Monday, June 20, 2011

Fighting inflammation - tips from Health Monitor.com

I found this article in one of the most recent newsletters from HealthMonitor.com and thought I'd share. Don't know about you, but staving off inflammation is always an issue for me. It can crop up at anytime...so I'm always on the hunt for ways to help. Hope you find these tips useful!

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Chronic inflammation may contribute to many illnesses, including arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease and some forms of cancer. Fortunately, you can fight back.

Reviewed by Health Monitor Medical Advisory Board

1. Lose weight
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), if you're overweight or obese, losing 5%-10% of your weight may decrease inflammation throughout your body.

2. Fight back with food
The good news is that there are many foods that actually fight the inflammation process, including:

•Green tea
•Nuts
•Deep-sea fish, including mackerel, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon
•Ginger
•Curcumin, the active ingredient in the spice turmeric
•Nigella, a spice used in Indian food, has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and may fight cancer
Several studies also have found that resveratrol, a substance that's abundant in red wine, grapes and peanuts, appears to be a potent anti-inflammatory.

Note from Despite Lupus - I actually suspect that the opposite is true for me. The last few times I had a glass of wine, I experienced a case of angioedema shortly thereafter. Might or might not be related...but since I noticed the pattern several years back, I haven't touched red or white wine. And no swellings since. Interesting, huh?

3. Bring down your blood sugar
While the above foods are anti-inflammatory, other foods should be avoided. Those that increase inflammation include:

•Simple starches, particularly those made with white flour, potatoes and rice
•Sugar
These foods can increase levels of blood glucose and C-reactive protein (CRP), a key inflammatory marker. High CRP indicates that inflammation is present in the same way that a fever indicates you have a virus or flu.

4. Get more shut-eye
Those who get less than seven or eight hours of sleep per night are prone to chronic inflammation. If you're having trouble getting that much sleep, doctors suggest that you:

•Establish a consistent bedtime
•Avoid caffeine for eight hours before bed
•Don't bring work into the bedroom
•See you physician if you still have problems falling asleep or staying asleep.

5. Walk it off
Exercise can be one of your best weapons against chronic inflammation. You can reduce inflammation levels by simply walking 10 minutes per day. Benefits include improved heart health and reduced obesity.

"Studies show that people who are active have healthier joints for a longer time," says Tim Church, MD, PhD, who's done many such studies. "Physical activity is anti-inflammatory."

6. Hit the drugstore
Aspirin fights chronic inflammation. It also can reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease. But be careful—doctors recommend limiting aspirin to a child-sized dose, as it can cause stomach bleeding.

If aspirin isn't right for you, ask your doctor whether you should consider anti-inflammatory supplements, including:

•Ginseng
•Quercetin
•Ginkgo biloba

Talk to your doctor before taking any over-the-counter products,including aspirin supplements, because of possible interaction with prescription medications. Also, discuss the option of using a prescription anti-inflammatory if you have a chronic condition.

5 comments:

  1. Thanks!
    I agree with you on the wine. Every time I have a glass of red my joints swell, so I started to drink white instead. But even that seems to have started making me swell and seemed to have started my current, so far 5 day, flare. I read somewhere, might have been the Lupus Book, that red wine induces swelling and every other lupie I've spoken to says the same thing.

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  2. Yeah, I know. I hear the same thing from a lot of people. So good to hear that we're not alone! Thanks for stopping by...SG

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  3. These articles have got complete sense without confusing the readers.
    Danny

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  4. Fantastic article. Can I ask what the Lupus Book is?

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  5. Of course u can! It's a fabulous book on lupus by Dr.Daniel Wallace.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0199929408/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1415570669&sr=8-1&pi=SY200_QL40
    Another really good lupus reference book just came out this year - called The Lupus Encyclopedia, by Dr. Donald Thomas. Check them both out if you can! Thanks for commenting!-

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