The symptom of pain can often be associated with inflammation in a certain organ or system of the body. By inflammation, I mean an area of the body, not always on the surface, that is swollen, painful, and can be reddened or warm to touch. Inflammation can be a back ache, sore knee, sinus symptoms, general aches/soreness, heartburn, G.E.R.D., headaches, or a list of many others. These symptoms cause a person to hurt or limit their activity. Inflammation is caused by an irritation (virus, bacteria, injury, toxicity) that the body can’t fight off. These irritations create symptoms needing attention.
The influences on immune and inflammatory balance are the root cause of inflammation. This is usually the reason it takes so long to heal. Treating the pain is only treating the symptom not the cause. According to Dr. Vasquez in his book, Integrative Rheumatology and Inflammation Mastery, the 7 major influences in inflammation, allergy and autoimmunity are:
- Food and lifestyle
- Chronic exposure to infections
- Nutritional deficiencies affecting the immune system
- Dysfunctional cells, deep inside a muscle or organ/system
- Stress, sleep deprivation, plus social and psychological considerations
- Hormone imbalances
- Accumulation of toxic chemicals or heavy metals causing immune suppression
The number one key to avoiding or eliminating inflammation is food, diet plan and supplementation. Each person can be aware of what foods cause inflammation symptoms in their body. The most advantageous diet for most people with inflammatory problems is a Supplemented Paleo-Mediterranean diet. This removes most allergen foods and allows flexibility for lifestyle and food choices. Nutritional deficiencies and cellular dysfunctions must be corrected with specific whole food supplements supplements (vitamins, minerals, and specific fatty acids) to support the immune system and the best function of organs/systems.
Now, let’s mention more about details of the macronutrients in your food plan. Macronutrients are carbs, protein and fats. In last month’s Tips from Terri, I discussed Dr. Perlmutter’s book, Grain Brain. His book outlined research strongly recommending to reduce or eliminate carbs to avoid inflammation and chronic disease. So what is the recommended protein daily intake for your lifestyle?
Recommended Grams of Protein per Pound of Body Weight per Day
(from The Physician and Sportsmedicine 1996, vol. 24, #4)
Adult recreational exerciser, 0.5-0.75
Adult competitive athlete, 0.6-0.9
Adult building muscle mass, 0.7-0.9
Dieting athlete, 0.7-1.0
Growing teenage athlete, 0.9-1.0
Pregnant women: ADD 15-30 grams/day
Protein is important for healing inflamed tissues. These tissues rely on constant availability of amino acids (protein) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) from a whole food diet and plant based supplements. The importance of a balanced gastrointestinal system is critical to breaking down and absorbing food, especially proteins. Low protein diets suppress immune function and impair healing as does digestive problems like Candida, Leaky Gut, etc.
If you have any symptoms of digestive problems or need assistance planning plenty of quality protein in your diet, contact me to make an appointment to correct those imbalances before the symptoms become severe, inflammation builds, and deficiencies develop. Call me at 319-626-2416 or email me.