What is the relationship between inflammation, stress and chronic illness

Inflammation, Stress and Chronic Illness

January 31, 20245 min read

Chronic diseases are defined broadly by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) as conditions that last 1 year or more and require ongoing medical attention or limit activities of daily living or both. Some examples are certain types of heart disease, COPD, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, and mental disorders such as depression or bipolar disorder. Did you know that the CDC Website also says that 6 in 10 adults in the US have at least 1 chronic disease and 4 in 10 have 2 or more? 

Many of these diseases are linked to a short list of behaviors that increase risk. These are:

Excessive alcohol and drug use, tobacco use, inactivity, and poor nutrition.

While the symptoms of each condition above are different, could it be that they are somehow connected to certain underlying imbalances and deficiencies in the body that could be connected to the risk factors above?

In a perfect world, everyone would eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, avoid alcohol, tobacco and other drugs including prescription drugs, drink enough healthy water, supplement certain vitamins and minerals we are lacking, and our bodies would be functioning optimally, but that is not what most people do.  The majority are not going to manage their intake and monitor their health until they begin to have symptoms.

I have had chronic inflammation, pain and thyroid issues since my late 30’s.  You can read my previous blog here called My Personal Health Journey through this link https://app.b610.com/v2/location/I3LsQC2PdyWa8xDSBO9T/blogs/post/65688ee48ec68616d3e63587 to learn about some of the things I have done over the past 3-4 years to try and reverse this process.

I was trained and worked as an RN for over 25 years, however, since I opened my holistic health ministry, I am continually learning about the body and how it works and researching non-medical things that can affect our health. I have learned that the gut is considered the “second brain", and that there is a blood brain connection we should not ignore. The gut and brain are connected via the vagus nerve which is a messenger between the brain and the body. I also learned that 70% of our immune system is found in the gut and that we need to maintain a healthy gut flora as well as manage stress to keep our body in homeostasis and have a healthy immune system, which will result in better mental and physical health and resistance to both acute and chronic disease. 

Did you know that each time you take an antibiotic your doctor prescribes, it effectively kills off your body’s normal flora which should consist of healthy bacteria and fungi? If you do not restore that balance by taking supplements such as prebiotics and probiotics you will end up with candida and other bad bacteria and yeast and all of this along with an improper diet can cause something called "leaky gut syndrome."  Did you know that poor gut health can lead to chronic issues including constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, poor digestion, incomplete nutrient absorption, hunger, cravings, and more?

Harmful bacteria in the gut can also lead to problems in other areas of the body, such as depression, mental illness, hormone disruption, anxiety and autoimmune diseases.  Did you know that thyroid problems, type II diabetes, lupus, and arthritis are all considered autoimmune diseases?  So the question is, what are we doing about it? In my opinion we are not doing enough. The medical model is broken and we need a more holistic approach.

Research into the science of Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) investigates how thoughts, emotions, chronic stress and our mental health affect the brain, the gut and the immune system as they are all interconnected, so we need to take a holistic approach to our health, one that many doctors do not have the time or the training to consider, as they are too busy treating diseases with medications and surgery to fix the symptoms instead of looking for the root cause of most disease which is a disruption of the interconnected systems that cause the symptoms.  One common thing most of these chronic diseases have in common is chronic inflammation. It turns out that’s what I had, and I struggled to get it under control by making dietary changes in the foods that I ate and taking supplements recommended by others.  I tried a lot of different things and I was never able to really make a difference until I started using the cold Plunge and the Energy Enhancement System.  If you suffer from any of the things I have mentioned, we have access to some unique lab testing you can get done that can guide you in your journey to better health. We are not treating or diagnosing any diseases, and these tests are most likely not available through your physician and are not covered by health insurance.  One example is called nutritional blood analysis, and we are having 2 classes on February 13th, at 3 pm and 6 pm, where Marta Zettle will delve into what types of things can be observed in a live blood sample under a microscope, and how some basic dietary recommendations and supplementation you may be just what you need to help you on your journey to better health.  We also have access to a special lab that can test your cellular age and rate of aging among other things, you can stop in at my office or call me for more information on and I am happy to provide you with additional resources to help you on your way to better health. There is much to learn and I aim to increase my knowledge each day! Give me a call at Regeneration Station 850-542-1970 to sign up for one of our classes or get more information about all of our services including the cold plunge and the Energy Enhancement System, both are great tools to boost your health in 2024.

Pam Keen

Pam Keen is a retired Navy Nurse and is owner of Regeneration Station in Pensacola

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