In our Panama City Chiropractic office a common problem that I see in patients is inflammation. Inflammation is one of the major leading health issues as it can be the source of many conditions (including back and neck pain) and diseases that we see both in the relatively young and the elderly. Hopefully this short article will help you to understand inflammation better and help you to know why it is important to stop it before it gets out of control.
The four cardinal signs of inflammation are:
Rubor or Redness
Tumor or Swelling
Calor or Heat (here is where we will be focusing)
Dolor or Pain.
There are two main types of inflammation: Acute (which is a natural response to certain traumas and is needed to help the body heal) and Chronic. For the purposes of this article we will be talking about chronic and uncontrolled inflammation. The chronic form of inflammation damages cells and proteins in our bodies and leads to a host of diseases and painful conditions from Rheumatoid arthritis to asthma to degenerative bone conditions. To keep things simple and for you to get the big picture about inflammation I want to give you two analogies about how it works in your body. The cooking of the egg and the Crock Pot.
Cooking the Egg: Have you ever cooked a raw egg? Well then you remember that the raw egg is much different than the fried or boiled egg. The difference is the application of heat changes proteins. The faster the application of heat the faster the denaturing occurs in the proteins. Remember when you cook an egg that the heat changes the proteins to a different nature.
Crock Pot analogy: The same process of protein damage and change occurs when you cook meat in a Crock Pot. The original state of the meat is raw but when the meat is subjected to even slow cooking it still over time changes the meat from raw to cooked. The meat is changed forever. It tears and cuts easier and is changed in color. (Try this yourself sometime when you have a piece of steak. Notice the texture and flexibility of the raw meat and compare that to the cooked meat and you will see how easy it is to tear and separate the cooked product. I know that we do not like to think of ourselves as meat but ask any Bear or Lion and they will tell you… we are meat to them. NOW here is the BIG PICTURE: when you have chronic inflammation “you” are cooking your meat. Chronic pockets of inflammation as seen in the picture in this article are actually cooking your tissues just like a steak or egg but at a much slower rate so instead of 6 hours in a crock pot we are cooking for 5 to 10 years. It is just on very low heat. JUST LIKE THE CROCK POT. Our bodies function best at certain temperatures and even the additional 2 or 3 degrees that inflammation brings (remember Calor-heat) added to an area are enough over time to cook your egg and remember you can’t uncook the egg.
In my next articles I will be discussing:
Inflammatory foods… gas on the fire:
Reducing inflammation naturally:
Fish oil and the pathway of omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids:
I hope this simple explanation of how uncontrolled inflammation damages your bodies tissues and why it is so important to correct this process as soon as possible to prevent long term damage.
So be sure not to let you egg get cooked or the yolk is on you.