Many health practitioners have searched for a common underlying theme with all disease. They spend time looking for commonalities and trends and picking apart all the elements that come with disease. What they have found is that chronic inflammation is a root cause of most (if not all) diseases, yet it is hardly ever treated or acknowledged.
One easy way to reduce inflammation is to focus on more whole foods and less processed junk. Processed foods are usually not even real foods anymore – they are food-like substances. Due to the great (synthetic) flavors and textures, we think there has to be some benefit of eating these “foods” but the truth is that most people would be better off without them. Focus instead on eating foods that grow from a plant instead of being made in a plant. Whole grains like brown rice, millet and quinoa are a great place to start; learn how to incorporate more beans into your diet for a source of plant based protein. A good rule of thumb is to consider whether the food grows in nature. Does a tomato grow in nature? Do you eat the whole thing? Yes and yes. There you have it – a whole food. On the other hand, does a tortilla chip grow naturally? No. So it’s a processed food, not a whole food. Also, reducing sugar is important as well. The easiest place to start is by ditching sugary drinks – sodas, juices, energy drinks, etc. Yes, even juice. Most juices are loaded with sugar and have very low content of actual fruit juice. It’s best to stick with some good, sugar-free, water.
In regards to thyroid conditions, when you are diagnosed with an autoimmune form of hypo or hyper thyroid you should realize that your body is on fire and totally inflamed. This doesn’t mean that just your thyroid is inflamed either. Usually inflammation will occur all throughout the body. So when your joints ache and someone says “It’s your thyroid condition” don’t ignore them. In addition to treating the thyroid and gut health, consider looking at ways to incorporate more anti-inflammatory foods and routines into your daily life. Dr. Weil focuses a lot on inflammation and has an anti-inflammatory diet that he recommends as well. Dr. Mark Hyman also focuses a lot on reducing inflammation and has lots of tips and good information on his website.
Reducing inflammation is not something that you do as a 3-week-diet and then ignore again. To reduce chronic inflammation and keep it down you have to look and realistic changes that you can stick to for the long run.
When you dig deeper into root causes, one may ask what the root cause of inflammation is. In Ayurvedic medicine, it is often taught that a stagnant lymphatic system is the root cause of inflammation. Supporting the lymph system and getting that moving may be even more essential to well-being. Activites like swimming and body brushing can help get the lymph moving again and are easy to do, enjoyable and cheap! Can’t beat that.