Tags: chronic | inflammation | Alzheimers | heart | disease | diabetes | Chauncey Crandall

Chronic Inflammation: Deadly Prelude to Serious Disease

By    |   Wednesday, 16 July 2014 07:10 AM

Besides being potentially deadly, what do diseases as seemingly different as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer's disease have in common?
One word: inflammation.
Increasingly, researchers are pointing their collective finger at this familiar biological process. Cardiologist Chauncey Crandall, M.D., says he now recognizes signs of inflammation that were a prelude to his own heart problems, which were diagnosed at age 48.
He was flying home from a conference when his shoulder started to hurt. “I assumed I had strained it, lifting a suitcase, but now I realize that I had been experiencing pain in every joint in my body for about three months,” recalls Dr. Crandall, author of No. 1 Amazon bestselling the book The Simple Heart Cure and chief of the transplant program at the world-renowned Palm Beach Cardiovascular Clinic.
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Although his shoulder pain seemed to come on suddenly, it really had not. Dr. Crandall had been bothered by transient joint pain throughout his body for months. “It wasn’t severe, but it was bothersome, so much so I went to see a rheumatologist because I thought I was developing arthritis,” he says.
Now, Dr. Crandall recognizes that the joint pain he was experiencing was likely caused by a chronic inflammatory state within his body due to overwork and stress.
This caused his coronary arteries to become inflamed, which narrowed them, nearly triggering a heart attack. Chronic inflammation can take many forms, including regular joint pain, unexplained body aches, fatigue, headaches, rashes, or intestinal upset.
Normally, inflammation is part of a healthy immune response, triggered by the body’s release of chemicals and white blood cells that travel to the site of an injury to heal and fight infection. Such outward inflammation causes redness, pain, and swelling, which disappears after the infection is over.
But there is another side of inflammation – the “hidden” inflammation that occurs within the body and becomes ever-present or chronic.
Causes include gum disease; smoking; emotional stress; inflammatory bowel diseases, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease; and extra body fat, especially around the abdomen, says Dr. Crandall, author of the Heart Health Report newsletter.
Foods can also cause inflammation. Offenders include dairy products, sugar, saturated fat, trans fat, red meat, processed meats, alcohol, refined grains, and artificial food additives, chemicals, and preservatives, he says.
Here are Dr. Crandall’s recommendations to reduce the chronic inflammation associated with serious disease:
Get good dental care. No matter how much we brush and floss, we all have bacteria living in our mouths. But if you have gum disease, pockets form between the teeth and the gums, enabling bacteria to enter the bloodstream, where they cause inflammation. Good dental care is your best defense. Studies have long linked gum disease and tooth decay to heart problems and strokes. 
Take vitamin C every day. You may already take vitamin C when you feel a cold coming on to boost your immune system, but this vitamin does a lot more than that, including reducing concentrations of C-reactive protein in the blood, which lowers heart-disease causing inflammation. Dr. Crandall recommends 2,000 mg of vitamin C a day.
Take a daily low-dose aspirin. Low-dose aspirin (usually 81 mg) helps lower inflammation and studies show it reduces heart disease and colon cancer risk.
Follow the Mediterranean diet. Diets, high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish and “healthy oils,” like olive oil, reduce inflammation. The Mediterranean diet has been proven to prevent and even reverse heart disease.  
Take fish oil daily. Taking 2,000 mg of fish oil daily lowers inflammation. Be sure you buy fish oil supplements from a trusted source, because poor quality and counterfeit supplements are a problem.
Eat cherries. Eating more fresh fruit is a way to lower inflammation, but research finds that cherries are particularly good inflammation-reducers. They also have been found to relieve pain. Drink a small glass of cherry juice, or eat a handful of cherries daily.
Drink fresh juice. Combining healthful vegetables into a juicer creates a healthful inflammation-reducing beverage. You can choose just about any colorful fruit or vegetable concoction that suits your taste.  
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The complete version of this article first appeared in Health Radar. To read more, CLICK HERE.

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Besides being potentially deadly, what do diseases as seemingly different as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer's disease have in common? One word: inflammation. Increasingly, researchers are pointing their collective finger at this familiar biological...
chronic, inflammation, Alzheimers, heart, disease, diabetes, Chauncey Crandall, cancer, stroke
Wednesday, 16 July 2014 07:10 AM
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