Inflammation and Disease

By Body

Inflammation and Disease

Do you feel old or older than you think you should feel? Do your joints constantly ache for seemingly no reason? Are you consistently bloated or have difficulty digesting your food well? Do you have consistent diarrhea or constipation? Are you experiencing headaches or difficulty sleeping? Chronic inflammation could be the cause of all of this as well as why you just don’t feel good.

Researchers are continually uncovering the damaging effects of chronic inflammation. It has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s and more. Not all inflammation is bad. Inflammation is the critical component to growth and tissue repair. It is an essential component of your immune system and is instrumental in fighting off bacteria, microscopic invaders, fungi and viruses. As soon as one of these invading organisms enters our bloodstream, our body coordinates an all out assault that destroys the organism and any tissues that have been affected.

Inflammation is also the way that our body begins to repair itself when there has been an injury or trauma. Once the body has begun the repair process, the inflammation recedes and the tissue returns to its normal homeostatic environment. Without inflammation our bodies would stay sick and our tissues would never heal.

The problem with inflammation is when it doesn’t turn off. There are a number of factors that contribute to this system going awry, but first, let’s look at exactly what inflammation is.

All pain is caused by inflammation. The ancient Greeks described inflammation as “internal fire.” It is characterized by redness (“rubor”), swelling (“tumor”) heat (“calor”) and pain (dolor”). For example, when you fall and sprain your ankle, the first thing that happens is it swells, it feels warm, painful and changes to a red color. Using ice to help decrease the swelling, heat and redness is common knowledge. As soon as the tissue begins to heal, the swelling abates, it returns to a normal body temperature, and function returns. The inflammatory process turns off, but sometimes, it doesn’t. Why?

There are two important components that need to be reviewed in order to explain how the system breaks down and why inflammation becomes chronic and in turn leads to disease. The hormones that mediate this process are called eicosanoids. When we consume Omega 3 foods, our bodies produce anti-inflammatory eicosanoids, and when we consume Omega 6 foods, we produce an inflammatory response. Our bodies must maintain a proper balance or ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 to avoid chronic inflammation. Up until about 80 years ago, we had a balance of 2:1 Omega 6 to Omega 3. This was because people ate a lot more fish. You may remember tales of your grandparents taking cod liver oil everyday. It turns out that was very valuable in maintaining this ratio due to the high levels of Omega 3 that it produced. Omega 6 producing vegetable oils played a much less significant role then as well.

Today we consume far more Omega 6 inflammatory producing foods and even less Omega 3 anti-inflammatory producing foods. The current average ratio of the American diet today is 20:1. The choices and temptation that we have today are overwhelming. Take a stroll down the cereal aisle in the grocery store. There is an entire aisle filled with cereal choices! Not to mention the amount of cookies, cakes, high fructose drinks that we can choose. All of these foods produce an inflammatory response in our bodies. Compare that with the amount of wild salmon, tuna, herring, sardines and walnuts we eat and you can see why the ratio has become so much larger.

You can change this ratio in a number of ways but becoming conscious of the things that you eat and understanding the consequences are simple ways to tip the balance back to a healthier ratio. Taking supplements that are rich in Omega 3 is also a simple way to reduce the ratio. As we begin the New Year, I know many of you will be making promises to yourself about what you will eat. If you do nothing more than begin to change this ratio, you will make a major improvement in creating more wellness in your life. So take a moment and look in your pantry and refrigerator and see how many foods you are eating that is contributing to an unhealthy ratio and begin to eat consciously now.

For more information and dietary options consider reading: The Anti-Inflammation Zone by Dr. Barry Sears, The Inflammation Syndrome by Jack Challem, or The Everything Anti-Inflammation Diet Book by Karlyn Grimes. Each provides as similar yet unique perspective to understanding the correlation to inflammation and the food you eat.

Consider a Nutritional Consult to Start this New Year!

By Body, Spirit

What is a nutritional evaluation?

Many people take a handful of vitamins everyday without understanding why or even knowing if they need them. During a nutritional evaluation we determine exactly what it is that YOUR body specifically needs. We assess if there are any foods sensitivities, environmental pollutants or chemicals that may be at the root of your issues and then make a plan for eliminating and dealing with the problem. This is especially helpful for those of you who have tried multiple approaches with very limited success. There is often an underlying hidden issue that prevents you from attaining your goals.

Call our office today to set up an appointment to determine what your specific needs are and get your new year off to a successful start. 404-378-4686

“I began seeing Dr. Pat Gibson in September 2011 after experiencing months of continuous migraine headaches, vomiting, joint pain and poor sleep. I was seeing a neurologist and rheumatologist and the symptoms for the joint pain were decreasing but a friend suggested Dr. Gibson for a nutrition consult. Dr. Gibson performed allergy testing and determined that gluten, petroleum products, and formaldehyde were an issue for me and suggested several alternatives and I chose a purification regime, did it, and have had life changing results that include: sleeping well, decreased joint pain, significant decrease in migraines, no more vomiting and nausea, and weight loss. I had been on a very regimented weight loss eating plan for 1.5 years and had only lost 5 pounds. In the last 2 months I have lost 22 pounds, without the severe regiment, by simply staying on the gluten free eating plan and staying clear of dairy and sugar. My thinking is sharper and one friend said “It’s like you show up in techicolor now!” I have a renewed vitality that has opened my life to participating with confidence at work and with my family and friends.”

Life is good, God is good.
Kay W., Decatur, GA

I Want

By Body, Mind, Spirit

I WantThroughout this holiday season many of us were asked the simple question “What do you want?” Interestingly, I have found that answering that question is difficult for many people. It seems on the surface that it should be a no brainer, but in reality our brains go through a multi level filtering process to evaluate whether it is permissible to answer the question.

Early in our childhood many were given the message that asking for what you want is selfish. Some of these early messages included statements such as “It isn’t always about what you want”, “Life doesn’t revolve around you”, “ Why don’t you think about what he, she, I or they want for a change”. Any of these sound familiar? Our parents did not teach this with malicious intent. They were simply teaching what they had been taught. No one would argue that thinking and doing for others is not important. Equally important however, is being able to assess what it is that your heart desires. It is what shapes our destiny, helps us decide where we will live, what we want to do for a living, who or if we will marry, how many children we may want or not want to have or even something as basic as what we wan to eat.

Throughout the year I do many workshops and lectures on the science of happiness. In the workshops one of the things that we discuss is the how your thoughts create chemical messages that enter each of your cells. All the cells in your body participate in this process in one way or the other and the thoughts you think have a significant impact on the happiness you experience. At the end of each session I give out my email and invite people to comment or ask questions about any of the information presented. Almost without exception, after each presentation I will have one or two people that will write and say that they loved the information and it really made a lot of sense but how do I figure out what I want? My first thought was, “How could I possible know what they want?” However, as it continued to occur it became apparent that saying “I want” was an issue that needed to be addressed.

There are many reasons that people have difficulty asking for what they want. For some, asking for what they want means drawing too much attention to themselves and not worth the exposure. For others, the fear of rejection keeps them from saying I want. It is easier to just not ask than risk being hurt or exposing the reality that they wouldn’t give it to you anyway. For some they feel as though they will be obligated if they ask for anything and don’t want to have to owe anyone anything. Still others would just prefer that you already know what they want and expect you to give it to them without asking. This is often accompanied by some overt or covert punishment because you should have known that they wanted it. There are some that believe themselves to unworthy to even think about what they want much less ask.

I believe that deep down people do know what they want but for a multitude of reasons just don’t say or ask. As we begin this New Year many will be evaluating what they want to accomplish in coming months, setting new goals and creating new visions for their lives. To be authentic to yourself you must be able to say I want. Evaluate, and ask yourself where you fall on the “I want meter?” Are you able to say I want? If not determine what it is that stands in your way and make that the first thing that you want to do this year.