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It’s What You Can’t See…

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 = chronic illness.

     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. 

   You’re probably 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




Copyright © 2015 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 08/16/18 14:12:25 -0700.

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