Do you know what your inflammation quotient is? I had an autoimmune disease since I was three years old and I didn’t—so don’t feel bad if you don’t. Four years ago I found out what it was and that was like a punch to the gut. I had chronic inflammation wreaking havoc inside my body and I had no clue! Sure I had chronic pain, excess weight, trouble sleeping, digestive issues, but who knew one thing was the cause?
There are two different types of inflammation: GOOD and BAD. The good inflammation (or acute) is when you cut yourself and it gets red, hot, and swollen. It’s your body’s way of saying, “hey look at me and take care of this!” Acute inflammation is how the body defends against viruses and bacteria. It helps the body repair damaged tissue.
The bad or chronic inflammation is constant low-grade inflammation in your body. It doesn’t give you the overt “look at me, there is something wrong” symptoms that acute inflammation does. This chronic inflammation can lead to allergies, asthma, IBS, Chrons Disease, and arthritis to name a few. Whether it’s the good or the bad kind, it’s a response to a problem.
As I mentioned, often with chronic inflammation you aren’t aware of the symptoms. Oh, trust me, they are there but with the crazy busy lives we lead, sometimes we don’t put two and two together. There are many tests that can be run for inflammation if you think that could be your issue. The one that saved my life was the C-reactive protein (CRP) level. My CRP was 3.77 extremely high. My doctor wanted mine to be under 1.0. I thought, “well great but how do I do that?” He handed me a pamphlet and said to try an anti-inflammatory lifestyle. Sounds easy enough, right? Not so much. I left his office with my head spinning. Where do I start?
I got home and collapsed on the couch thinking, “I know what is making me sick now, but how the heck am I going to kick it out of my body?” That’s what I needed to do. Kick it to the curb. “Okay regroup, Stef. You’ve got this. You know what you’re dealing with.”
So I researched—and by research, I mean Googled—an anti-inflammatory lifestyle. I used what I learned from my “research” and the pamphlet my doctor gave me and I decided I was going to first focus on what I could eat, not what I couldn’t. I had to make it simple to start. Organic and grass-fed meat, wild caught fish, organic and locally grown vegetables and fruit, nuts, and beans, organic dark chocolate if I wanted a treat, and a glass of red wine once in a while. Within six months, I lowered my CRP level to .65. I felt great! My pain was disappearing as well as excess weight. This was just the beginning to a whole new pain-free life for me.
Do you know your IQ? If you’re tired, have headaches, are bloated, or have low energy, this could be the underlying cause. If you could feel better, would you be willing to change your lifestyle?