What Inflammation Means And Does To Your Body

Here’s I’m going to explain what inflammation means and what inflammation does to your body.

what inflammation means

What Inflammation Means

WebMD does a good job explaining the basics of what inflammation means:

Inflammation is a process by which the body’s white blood cells and substances they produce protect us from infection with foreign organisms, such as bacteria and viruses.

However, in some diseases, like arthritis, the body’s defense system — the immune system — triggers an inflammatory response when there are no foreign invaders to fight off. In these diseases, called autoimmune diseases, the body’s normally protective immune system causes damage to its own tissues. The body responds as if normal tissues are infected or somehow abnormal.

We have an immune response to everything we put into our bodies. That means the water we drink, the air we breathe, what we put on our skin, and what we put in our mouths. An immune response to our environment is normal.

Our bodies are supposed to respond to our environment. The issue comes when we are chronically exposed to environmental toxins through our food, air, water, and body care and do nothing about it.

These toxins and the stress of life create inflammation in our bodies and, for some of us, autoimmune disorders where our bodies are attacking themselves.

What Inflammation Does To Your Body

Did you know that inflammation might be the reason you aren’t losing weight? Did you also know that all those times you thought you looked fat or when you could “see yourself getting fatter,” it probably wasn’t fat that was the problem… it was probably inflammation.

Let me explain.

There was four to eight dress sizes difference in the photos I’m about to show you. At the time, I thought I was just fat. I thought I was just not eating “clean enough” or exercising hard enough. But that wasn’t the case.

Notice, I was the same weight and body fat – 162 pounds and 23% body fat – in both pictures. But on the left, I was inflamed and wearing clothes 4-6 sizes larger than on the right.

what inflammation means

In the photo on the left, I was going to eight boot camps per week plus going on long runs and walks outside of boot camp. I was also eating a very clean and anti-inflammatory paleo diet during the week and only having wine and a “treat meal” once a week on Friday or Saturday.

Pretty healthy, right?

Yet I was getting BIGGER in dress size. I thought I was getting fatter despite my efforts. It was very frustrating. So what was going on?

What Commonly Creates Inflammation For People

The first things you have to look at The 4 Pillars:

  1. Are you eating clean food?
  2. Are you breathing clean air?
  3. Are you drinking clean water?
  4. Are you using clean body care?

Once you have all of those handled, if you still aren’t losing weight and getting the results you want, you have to look at what else could be creating inflammation in your body.

I was going to write a big post about what was going on for me but I just found this video from my friend Dr. Amy Myer’s talking at another one of my friend’s events, PaleoFX. In this talk, Dr. Amy talks about why someone might not be losing weight or feeling good despite working out hard and eating a clean diet (in this case, paleo). Parts she talks about in this video are exactly why I was so inflamed in the photo on the right and not getting the results I wanted.

What was I already doing “right?”

  1. I was eating a clean paleo diet with foods free of pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and toxins.
  2. I wasn’t eating sugar, gluten, or grains.
  3. I was drinking filtered water.
  4. I was breathing clean air.

What was creating inflammation for me?

  1. The Saturday night treat was keeping me sick and inflamed. When I cut out the wine and gluten on the weekends, the inflammation began to heal… and my dress size started to shrink.
  2. The body care products and makeup I was putting on my body. What I couldn’t make at home, I bought from Beautycounter. (Article on how to find, buy, and make your own safer, less inflammatory beauty care coming soon.)

Those are the only changes I made. As a result, the inflammation fell off (in addition to all the other work I was doing) and my appearance and health changed dramatically.

How to Know What Inflammation Means In Your Body

You can do an elimination diet like Dr. Amy suggests. It’s free and you can start today. The difficulty with elimination diets is that it can be very restrictive especially if you don’t already have the skills to successfully follow a healthy diet.

You can check out what a common elimination diet food list looks like here so you can get an idea of what you would want to include/exclude if you take this route. You can also pick up Dr. Amy’s book, The AutoImmune Solution. It’s great.

If starting out with a typical elimination diet feels too restrictive for your current skill level and you’d like to find out more specifically what is creating inflammation in your body, you can take the Mediator Release Test (aka. MRT Test).

loved this test. It gave me specifics about what foods were creating inflammation for me at the time so I could avoid only those and eat all the foods that were green on my chart. To more thoroughly explain the MRT test, here is a great video by Susan Link, a nutritionist.

Here are my yellow and red test results (meaning the foods I needed to avoid eating for 6 months to 2 years depending on my need to heal).

mediator release test betty jean bell

Remember, you are unique. Right now, almonds and avocado are inflammatory for me. In 6 months, after taking a 100% break from eating these, they will probably no longer be inflammatory for me.

 

I’ll be bringing on experts to talk about the Mediator Release Test and why rotating our diets with the season is so important. So make sure you are on the list (subscribe below) to get those updates. You can learn more about the MRT test here.

Summary: What Inflammation Means for You

At some level, no matter what path you choose, you will be doing some form of elimination diet because you are going to have to be the one to figure out what feels right in your body and what doesn’t.

But if you have been struggling to lose weight for a long time…
You are eating a clean, healthy diet 80% of the time…
You are working out regularly at a high-intensity level…
And you still aren’t losing weight…
In fact, if you seem to be getting “fatter”….

It is likely that you are struggling with inflammation.

Follow these steps to start changing the situation:

Step 1: Follow The 4 Habits

Before you can succeed at any diet, you must have the skills to make a healthy diet sustainable. Begin my practicing The 4 Habits:

  1. Make time for a sleep ritual.
  2. Make time for meal prep.
  3. Eat slowly in an undistracted environment.
  4. Make time to refresh your mind. (Restoring willpower!)

Step 2: Follow The 4 Pillars

  1. Are you eating clean food?
  2. Are you breathing clean air?
  3. Are you drinking clean water?
  4. Are you using clean body care?

Step 3: Find out what inflammation means for you

  1. Get a Mediator Release Test
  2. Start an elimination diet
  3. Hire a Functional Physician or experiment with the guidelines in Dr. Amy’s video above.

Then let me know how it’s going, will ya!.

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