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Functional Medicine Explained
Categories: Health

Understanding Inflammation & Immune Dysfunction Part 1

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Inflammation is the human body’s natural response to protect itself against injury, infection, and illness. Trauma, exposure to foods (poor diet), microbes, and/or toxins, can commonly cause inflammation. Chronic inflammation can happen due to continued exposure to a trigger, such as when an injury hasn’t healed yet or when a person has unknown food intolerances, and due to immune system dysfunction. According to healthcare professionals, most chronic health issues are associated with chronic inflammation. Avoiding exposure to triggers and regulating inflammatory mediators released by the immune system with nutrition and physical activity can ultimately help reduce inflammation. In part 1 of the following series of articles, we will discuss inflammation and immune dysfunction.

 

What are the Symptoms of Inflammation?

 

  • swelling
  • redness
  • heat
  • pain
  • loss of function

 

What are the Common Triggers of Inflammation?

 

  • Trauma (mechanical, thermal, chemical, etc.)
  • Pathogenic microbes
  • Cellular debris (mitochondria, nucleic acids, etc.)
  • Advanced glycation end products
  • Free radicals (proteins, glucose, oxidized lipids,)
  • Toxins (organic chemicals, heavy metals, neoantigens)

 

Acute Inflammatory Response

 

The human body’s acute inflammatory response, commonly triggered by injury, infection, and illness, is important because it helps defend against invaders through the process of engulfing or chemical attacks. It is also important because it helps repair damaged tissue by sequestering the source of a trigger and activating a healing response. Moreover, the acute inflammatory response stimulates the release of leukocytes or a type of white (blood) cell, such as lymphocytes, granulocytes, monocytes, and macrophages. It also helps alter vascular rheology which changes blood flow and supports coagulation. The acute inflammatory response also promotes mucous production, smooth muscle contraction, nociceptor activation, and the psycho-neuroendocrine reflex to protect the human body.

 

Furthermore, the acute inflammatory response ultimately increases the production of:

 

  • Free radicals (oxidative burst)
    • NADPH oxidase: O2 – (superoxide)
    • Myeloperoxidase: HCIO (hypochlorous acid)
  • Inflammatory cytokines & chemokines
  • Acute-phase reactants (CRP)

 

What are Inflammatory Autacoids?

 

The human body’s acute inflammatory response also releases inflammatory autacoids. One of the most well-known inflammatory autacoids, or locally acting inflammatory mediators, is histamine. Histamine is a prototypical autacoid or a vasoactive amine, compounds which derive from histidine. It is synthesized in all tissues and it is found in high concentrations in a variety of the human body surfaces, such as in the lung mucosa, gut, and skin. It is also stored in mas cells and basophils. Histamine release is triggered by complement split products (released by trauma and/or infection), IgE ligands (food, pollens, chemicals, bacteria), environmental stressors, found in foods like fermented products (sauerkraut, cheese, sausage, sake, wine), or due to scombroid poisoning (histamine in spoiled fish).

 

Histamine commonly causes acute allergic responses, including sneezing, itching, swelling, pain, mucous production, smooth muscle contraction or bronchoconstriction, increased capillary permeability, gastric acid production (H2 receptors), and neurotransmitter (H3) stimulation which causes wakefulness and anxiety. Histamine also raises seizure threshold (antihistamines increase risk of seizure).

 

 

Inflammation helps protect the human body against injury, illness, and infection, including trauma, exposure to foods (poor diet), microbes, and/or toxins. Because most chronic health issues are believed to be associated with chronic inflammation, according to healthcare professionals, regulating the human body’s inflammatory response is important for overall health and wellness. Avoiding exposure to triggers and regulating inflammatory mediators released by the immune system through balanced nutrition and exercise or physical activity can ultimately help reduce inflammation. Chronic inflammation can activate the release of histamine which can have a variety of negative effects if it is produced in excess amounts by the human body. – Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight

 


 

 

Protein Power Smoothie

 

Serving: 1
Cook time: 5 minutes

 

• 1 scoop protein powder
• 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
• 1/2 banana
• 1 kiwi, peeled
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• Pinch of cardamom
• Non-dairy milk or water, enough to achieve desired consistency

 

Blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender until completely smooth. Best served immediately.

 


 

 

Cucumber is 96.5% Water

 

Because they’re so naturally high in water, cucumber is also very low in calories. It only has 14 calories per 100g (3.5oz). That means you can nibble on it all day without worrying about your waistline.

 


 

Inflammation is the human body’s natural response to protect itself against injury, illness, and infection. Trauma, exposure to foods (poor diet), microbes, and/or toxins, can commonly cause inflammation. Chronic inflammation can happen due to continued exposure to a trigger, such as when an injury hasn’t healed yet or when a person has unknown food intolerances, and due to immune system dysfunction. According to healthcare professionals, most chronic health issues are associated with chronic inflammation. Avoiding exposure to triggers and regulating inflammatory mediators released by the immune system with nutrition and physical activity can ultimately help reduce inflammation. In part 2 of the following series of articles, we will continue to discuss inflammation and immune dysfunction.

 

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas*& New Mexico* 

 

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T.

 

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