Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Inflammation, Autoimmune, What's The Difference

Crohn's disease and colitis, collectively referred to as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), both involve inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Colitis only affects the colon, while Crohn's disease can affect any gastrointestinal area from the mouth to the anus.

Over the past decade, many genes related to Crohn's and colitis have been discovered. Evidence for a genetic basis of the diseases was first uncovered in 2000. But in 2005, only two genes linked to the diseases had been determined. Now, 163 IBD loci, or genetic regions, are known--71 of which were identified in this study.

As you read the press about disease models, virtually all cite "inflammation" or "chronic inflammation". Rarely do they state what that condition is, or what it is characterized by, which is, a heightened inflammatory response when one is not needed.
When you have a cut or an invasive microbe, you need an inflammatory response.  Other times, you need a normal inflammatory response.
In other words, if you buy the "inflammation" argument, the "diseases of civilization" are caused by the body attacking itself through a perverted inflammatory response.  Your genetic predisposition determines whether a diet which drives high, chronic inflammation levels results in, for example, ALS or CVD or pancreatic cancer.
Autoimmune diseases are all of this flavor, so a way to think of "inflammatory" diseases is as a spectrum from the least severe (CVD, cancer) to the most severe (autoimmune).
In either instance, dietary interventions reduce the out of control inflammatory response for many.  Best interventions include wheat elimination, sugar reduction or elimination, and reduction of omega 6 fatty acid intake (combined with omega 3 supplementation).  Other important interventions include vitamin D optimization, optimizing micro-nutrient levels in the body (different from just dumping more of them into your body), and reducing the body's stress response while increasing sleep quality.
Unlike "medical" interventions, these have no side effects.
Which isn't to say I think medicine has no place in disease intervention!  If I get cancer, I'm getting best treatment out there.  Waiting for dietary and lifestyle interventions until after cancer's got you by the liver - aka the late great Steve Jobs - is not my bag.
Eat meat, eggs, vegetables, nuts and seeds, little fruit or starch, no sugar/wheat.

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