How FOOD Causes Inflammation

Disease-or-illness-caused-by-inflammationEveryone has been exposed to banging their hand or foot into an object and witnessing the swelling that follows. This swelling is also known as an inflammatory response. The body sends blood to the area of injury and “walls it off” to limit the area of damage. Once the body contains the area of damage, it sends in the “clean up crew” (white blood cells) to get rid of the damaged tissue and provide the groundwork for repair. Swelling reduces to normal and complete function is returned. This is the basic story of inflammation that most people understand.
What about systemic inflammation? This is a process where the whole body undergoes an inflammatory response. There are several reasons this can happen, but FOOD is a primary culprit for this condition. One of the biggest differences between hand and foot inflammation vs. systemic inflammation is that one is visible and the other isn’t (in many cases.) Hand and foot inflammation is likely painful; systemic inflammation may have NO EARLY SYMPTOMS. This is a major reason why systemic inflammation is so dangerous. It can develop gradually over time, or develop as an acute condition with potentially life threatening ramifications. Here we have another condition that typically produces NO SYMPTOMS (early on) , yet creates both minor and major health problems most people are unaware of. Some of these conditions include:
  1. allergies

  2. frequent illnesses

  3. anemia

  4. asthma

  5. arthritis

  6. celiac disease

  7. crohn’s disease

  8. congestive heart failure

  9. fibromyalgia

  10. gall bladder disease

  11. generalized gastrointestinal diseases

  12. GERD (Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disorder) aka indigestion

  13. heart attack

  14. autoimmune diseases

  15. neurological diseases

How Does Food Cause Systemic Inflammation?

The intestines cover an enormous amount of area in a confined region of the body. It has been estimated that the intestines unrolled could cover an area equalling 2 football fields. In addition to its compact size, it is separated from its blood supply by only 1 cell layer of tissue. This is important because this 1 cell layer permits the absorption of nutrients and prevents toxic substances from entering the bloodstream. Certain types of food damage this single cell layer lining the intestines. When this occurs the body creates an inflammatory response (similar to the damaged hand or foot) to “wall off” the damaged area. Internal “swelling” occurs, however, this swelling does not have to produce the pain that the hand or foot causes. Therefore, most people are unaware a problem (at this time) exists. This is a beautiful example of how the body heals itself without outside assistance. Unfortunately, the lack of symptoms results in continued consumption of foods that lead to chronic inflammatory changes in the intestines. As the 1 cell layer lining becomes damaged, toxic substances leach (leak) out into the bloodstream which circulates throughout the body. These toxic substances have the ability to target any organ in the body. As these substances reach the heart, lungs, pancreas, gall bladder, liver, etc… they produce damaging effects on these organs. These damaging effects lead to inflammatory changes everywhere these toxic substances attack. The immune system attempts to fight back to help keep the body from showing signs of illness and disease. Just like any army spread to thinly, there are not enough forces to effectively win the various battles. As we continue to consume the foods that cause this damage, we eventually begin to lose the war. After significant damage has occurred, the brain alerts the body that it is unable to address the problems without assistance. PAIN and organ dysfunction (ex constipation, gall stones, kidney stones, changes in heart function, immune compromise, infections, etc…) begins to surface.
What is the underlying CAUSE of all these problems in the above example? FOOD! How are these health compromises usually addressed? MEDICATIONS. Are you beginning to see the problem? Medication may be needed to help reduce the symptoms and stabilize the patient, but (in this case) they do NOT provide the answers to FIXING THE PROBLEM. Prolonged use of medications under these circumstances typically exacerbate the problem. What is the answer? Avoid foods that cause inflammatory responses. It’s that simple. Unfortunately, people seem to like inflammatory foods that cause serious complications to our health. Once again, the answer is moderation. I ALWAYS encourage people to eat what their bodies need FIRST, followed by what their brain and mouths want. If you follow this REALISTIC rule, you will likely be able to continue to consume the foods you like while providing the essential nutrients your body needs. This typically results in a healthier outcome WITHOUT DEPRIVATION.
Dr. Auger has been kind enough to provide a list of foods that CAUSE INFLAMMATION as well as a list that PREVENTS INFLAMMATION. To see this list, please click on the link in BLUE. It is a PDF file so you will need the acrobat reader.

Inflammatory AND Anti-inflammatory Foods

If YOU are the cause of your own health maladies, YOU can also be the SOLUTION. If you have been saying for several years that you need to change your lifestyle, here is an opportunity to place your thoughts into ACTION. Don’t be like the typical person that needs to suffer PAIN and other SYMPTOMS before they wise up. Modifying one’s dietary habits is less threatening and more achievable than abstaining from all unhealthy foods. The good news is you will absolutely feel better over time.
In the comment area, please leave a message if you are willing to start this process. As people read the comments, it helps motivate others to “see the light.” Supporting each other is the kindest thing you can do for YOURSELF.

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(Side Note:) Reducing your intake of processed foods, sugar, as well as other sources of foods that cause inflammation CAN CAUSE a response similar to withdrawal early on. Detoxifying one’s system forces the body to work harder. This possible reaction will dissipate as you continue to feed yourself the nutrients your body needs.



    Liked by 1 person

    1. The term cervical spondylosis simply means aberrant cervical vertebrae condition. You look too young to have any type of advanced degeneration. Are you doing anything to improve this diagnosis? Many times improving function through increased range of motion reduces the inflammatory response. Have you been to a Chiropractic Physician to evaluate your condition? Finding someone you can trust and work with can be extremely beneficial. Wishing you only the best.


      1. yes i am undergoing treatment…some specific physical exercise and ayurvedic medicine…and oil massasge…..diagnosed a year back…space is lost between 2 disc….and the c curve has almost turned into straight line,this is my problem…i am 26 …due to long hours of studying…i developed this

        Liked by 1 person

        1. As a chiropractic physician, I treated many people with similar presentations. Restoring a proper cervical curve is very achievable especially at your age. Students usually have horrible posture. This is an important thing to correct. Glad to see you are actively participating in correcting this condition

          Liked by 1 person

          1. yes….it is very painful.i am constantly trying to cure it….a piece of advice and suggestions are always welcome from your side !

            Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so true. Since I have cut most sugars out of my diet including any white bread, I feel so much healthier and have no more problems with IBS. Most importantly though it has been practising meditation and yoga which helps release any toxins or stress build up in my body, so it has always been a balance of the two. Important information here..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree that exercise and nutrition are two very important components. I focused only on nutrition in this post to avoid overwhelming anyone considering lifestyle changes. I have learned that too much information at one time can be intimidating. Glad to see you have been able to correct your issues by incorporating healthy lifestyle changes rather than relying on pharmaceuticals. I’ll bet you’ve noticed the only side effects experienced are relaxation and better health. I wish more people experienced these type of side effects.
      Thank you for your contributing and helping fellow readers.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Love your post… So helpful and I always feel like you are directing them to Since I have cut out all processed food, most breads, white sugars, I feel so much better….and what a difference in loosing 50#s…amazing….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds like you’ve found your path. Best of continued success.


      1. Thanks and finally feeling centered again…

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Why must the bad things be what I like and the good things what I don’t? My son tells me to eat it anyway it is good for me. I also have over half of the conditions on your inflammatory chart. My chiropractor can feel the inflammation and all my blood tests show high inflammation in my body, just not where. I saved the list. I also reduced my water intake and started having some soda again. I am going back wards. My son doesn’t feel like cooking lately and I don’t cook so both of us aren’t eating right. He at least exercises hard. My 35 year old daughter is exactly like me just not as advanced and starting chiropractic much earlier than I did. She eats bad though. Junk food, She is a nurse with 2 boys to raise on her own. Fathers of both are useless.Including child support. She is still pushing on because she has wanted to be a nurse since high school and a few years ago finally made it. Despite all her problems.

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  5. Reblogged this on Advocate for Invisible Illness! and commented:
    Good article on food and inflammation. Check it out!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Excellent post and wouldn’t you know I was talking with someone last night about this very topic–inflammation. This post is a timely one for me. I will be sharing it on FB today. One friend of mine suffers from RA and has tried many times to alter her diet, with some success, before falling back into those “comfort” food habits. When she eats right, she feels great, and when she doesn’t, yikes! I have heard of CERVICAL SPONDYLOSIS and the pain it produces. Again, Yikes!!!

    My question: Why, oh why did these things (fibromyalgia, cervical spondylosis, RA, epic degrees of morbid obesity, and the like) not pose problems for earlier generations? Something is going on that was not going on before…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We didn’t have the combination of processed foods, sedentary lifestyles stress, sleeping disorders, depression and diseases self inflicted like we have today

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great article! Now how about some examples of what to and what not to eat.


    1. There is a link in the article highlighted in BLUE. If you click on this link, you will see several lists broken down by food category. If you can’t open the link, let me know and I will email you the list.


  8. Thank you for providing such a comprehensive list for all of us! I’ve never considered trying to just eat anti-inflammatory foods, but I think it might really help me 🙂


    1. My philosophy is to only start a protocol or habit you can do forever. Changing a diet in this manner requires gradual modifications; not drastic change. As one moves forward with small changes, the pattern is easier to develop without the typical deprivation that accompanies drastic changes. People like to feel or see change quickly. I have said it many times, “the tortoise ALWAYS wins the race.”
      Thank you so much for adding your opinion to this article.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It’s a great approach! I often start new diets and it’s so hard to keep at it – small modifications is probably the way to go. Thank you so much for sharing such a great approach to health. It shouldn’t be all or nothing and I am not sure why I’m always thinking it has to be that way 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I think our instinctive reaction is to follow a path 180 degrees opposite the path that has lead to an undesired outcome. Experience, however, often teaches us that this new path filled with deprivation, anger and frustration provides an equally unsuccessful outcome. Life is about finding the right balance while learning discipline and self control in the process. The happier we become with the meaning and purpose or our lives, the easier it becomes to achieve the desired goals.

          I’m glad you like the approach. I try to find REALISTIC approaches in life to help people overcome hurdles. Wishing you great success!


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