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The Hunger Project Bolen Report
Ohm Society
Inflammation Print E-mail

The body's response to illness, infection, and toxicity is inflammation. "Inflammation," in this sense, means the release of chemicals which excite the cells of the body into action. They are provoked, you might say, into a fight. They become destructive and able to destroy viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Unfortunately, they also become self-destructive and in the process of doing damage to "illegal aliens," they also damage the cells themselves and the other citizens of the biological body politic. This damage can be to the vascular system resulting in atherosclerosis. It can be to the joints producing arthritis or to the brain producing Alzheimer’s disease or premature senility. If it endures past the initial stage of defense from alien invaders, it becomes what we call "autoimmune disease." This simply means that there is in place a more or less permanent war against the cells of one's own body. If inflammation leads to insulin resistance this is type 2 diabetes. In a more complex way inflammation can damage the DNA of the cells provoking out of control growth of cells we know as "cancer."

Inflammation within the brain comes about by combining chronic stress with silent (undetected and perhaps asymptomatic) inflammation in another part of the body. Chronic stress suppresses the activity of the adrenal glands and lowers one's ability to properly respond to stress. We believe that inflammation in the brain is the main cause of depression as well as schizophrenia, conditions for which psychiatry readily admits it has no explanation other than “neurotransmitter imbalance” with no idea of what causes that. It is also true that people with severe mental illness have a higher incidence of insulin resistance as well, compared to the general population.

People who have gone through traumatic events and also those whose family members have gone through traumatic events are particularly at risk for a condition called "cortisol resistance." Similar to insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes, the cells of the body to not respond properly to cortisol, a major adrenal hormone. Because cortisol serves to suppress the production of inflammatory cytokines, cortisol resistance is particularly devastating in conditions of chronic stress. Cortisol is the main brake on proinflammatory cytokines in the body and in the brain. This condition of inflammation and lowered adrenal activity has been dubbed the "Sickness Syndrome." Other factors which predispose to the Sickness Syndrome are hormone deficiency, obesity, infection, and immune compromise. (You can learn more at

Inflammation is now widely suspected of being one of the fundamental mechanisms of aging and is surely involved in the debilitating diseases which often accompany aging such as vascular disease, heart disease, arthritis and Alzheimer's disease. Great old age in outstanding good health seems achievable for everyone if inflammation is properly regulated.

Avoiding inflammatory events altogether is simply not possible since there will be challenges from invading organisms from time to time which must be dealt with. Therefore avoiding inflammation completely is not even desirable and would surely lead to an early death. The goal should be to promote regulated inflammation and thus prevent the kind of overactive and prolonged inflammation which damages cells. It is essential that once the foreign invasion, whatever it is, is turned back the immune system return to peacetime activities so that it does not progress to war against the body.

I will go out on a limb here and list the requisites for the promotion of a well regulated immune system and thus well regulated inflammation which happens when and where it is needed and turns off when it is not needed.

  • a sound spiritual life which promotes forgiveness and leads to peace and harmony with others
  • the founding of a proper purpose for living which gives daily activity and a sense of gratitude
  • adequate sleep on a regular schedule
  • good dietary habits which maintain alkalinity (see the next paragraph)
  • daily exercise, not too much, not too little, but definitely stressful (to be distinguished from "activity" - which is good, but is not exercise). By the way, too much exercise can be as harmful as too little exercise. No marathons.
  • frequent mind exercise (reading, calculating numbers, learning, etc.)
  • daily detoxification
  • If all these factors are in place and you are still ill, then inflammation has become chronic and we need to take additional measures to remove it. This is when you need your doctor, and hopefully your doctor knows something.

    Detection and Measurement of Inflammation

    How can you know if your body is in a condition of inflammation? There is a very simple which can be performed without the assistance of a doctor. Simply obtain some pH paper. This is easy to find at hot tub and pool supply stores. Take a small strip of pH paper, wet it with your saliva (at least 30 minutes from food or drink) and read the color response. pH is neutral at 7.0. Below 7.0 is acid and above 7.0 is alkaline. If the color response is acid, there is a degree of inflammation at work in your body. Several readings per day over several days will tell you if you have a temporary or persistent inflammatory condition. If you are consistently acid, you have an inflammatory condition and you are actively aging. If you are consistently alkaline, you are in a state of health and not aging, at least not abnormally fast. If you find that you are in a consistent acid condition, you are well advised to find a doctor who can help you identify the source and correct it. This is relatively new information and unfortunately there are not many docs who have grasped these ideas just yet. If your doc is not interested in your salivary pH reading, better get a new doc.

    The information in this article is not meant to be medical advice.�Treatment for a medical condition should come at the recommendation of your personal physician.

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