Death By Fire

“Wet streets do not cause rain.” ~ Doug Casey

When it comes to aging, there is one thing that speeds aging more than anything else.

What is it? Inflammation.

Inflammation is directly associated with every major chronic illness. And many integrative doctors, including myself, find inflammation at the root of all these diseases. In other words, the inflammation comes first, the disease comes later.

This is contrary to how most modern physicians think. They talk as if the disease was causing the inflammation. But I strongly suspect it’s the other way around.

Which diseases are associated with inflammation? Here are the major ones:

  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Cancer
  • Stroke

In other words, some of the biggest causes of death.

Why would someone think that inflammation precedes illness? It’s simple. Inflammation is the body’s attempt to correct a problem. You see this most clearly when you have an acute injury.

Say, for example, you get a cut. The area around the cut gets red, hot, swollen and painful. These are the 4 cardinal signs of inflammation. The body is bringing blood and energy to the area to support healing.

Most of the time this works well for acute problems. The cut or bruise heals.

But chronic inflammation is also the body’s attempt to heal. The problem is that it isn’t healing an acute injury. Instead, it is doing its best to heal some other type of trauma – a more chronic issue.

The most obvious example is arthritis. Joints get painful, swollen, hot and sometimes red. The body is working hard to fix something that’s wrong. But it often can’t overcome the disease and it become chronic.

What causes these chronic issues? There are a number or sources. All of them are stressors on the body. Here’s a short list of the most important:

  • Emotional stress – work, relationships, etc.
  • Lack of exercise
  • Eating foods that cause inflammation
  • Exposure to toxins
  • Genetic tendencies

You have at least some control over most of these. This means if you want to reduce the effects of inflammation on aging, there are simple changes you can make. Exercise more. Eat whole, natural foods – ideally organic. Reduce toxic exposure in your food and environment. Detoxify. Improve your work and relationship situations.

Of course there are also ways you can get support for slowing aging from professionals. In my clinic, I practice Functional Medicine to address the biochemical issues of aging. And I practice acupuncture to support the body’s ability to heal itself successfully. Both are very effective.

All the best to you for your health and happiness,

Dr. Bruce Eichelberger

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