Inflammation is a word that you hear bantered around a little. Often times when we hear of inflammation we can be tempted to think of a sprain, strain or some kind of identifiable trauma. These are all absolutely healthy examples of inflammation. Inflammation and hence over active immune response in the body directly impacts available energy at a cellular level.
In this second of our six article series, Marianne looks at how inflammation can impact our energy levels and simple methods of reducing two of the common causes of inflammation.
What Are Some of the Causes of Inflammation?
Like the warning lights on the car dashboard, inflammation is just another sign that something is going wrong in the body and we need to look into it. There are a number of causes of inflammation but in this article we will look at two of the most common contributors of low grade, chronic inflammation: dehydration and food allergies.
This means, one of the our six strategies for increasing energy must becoming looking at ways to reduce this inflammation.
Dehydration, Thirst is the Last Sign
Our body largely consists of water, many sources suggest anywhere between 65 and 75%. This concentration of water is even higher in the brain, reaching as high as 85% water. The functions of water in the body including cushioning, hormone and neurotransmitter regulation, cellular fluid balance and the formation of the many bodily fluids including stomach acid, saliva and tears.
So what exactly does water, or the lack of water, have to do with inflammation?
One of the signalling mechanisms that initiate inflammation in the body is histamine. Histamine increases the permeability of blood vessels to white blood cells and proteins this in turn increases the bodies immune activity. Now, theoretically this is a perfect immune response, allowing white blood cells to more effectively mobilise to attack invaders is exactly what we want. However, over stimulation through the over release of histamine is a problem.
Dehydration has been shown to increase production of histamine (Kjaer) leading to a general, widespread inflammatory response. By ensuring proper hydration of the body we can prevent dehydration and reduce this over production of histamine and hence inflammation. Sources typically recommend a daily intake of 35ml per kilogram of body weight, an average, 80kg adult would be looking to drink somewhere in the vicinity of 2,800mL per day, or for a sedentary adult approximately 1.5L. Unfortunately, water is not one of Australia’s favourite drinks and most of us consume far less than even 1L of water per day (McLennan).
Sip water regularly throughout the day to avoid dehydration, remember, thirst and a dry mouth are some of the last signs that the body is in need of water, not the first! If drinking more than 250-500ml at one time add a pinch of celtic sea salt to preserve electrolyte balance in the body and aid cellular absorption.
Food Allergies, Putting Your Immune System on Red Alert
It’s scary that one in three Australian households are affected by food allergies in some form or other (Cogdon). Food allergies result in widespread inflammation as the body scrambles the white blood cells of the immune system to intercept what it perceives to be invaders. Food allergies are serious health hazards with reactions ranging from itching, digestive irritation and skin disorders through to death.
The problem with food allergies is they can result in a low grade, chronic inflammation that is hard to detect and isolate. They have also been shown to contribute to or worsen symptoms of arthritis, back-pain, migraines and lead to cellular fatigue and lack of energy.
Managing inflammation resulting from food allergies is best achieved by avoiding many of the common allergens and working to repair the mucosal membrane of the stomach lining. Some examples of the most common allergens include:
- cow’s milk;
- fish and shellfish;
Ready To Put Out the Fire and Boost Your Energy?
If you are affected by lethargy or fatigue and would like to have more energy contact our Naturopath today on 07 3800 1993 or email to email@example.com. We can help you to implement a nutritional program and supplementation plan that is going to give you the right nutritional foundation to reduce fatigue and reach your full potential.
- Batmanghelidj, F. , Global Health Solutions Inc, 1995.
- Cogdon, Kamahl., “One food allergy sufferer in every three Aussie homes: study” November 2007. (30 September 2010).
- Jequier, E., et al. Water as an essential nutrient: the physiological basis of hydration. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2009.
- Kjaer A, Knigge U, Jørgensen H, Warberg J., “Dehydration-induced vasopressin secretion in humans: involvement of the histaminergic system.” , 279.6 (2000):E1305-10.
- McLennan, W. Canberra:Australian Bureau of Statistics, 1999.