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Inflammation

Inflammation is above all a health maintenance process. Its study occupies the whole area of medicine known as immunology. It cannot be measured directly by a single specific laboratory test, but is viewed through many different parameters, much like looking at the US economy through various economic indicators. The higher the levels of the various indicators, the more inflammation the body struggles to control. There are 14 parameters of inflammation, and they must be looked at as a package.

As a cornerstone process of both wellness and disease, inflammation is a physiological constant and serves 4 major wellness functions: it repairs tissue; kills invading microbes of all types (viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites, etc.); kills cancer cells; and helps eliminate toxins. In wellness, inflammation turns on, accomplishes its task, and then turns off. Its operation can be paralleled to that of an efficient road crew that is called out to fix a pothole. The crew comes, does the repair with minimal traffic disruption, and then leaves. In the body, inflammation turns on through well- known mechanisms (injury, infection, cancer, toxic exposure, etc.) and its presence is reflected in various laboratory tests. Some of these include WBC, ESR, CRP, LFT’s to name but a few.

Chronic inflammation is present in every disease. It is inflammation that is out of control, and does not turn off. Following our analogy, imagine an out-of-control highway department. It sends a crew to repair a large pothole. The crew arrives, sets up, and before it can make the repair and leave, the highway department sends more crews. Eventually there are so many crews working that traffic is not only disrupted, but the street may be closed altogether. Similarly, chronic, out-of-control inflammation spreads and increasingly disrupts bodily functions.

Chronic inflammation causes increased acid stress; an increase in oxidative stress and free radical production; and connective tissue destruction. One of the responses to chronic inflammation is the deposition of calcium in tissues. This is done to reinforce the integrity and strength of the tissues. Inflammation can be controlled by bringing balance to the other functions that fuel this process – infections; acidosis; oxidative stress. Through the knowledge gleaned from laboratory testing, appropriate interventions can be identified to re-balance the system.

Inflammation is above all a health maintenance process. Its study occupies the whole area of medicine known as immunology. It cannot be measured directly by a single specific laboratory test, but is viewed through many different parameters, much like looking at the US economy through various economic indicators. The higher the levels of the various indicators, the more inflammation the body struggles to control. There are 14 parameters of inflammation, and they must be looked at as a package. As a cornerstone process of both wellness and disease, inflammation is a physiological constant and serves 4 major wellness functions: it repairs tissue; kills invading microbes of all types (viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites, etc.); kills cancer cells; and helps eliminate toxins. In wellness, inflammation turns on, accomplishes its task, and then turns off. Its operation can be paralleled to that of an efficient road crew that is called out to fix a pothole. The crew comes, does the repair with minimal traffic disruption, and then leaves. In the body, inflammation turns on through well- known mechanisms (injury, infection, cancer, toxic exposure, etc.) and its presence is reflected in various laboratory tests. Some of these include WBC, ESR, CRP, LFT’s to name but a few. Chronic inflammation is present in every disease. It is inflammation that is out of control, and does not turn off. Following our analogy, imagine an out-of-control highway department. It sends a crew to repair a large pothole. The crew arrives, sets up, and before it can make the repair and leave, the highway department sends more crews. Eventually there are so many crews working that traffic is not only disrupted, but the street may be closed altogether. Similarly, chronic, out-of-control inflammation spreads and increasingly disrupts bodily functions. Chronic inflammation causes increased acid stress; an increase in oxidative stress and free radical production; and connective tissue destruction. One of the responses to chronic inflammation is the deposition of calcium in tissues. This is done to reinforce the integrity and strength of the tissues. Inflammation can be controlled by bringing balance to the other functions that fuel this process – infections; acidosis; oxidative stress. Through the knowledge gleaned from laboratory testing, appropriate interventions can be identified to re-balance the system.

Author: Dr. David Luce

W. David Luce, M.D., P.C. is a Board Certified Internist in private practice in Boulder, Colorado. He is recognized as a innovator and thought leader in the integration of Western medicine with complimentary therapies.

Dr. David Luce | MD

W. David Luce, M.D., P.C. is a Board Certified Internist in private practice in Boulder, Colorado. He is recognized as a medical innovator, educator, public health advocate, and a leader in the integration of evidence-based Western medicine with complimentary therapies. Educated at Dartmouth, Harvard and Yale, Dr. Luce has over 20 years experience designing and implementing innovative treatment programs that restore health and wellness to his ...

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