How Small Everyday Choices Can Reduce Inflammation

 

Inflammation: A Health Care Dilemma

It’s no secret that inflammation is a major health issue for many people. Dr. Travis Stork thinks it alone is responsible for the majority of illnesses, and it’s something that can be prevented by taking responsibility to make health a habit.

“One in in two of us have a chronic illness, and seven out of 10 deaths are caused by chronic disease, which means we have chronic inflammation,” Stork said. “A lot of these diseases are preventable.”

Those diseases, he said, start with a poor diet, which leads to inflammation, which leads to a variety of problems. Some include:

  • Obesity causes inflammatory processes in the body, that if not addressed, will lead to other illness
  • Inflammatory conditions can lead to diabetes, heart disease, strokes and major depressive disorders
  • Kids who eat three or more fast food meals a week have increased risk for asthma and hay fever. More of these kids are diagnosed with Type II Diabetes

“It’s truly become a health care dilemma,” he said.

Not surprisingly, fast food is a main culprit. The cycle of eating fast food, however, can be difficult to break. Here’s what Stork says happens when you eat fast food:

  • Dopamine pleasure hits a high
  • The body produces insulin
  • Fat cells multiply in number, releasing cortisol.
  • Blood pressure rises
  • Inflammation rises
  • The only thing that makes you feel better is the next meal
  • All the sugar, fat, and salt is designed to cause addiction

Good Health Comes from Small Choices

Stork really drove home the point that consistent, small choices are what will drive a healthy life.

“We are in control of our health. In so doing, we become role models for others,” he said. “We make these subtle, seemingly inconsequential decisions every day that affect our health.”

Some of those decisions he mentioned are eating a healthy breakfast every day, flossing teeth, regular exercise, and of course, making wise decisions about the food we eat.

“Eighty percent of Type II diabetes are thought to come from lifestyle choices,” Stork said.

Healthy Living Starts in Two Places: the Kitchen and Movement

Stork said we currently live in a health care system that is focused on treating diseases instead of preventing them; that we take care of problems after they happen and not before.

“Let food be thy medicine. Hippocrates was onto something,” Stork said. “Healthy living starts in the kitchen.”

He told the story of his father who was 60 pounds overweight and on medication for much of his life. The medication he took was to treat his symptoms.

“Not once did he ever have a conversation with anyone about how he could reverse his condition. “Sometimes we oversubscribe when the best thing to do would to write a grocery prescription,” Stork said.

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