Do you have a friend (or two) who claims that “getting old sucks?” Many struggle with growing numbers of symptoms that they attribute to aging, but few realize that most of those symptoms are actually caused by inflammation. What about you? Are your symptoms aging or inflammation?
I firmly believe that many of the symptoms we attribute to age are avoidable. Some call this inflammation that comes with (or accelerates) aging “inflammaging.” Yet there is good news! With proper nutrition and lifestyle strategies, you can slow this inflamm-aging process and reduce your risk of health issues.
What Is Inflammaging?
Inflammaging refers to an upregulated inflammatory response and low-grade inflammation through the body that develops as the years pass. According to a 2018 review, there are a variety of stimuli that both contribute to and sustain inflammaging. As a result, you may experience not only accelerated aging, but also the development of chronic disease.
Now, none of us wants to think that we are suffering from inflammaging, right? If you are in a place where you want to assess the possibility of this being at play, then consider this. Do you experience symptoms of bone or muscle loss, weight gain, memory problems, muscle or joint pain, blood sugar fluctuations, digestive issues or sleep troubles? If so, let’s look at some prominent root causes.
Root Causes of Inflammaging
Food can fuel your inflammation. Eating foods that include refined sugar, vegetable oils, artificial sweeteners, conventional meat and dairy, farm-raised fish, and junk food – can increase oxidative stress in your body and accelerate chronic health issues.
Blood sugar imbalances increase inflammation and what were assumed to be age-related diseases, but are often seen at younger ages now. According to a 2005 study, inflammation, stress and diabetes are interlinked.
Chronic stress – physical, psychological and emotional – is a major contributing factor to chronic inflammation and health problems. And we all know that stress can disrupt sleep, which lowers your resistance to stress, and creates a vicious cycle.
What Can You Do?
Eat anti-inflammatory foods – in place of the foods I listed above, you could consider a Pegan approach or Intermittent Fasting.
Incorporate nutrient support – Zinc, B Vitamins, Vitamin D (and Magnesium) and Omega 3 are key for proper immune function, including resolution of inflammation.
Include movement in your daily activities, which can help to moderate stress and improve your sleep.
Improve your digestion and the health of your digestive system.
It is important to recognize that the symptoms you or a loved one may be experiencing are not simply because the number of candles on their birthday cake is lighting up the room. Are your symptoms aging or inflammation? Awareness is the first step in changing your course.
I firmly believe in the body’s innate ability to shift toward health. The key is to change the information it is receiving and provide the building blocks it needs to function properly.
If reading this has been a wakeup call and you aren’t certain how to implement changes, please reach out. I can support you in calming the flames and turning the clock back to its proper place.