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
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 www.sicknesssyndrome.com.)
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
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.
good, but is not exercise). By the way, too much exercise can be as harmful as too little exercise. No marathons.
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.