Inflammation – What You Absolutely Need to Know for a Healthy Body, Longer Life and Freedom from Disease


Inflammation, it’s not usually what you hear when you go to the doctor for pain and you want a diagnosis.  You have arthritis, what do you expect you’re 55 for crying out loud, he (or she) says.  Ok, most doctors are not that cruel, however I have heard this complaint from my patients one too many times.  A better answer would be “You have inflammation, let’s see if we can find out why”.

Any diagnosis that ends in an itis is an inflammatory disease.  And, of course, there are many more conditions that are inflammatory in nature.  Here’s a list of common inflammatory diseases: 

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Heart Disease

Coronary Artery Disease

Type II Diabetes






Sjorgren’s Syndrome 

Ankylosing Spondolytis

Crohn’s Disease 






Without getting into the scientific details of what causes inflammation we know that inflammatory conditions are driven by a series of inflammatory molecules and protein that are produced by the tissues of the body in response to a number of initiating events including but not limited to:

Exposure to heavy metals, pesticides and herbicides

Trauma or Injury



The Standard American Diet

Abnormal gut lining

Liver toxicity

Immune challenges

Insulin Resistance

Dental Infections


Current research shows obesity to be the #1 cause of inflammation in the body.  The adipose (fatty) tissue produces and releases pro-inflammatory molecules and hormones that are directly involved in the inflammatory process.  Adipose tissue is also a target for inflammatory mediators resulting in the release of C-reative proteins and is correlated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.   

Understanding the underlying causes of inflammation is vital. Knowing what is creating your inflammation will give you the map to optimal health and well being.  Taking a pill or cortisone shot is not the answer to ridding your body of inflammation.  There are serious side effects of anti-inflammatory medications and they do not address the cause. 

The easiest and quickest way to reduce inflammation is to remove the major triggers of inflammation in the body.  The food you choose to eat provides one of the greatest sources of inflammatory triggers.

To decrease inflammation and allow your body to heal please remove the following from your diet:

1. All foods containing gluten.  These include; wheat, rye, oats, and barley and are found in bread, pasta, and other products containing refined flours. 

2. All dairy products (milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, etc.) 

3. All refined sugar products (sweets, candy bars and junk food).  Refined sugar slows the process of detoxification in the body and has been shown to weaken the immune system.

4. Corn, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant.  These are common allergens and should be avoided because they can contribute to pain and inflammation.

5. Pork, cold cuts, bacon, hot dogs, canned meat, sausage, and shellfish.  All have been shown to increase inflammation.

6. Alcohol, caffeine containing beverages (coffee,  black tea and sodas) and soy milk, soda and fruit drinks that are high in refined sugar.  These are particularly hard on the liver, which has to be functioning properly in order to begin to reduce the inflammation in the body. 

7. Foods high in fats and oils including; peanuts, refined oils, margarine, shortening, and hydrogenated oils.  These foods put a burden on the body especially the gall-blader and the liver.  

So, the next time a health practitioner tells you it’s arthritis or any other age related disease, ask them – WHY and what can I do about it without medication!


Visit for a list of foods to include and exclude from your diet to decrease inflammation.

About Dr. Brenda Sahlin

Dr. Brenda Sahlin, D.C, Clinical Herbalist / Whole Food Nutritionist Making 50 the new 35!
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