It is important to understand inflammation. Inflammation happens in our bodies for a variety of reasons. For many of us, inflammation occurs naturally after we start a new or harder work out, when we cut ourselves, or when we are sick. Yet, many people live with chronic inflammation problems. This plays itself out in our bodies as chronic stomach problems, joint pain, headaches, and overall malaise.

Women, for some reason, tend to suffer more or at least to visit physicians more, for these chronic conditions. Some physicians contribute diagnosis like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and more to chronic inflammation.

While it is certainly important to pay attention to your body and to listen to your physician’s advice – it is also important to do your own personal digging into your lifestyle and what could be contributing to an inflammatory environment in your body.

Top health experts will provide a variety of reasons said to cause or increase inflammation. This starter list can help you evaluate your own life.

  • Dehydration
  • Artificial Sweeteners (diet soda, etc.)
  • Processed Foods. (Trans Fats and Corn syrup are 2 suspects in causing inflammation.)
  • Additives and Preservatives (Found in processed foods)
  • Lack of fruits, vegetables, extra virgin olive oils, nuts, seeds, and natural whole grains in your daily diet.
  • Lack of movement
  • High daily stress

If you checked several of the items on the above list or if you are suffering from pain, stiffness or stomach issues; we highly recommend that you journal for 30 days. You want to write down everything you are eating and drinking, when you exercise, and what is causing you stress.

The following testimonial shares how this can help you manage your inflammation.

“Journaling helped me greatly 3 years ago. I began to suffer from hip pain. I didn’t think a lot about it because both my mom and grandma had knee and hip problems – starting early in life. In my wellness education, I had recently linked up with a naturopathic doctor who suspected diet soda as the culprit. Let me tell you, I did NOT want to give up my diet soda. I eat right, exercise, don’t smoke, don’t drink excessively – but Diet Soda (fountain soda) is my vice. However, once I began to track it – I noticed a direct correlation between when I drink 2 or more diet sodas a day and hip pain. So, for me – it did not take months of tracking to find a contributing factor for inflammation in my body. I won’t ever lie and say that I now don’t drink diet soda. But diet soda is now a treat for me – and if I go overboard – my hips pay the price.”

The need for water, is obvious – as it flushed our bodies, contributes or every natural healing process in our body, and cushions our joints and muscles when properly hydrated. It also keeps us and our skin looking and feeling young.

Processed foods simply just don’t give us the vitamins and minerals that come from real foods and can assist our bodies in controlling inflammation. Furthermore, the pesticides and cleaning chemicals used to keep our foods growing and “safe” can increase inflammation in some people. So, when choosing vegetables and fruits – don’t be afraid to look for locally grown or pesticide free versions.

Can supplements help?

This is a common route for folks suffering from inflammation. And as I always mention – one that you want to run by your physician – especially if you are on medications or dealing with any chronic health condition. Supplements (herbs and vitamins) and essential oils can and do interact and have side effects that you need to be aware of:

Some common inflammation fighters are said to be:

  • Fish Oil
  • Zinc
  • Resveratrol
  • Flax Seed Oil
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid

Seven key anti-inflammatory oils in alphabetical order:

  • Eucalyptus
  • Frankincense
  • Lavender
  • Lemongrass
  • Marjoram
  • Melaleuca
  • Peppermint

While there are many others, this list serves to show you that it’s important to work with someone who can discuss blends, interactions, and uses before you simply apply.

Inflammation is part of our world today – the more informed you are- the better.