
wondering what you CAN eat. I would suggest that you look at
your current health situation. Do you have one or more of
the chronic illnesses, I mentioned above? Do you notice that
you don’t feel quite right after you eat certain foods?
Would you really keep putting your hand over that flame if
it was constantly burning your hand?
I know it’s not
realistic to go ‘cold turkey’, and eliminate all your
favorite foods. But, if you’re serious about making some
positive health changes; pick one ‘food’ that you will
change, eliminate, or cut down on. I’m sure you’ll notice
some beneficial changes.
You can’t see the
inflammation process, but you sure can feel the effects of
chronic inflammation. You’re body’s talking to you; saying,
“Work with me!” Use wisely, your power to choose.
Dianne Hart Pettis, MS, FNP-BC