What is Lyme Disease?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 350,000 Americans are diagnosed with Lyme disease every year. Lyme disease is an infection caused by bacteria which is transmitted by a tick or insect bite. The majority of cases of Lyme are due to a bite from a type of deer tick known as the black-legged tick, which can carry and pass on bacteria known as Borrelia Burgdorferi. However, according to the Michigan Lyme Disease Association, it’s been found that other insects such as mosquitoes, spiders, and fleas can also spread this disease. Arachidonic acid is produced when these bugs produce their toxins, causing cellular decay. Symptoms are exacerbated by an inflammatory response, determined to a large extent by the strength of one’s immune system.
Inflammation Inducing Symptoms
Inflammation is our body’s normal and healthy response to injury or attack on the immune system. On the surface of the body, inflammation takes the form of heat, redness, swelling, and pain. Chronic, low-level inflammation at the cellular level, however, develops without pain and can lead to obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and many other chronic illnesses. In Lyme disease, a large proportion of the symptoms people experience is due to inflammation. Such symptoms include fatigue, brain fog, muscle pain and migrating joint pain, amongst many others.
How Our Western Diet Feeds Inflammation
What’s causing this protective response by our bodies, that ultimately leads to sickness, pain, and ill-health? What are we doing to threaten our bodies normal, healthy functioning? Anything that causes acidity in our systems creates inflammation. The body ideally maintains an alkalinity level slightly above the PH of the blood, but problems start to arise when we consistently consume acidic foods over more alkaline alternatives. Typically when we think of alkaline foods, we’re referring to wholesome, nutrient dense choices such as vegetables and fruit.
Major culprits creating toxicity and acidity include those high in omega-6 fatty acids, like dairy and red meat from factory raised animals. Refined grains, processed foods and sugar are also highly inflammatory triggers. Gluten, the protein found in such grains as wheat, barley, rye and spelt, as well as in numerous other processed foods, could be highlighted as potentially the worst offenders in terms of destruction to our immune systems. Casein, the protein in our pasteurized dairy products, is also a trigger which needs to be seriously considered.
Our Acidic Lifestyles are Fueling the Inflammatory Fire
Our dietary choices are not the only consideration in tackling inflammation. Lifestyle factors are also contributing to our suffering, affecting our ability to keep illness and disease at bay. This is why taking a holistic approach to managing our health is crucial. Any kind of stress wrecks havoc on our acid-alkaline balance, and hence our level of inflammation. Whether it’s emotional, financial or psychological, anything that causes stress to the mind induces stress on the body. Pollution, chemicals, and pesticides add to our toxicity, creating further inflammation.
What does an Anti-Inflammatory Lifestyle Entail?
The good news is that we can encourage health, vitality, and wellness by adopting an anti-inflammatory lifestyle. Choosing more alkaline, antioxidant-rich, anti-inflammatory foods like blueberries, green tea, and dark leafy greens is a great start in shifting the balance in favor of alkalinity. We can incorporate such spices as ginger, garlic, and turmeric to our meals, and experiment with sea vegetables for seasoning. Opting for anti-inflammation, omega-3 rich wild meat and fish rather than the omega-6 rich farm-raised versions, adds further immune-boosting armor to our bodies defenses. Incorporating stress-reducing habits such as exercise, meditation and mindfulness practices build up our resistance to the stressors that can otherwise take their toll. Finding ways to improve our sleep quality and surrounding ourselves with more positivity in our lives are also crucial pieces of the anti-inflammation puzzle.These are just a few steps we can take to reverse the inflammatory path to ill-health. These steps, alongside appropriate medical intervention, can help recreate our destiny to health, energy, and longevity.