Inflammation—The Cause of All Chronic Disease

Is it just me, or does it seem like life is getting more intense these days? Around here, it sometimes feels like we’re sitting in the eye of the hurricane, a place where both good and bad health news comes at us daily. Overall though, trends are emerging that make us optimistic for the future.

I’ll start with some bad news: A recent report in Canadian Business stated that the potential cost of rising rates of chronic disease globally will be $300 billion. “About 60% of all global deaths result from non-communicable diseases (cancer, diabetes, lung disease). It’s been called ‘a public health emergency in slow motion,’ as figures are expected to rise 17% by 2015.”

Good news: People are getting smarter, and more questions are being asked about why chronic disease is increasing so fast, what are the causes of this epidemic, and how do we turn it around? These questions are leading to interesting answers. For example, a recent editorial in Townsend Letter for Doctors conveys the new ‘alternative’ thinking on cancer:

“When medical tests reveal the presence of a cancerous tumour, the routine practice is to treat it like a localized injury; find out where the tumour is located, examine the size and characteristics, and proceed to treat the tumour by attempting to remove it surgically or with poisons. Treating a cut as a localized injury is fine, but cancer is not a localized health problem. The tumour is not ‘the cancer’. The tumour is just a symptom of a process that has gone wrong. Unless we change the commonly held perception of what cancer really is, this disease will continue to threaten the lives of one out of every two people [in North America]. In reality, cancer is a process that produces tumour symptoms.

So the focus needs to be on doing things to halt the underlying process that produced the tumour. That process is fuelled by: 1) a weak immune system combined with excessive inflammation; 2) a deficiency of oxygen and digestive enzymes in the body; and 3) overall body chemistry that’s acidic (as opposed to alkaline). The good news is that with commitment and resolve we each can positively influence the 3 points above. Cancer calls on us to respond holistically by drastically changing the environment within our bodies so that the underlying process that produces tumour symptoms cannot proceed.” (Editorial by Mauris Emeka, author of Cancer’s Best Medicine, www.cancernomore.com)

More good news: This month we bring you excellent features that address all three of the contributing factors named above. Dr. Rona’s feature on Reversing Chronic Inflammation describes how and why inflammation develops in the body, and what specific nutrients work to reduce or eliminate it – thus preventing or even reversing the disease process. Likewise Julie Daniluk, who appears on our cover this month, shares some of her favourite anti-inflammatory recipes in Winter Meals That Heal. This is valuable because shifting our diet to suit the season is very much in keeping with nature’s own rhythms.

And one point that Rona and Daniluk both agree on is the importance of bringing the body into optimal pH balance in order to get well and stay well, with the best range being 7 to 7.2. For those of us with lots of naughty dietary indulgences, bringing pH values into that range involves increasing our intake of alkaline foods and reducing acidic foods. This is easier said than done (turns out that many of my favourite foods are acid-forming, yikes!), but ultimately worth the trouble.

And Rick DeSylva’s Herbs to Stoke Your Digestive Fire describes how to improve sluggish digestion by strengthening and tonifying glands and organs. When this process is working well, and ample digestive enzymes are circulating in the blood, undigested food particles that can cause inflammation are quickly eliminated and intestinal balance is restored, thus heading off the disease process before it starts.

Best news: Whole Life Expo is coming November 9 to 11, and a great many health professionals will be there to share their knowledge and experience with us. See you there with bells on.

Julia Woodford, Editor ~ Vitality Magazine