inflammation is the cause of restless legs syndrome This picture links back to the Absolute Cure for RLS Main Menu. This picture links back to the Absolute Cure for RLS Home Page.

Now that we're through all the weird stuff, let's get to THE CURE!

First though, it's important that you know a bit about inflammation and what exactly it is we're treating.

Inflammation (Latin: inflamatio, to set on fire) is the complex biological response of vascular tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells or irritants. It is a protective attempt by the organism to remove the injurious stimuli as well as initiate the healing process for the tissue.

In the absence of inflammation, wounds and infections would never heal and progressive destruction of the tissue would compromise the survival of the organism. However, an inflammation that runs unchecked can also lead to a host of diseases including atherosclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Inflammation can be classified as either acute or chronic. Acute inflammation is the initial response of the body to harmful stimuli and is achieved by the increased movement of plasma and leukocytes from the blood into the injured tissues. Prolonged inflammation, known as chronic inflammation, leads to a progressive shift in the type of cells which are present at the site of inflammation and is characterized by simultaneous destruction and healing of the tissue from the inflammatory process.


Inflammation Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inflammation


from Dr. Mehmet Oz on ShareCare.com

What is Inflammation?

Inflammation is a response from your body's natural defense system. The inflammatory process occurs to help fight foreign invaders such as bacteria, viruses, irritation, toxins, and trauma.

When you're stressed, your body produces the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. If you live in a state of continual, low-grade stress, or experience high stress for too long, this ongoing exposure to the fight or flight hormones adrenaline and cortisol can lead to the development of little patches of hidden inflammation throughout your body. The main causes of hidden inflammation are many: stress, inadequate sleep, nutritional deficiencies, an inflammatory diet (a diet high in sugars, processed foods, and white flour), food allergens, imbalances in your digestive function, nutritional deficiencies, low-grade chronic infections, and/or a sedentary lifestyle.


from Dr. Michael Roizen on ShareCare.com

How does eating unhealthy food cause inflammation?

At the intestinal level, foods can cause inflammation of your intestinal wall through such things as allergies, bacteria, or other toxins. When food incites inflammatory responses in your gut, it's as if a grenade has been launched throughout your digestive system. Then in response to this already-damaging grenade, your body tosses more grenades to create an apocalyptic digestive War of the Worlds. The effect is that the more inflammation we have in the intestines, the more we allow toxins to enter our bloodstream.

During this firefight along the digestive border, your body perceives a foreign intruder and assigns its special forces-mast cells and macrophages-to eliminate the intruder. These are the cells that start an immune-response process throughout your body by ingesting foreign elements and alerting the rest of your body's protecting cells that intruders have entered the area.

Your body sees foods that don't agree with its sensibilities as a foreign invader, so the macrophages attack these foods and tell everyone that this war is going on. This causes your whole body to start firing away at these foods and at innocent bystanders-and thus causes inflammation in your bloodstream. In that way, eating unhealthy food is really like having a chronic infection that triggers an immune response, which then causes inflammation.

Along with eating unhealthy food, intestinal inflammation can also be triggered by fat and blood sugar. One of your body's goals is to get glucose into your brain cells-to feed those brain cells so that they can function. But inflammation in your body prevents sugar from getting to those cells, so you end up wanting more glucose, eating more sugary foods, which then increases inflammation and starts the whole cycle again.

While we should be concerned about decreasing our body fat, we should also concentrate on decreasing our body's inflammatory response so we become more efficient in managing potential complications of our waist size. There's some genetic component to inflammation (some us have more than others, and smokers tend to have higher levels of inflammation than non-smokers), but the process of gaining weight is often a process of inflammation. When you can decrease your body's inflammatory response, you will decrease your weight and waist as well.


from LIFE EXTENSION "Aging and Inflammation"

Age Related Inflammation

Chronic systemic inflammation is an underlying cause of many seemingly unrelated, age-related diseases. As humans grow older, systemic inflammation can inflict devastating degenerative effects throughout the body (Ward 1995; McCarty 1999; Brod 2000). This fact is often overlooked by the medical establishment, yet persuasive scientific evidence exists that correcting a chronic inflammatory disorder will enable many of the infirmities of aging to be prevented or reversed.

The pathological consequences of inflammation are well-documented in the medical literature (Willard et al. 1999; Hogan et al. 2001). Regrettably, the dangers of systemic inflammation continue to be ignored, even though proven ways exist to reverse this process. By following specific prevention protocols the inflammatory cascade can be significantly reduced.

Aging results in an increase of inflammatory cytokines (destructive cell-signaling chemicals) that contribute to the progression of many degenerative diseases (Van der Meide et al. 1996; Licinio et al. 1999). Rheumatoid arthritis is a classic autoimmune disorder in which excess levels of cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a), interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin 1b [IL-1(b)], and/or interleukin-8 (IL-8) are known to cause or contribute to the inflammatory syndrome (Deon et al. 2001).

Chronic inflammation is also involved in diseases as diverse as atherosclerosis, cancer, heart valve dysfunction, obesity, diabetes, congestive heart failure, digestive system diseases, and Alzheimer's disease (Brouqui et al. 1994; Devaux et al. 1997; De Keyser et al. 1998). In aged people with multiple degenerative diseases, the inflammatory marker, C-reactive protein, is often sharply elevated, indicating the presence of an underlying inflammatory disorder (Invitti 2002; Lee et al. 2002; Santoro et al. 2002; Sitzer et al. 2002). When a cytokine blood profile is conducted on people in a weakened condition, an excess level of one or more of the inflammatory cytokines, e.g., TNF-a, IL-6, IL-1(b), or IL-8, is usually found (Santoro et al. 2002).


from Dr. Mehmet Oz on ShareCare.com

What is Hidden Inflammation?

Inflammation is a process in which your body's white blood cells and other chemicals in your body protect you from bacteria, viruses, or infectious materials. Hidden inflammation is a condition where there are pockets of undetected inflammation in your body. Inflammation can occur in any organ or system. When it's hidden there may be no outward symptoms.

While hidden inflammation is not a "condition" per se it is likely the root cause of many other conditions. Many behaviors, foods, and conditions can contribute to hidden inflammation. Stress, inadequate sleep, nutritional deficiencies, an inflammatory diet, food allergens, imbalances in your digestive function, low-grade chronic infections, or a sedentary lifestyle -- any of these can contribute to it. Hidden inflammation can attack any system or organ in your body and is very often at the root of many of the epidemic diseases plaguing our country today. It is greatly linked to metabolic stress -- the kind of stress that occurs when the various systems of your body are challenged by anything from environmental factors, stress, or toxicity.

Low grade or hidden inflammation can lead to the many conditions such as heart disease obesity, cancer, depression, dementia, autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), forgetfulness, foggy-headedness, and Alzheimer's, even blindness. This is a short list of possible conditions resulting from untreated hidden inflammation.

Many behaviors, foods, and conditions can contribute to hidden inflammation. Stress, inadequate sleep, nutritional deficiencies, an inflammatory diet, food allergens, imbalances in your digestive function, low-grade chronic infections, or a sedentary lifestyle -- any of these can contribute to it.


from "The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Less Stress, Gorgeous Skin, and a Whole New You" by Amy Wechsler
Tantor Media; Unabridged,Unabridged CD edition (October 21, 2008). ISBN-10: 1400108802


How chronic inflammation can affect your body.

Inflammation is supposed to be a good thing, a way for the body to fend off harmful bacteria, viruses, and other elements that could be toxic to us. On a most basic level, we're all familiar with the kind of inflammation that accompanies cuts and bruises -- pain, swelling, heat, and redness. Allergies and arthritis are also forms of inflammation. When injured tissue becomes inflamed, the body reacts by calling in the immune-system troops to quell the heat and injury. Even the redness and swelling around an acne lesion is low-grade inflammation in action.

However, chronic inflammation acts like a smoldering wildfire in our bodies. When inflammation goes awry, it can disrupt the immune system and trip chronic problems or disease. The scary-sneaky part about inflammation is that it can be going on inside us at a deep level without us really knowing it because we can't necessarily feel it. Eventually, you do have to take note of it when it builds up over time and results in an ailment or disease, from simple skin rashes and persistent acne to more serious problems like heart disease and cancer. What fuels the endless burn of chronic inflammation? Oxidative stress, or free-radical damage that can cause wrinkles and cancer. Because free radicals steal electrons from other molecules, rendering those molecules handicapped and damaged, they both trigger inflammation and are created by it.


from LIFE EXTENSION "Aging and Inflammation"

Seemingly unrelated diseases have a common link.

The New England Journal of Medicine published several studies in the year 2000 showing that the blood indicators of inflammation are strong predictive factors for determining who will suffer a heart attack (Lindahl et al. 2000; Packard et al. 2000; Rader 2000). The January 2001 issue of Life Extension Magazine described these studies and explained how individuals could protect themselves against these inflammatory markers (such as C-reactive protein, homocysteine, and fibrinogen).

A growing consensus among scientists is that common disorders such as atherosclerosis, colon cancer, and Alzheimer's disease are all caused in part by a chronic inflammatory syndrome.

Seemingly unrelated diseases have a common link. People who have multiple degenerative disorders often exhibit excess levels of pro-inflammatory markers in their blood. Here is a partial list of common medical conditions that are associated with chronic inflammation:

DISEASE MECHANISM
Allergy Inflammatory cytokines induce autoimmune reactions
Alzheimer's Chronic inflammation destroys brain cells
Anemia Inflammatory cytokines attack erythropoietin production
Aortic valve stenosis Chronic inflammation damages heart valves
Arthritis Inflammatory cytokines destroy joint cartilage and synovial fluid
Cancer Chronic inflammation causes many cancers
Congestive heart failure Chronic inflammation contributes to heart muscle wasting
Fibromyalgia Inflammatory cytokines are elevated
Fibrosis Inflammatory cytokines attack traumatized tissue
Heart attack Chronic inflammation contributes to coronary atherosclerosis
Kidney failure Inflammatory cytokines restrict circulation and damage nephrons
Lupus Inflammatory cytokines induce an autoimmune attack
Pancreatitis Inflammatory cytokines induce pancreatic cell injury
Psoriasis Inflammatory cytokines induce dermatitis
Stroke Chronic inflammation promoted thromboembolic events
Surgical complications Inflammatory cytokines prevent healing


from Dr. Michael Roizen on ShareCare.com

How can inflammation affect your mood

Body-wide inflammation isn't just bad for your arteries. More and more evidence shows that inflammation can fuel brain changes that mildly or majorly affect mood. In fact, inflammation may explain the link between depression's low moods and major-league health issues, such as heart disease. A steady diet of burgers, fries, and sugary baked goods laced with salt boosts depression risk by 51% -- perhaps because these foods fuel inflammation. Instead, pile your plate with fruits, veggies, and the good fats found in nuts (walnuts and macadamia nuts especially), olive oil, and fish (e.g., salmon or trout).


inflammation and disease
1. Acute - Swelling Stage
2. Subacute - Regenerative Stage
3. Chronic - Scar Tissue Maturation and Remodeling Stage

Swelling Stage: During this stage there is inflammation, redness and swelling due to the vascular changes. There is exudation of cells and chemicals that cause the swelling and the pain. Secondarily, the chemical irritants are neutralized, the area is sealed off from surrounding tissue and circulation is impaired. Symptoms are pain at rest and aggravated by activity.

Subacute Stage: The time of healing and repair. Noxious chemicals are further neutralized. New capillary beds growing into the damaged areas are supported by connective tissue growth (collagen fibers) and together form granulation buds. This new tissue is fragile and must be handled gently as it is easily injured. Visible signs of inflammation subside.

Remodeling Stage: Signs of inflammation are absent and scar tissue is maturing. Maturation refers to the growth of the fibroblasts to fibrocytes and remodeling refers to the organization of and shrinking of collagen fibers along lines of stress.


"Stages of Inflammation." Julie Onofrio, LMP, www.thebodyworker.com/physio_inflammation_overview.htm

inflammation and disease

C-reactive protein

A protein found in the blood, the levels of which rise in response to inflammation (i.e. C-reactive protein is an acute-phase protein). Its physiological role is to bind to phosphocholine expressed on the surface of dead or dying cells (and some types of bacteria) in order to activate the complement system via the C1Q complex.

CRP is synthesized by the liver in response to factors released by fat cells (adipocytes). It is a member of the pentraxin family of proteins. It is not related to C-peptide or protein C.

CRP is a member of the class of acute-phase reactants, as its levels rise dramatically during inflammatory processes occurring in the body.

CRP is used mainly as a marker of inflammation. Apart from liver failure, there are few known factors that interfere with CRP production.

Measuring and charting CRP values can prove useful in determining disease progress or the effectiveness of treatments. Blood, usually collected in a serum-separating tube, is analysed in a medical laboratory or at the point of care. Various analytical methods are available for CRP determination, such as ELISA, immunoturbidimetry, rapid immunodiffusion, and visual agglutination.


"The physiological structure of human C-reactive protein and its complex with phosphocholine." Thompson, D; Pepys, MB; Wood, SP (February 1999). Structure 7 (2): 169???77. doi:10.1016/S0969-2126(99)80023-9. PMID 10368284.

"C-reactive protein: a critical update." Pepys, MB; Hirschfield, GM (June 2003). J Clin Invest 111 (12): 1805???12. doi:10.1172/JCI18921. PMC 161431. PMID 12813013.

"Adipokines: molecular links between obesity and atheroslcerosis." Lau, DC; Dhillon, B; Yan, H; Szmitko, PE; Verma, S (May 2005). Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 288 (5): H2031???41. doi:10.1152/ajpheart.01058.2004. PMID 15653761.

"C reactive protein." Wikipedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C-reactive_protein



Silent Inflammation

Silent inflammation is the first sign that your body is out of balance and you are no longer well. You can't feel it, but it is affecting your heart, your brain, and your immune system.

There are three underlying hormonal changes that are linked to silent inflammation. They involve the overproduction of three distinct types of hormones:

o Eicosanoids
o Insulin
o Cortisol


"A Silent Killer in Our Midst" Dr. Barry Sears, Zone Health.com www.zoneliving.com (2005)


Eicosanoid

A lipid mediator of inflammation derived from the 20-carbon atom arachidonic acid (20 in Greek is "eicosa") or a similar fatty acid. The eicosanoids include the prostaglandins, prostacyclin, thromboxane, and leukotrienes. eicosanoids can be considered "super-hormones" capable of modulating the immune system either by turning on the inflammatory response ("bad" eicosanoids) or turning off the inflammatory response ("good" eicosanoids) depending on which type of an eicosanoid a cell produces. Unlike typical hormones that are produced by a particular gland, every cell in your body is capable of producing eicosanoids. In essence, you have about 100 trillion eicosanoid glands, and the goal of anti-inflammatory medicine is to maintain an appropriate balance of the "good" and "bad" eicosanoids by controlling the levels of their molecular building blocks in the membranes of each cell in the body.

Here are some examples of chronic diseases that result from an excess production of "bad" eicosanoids.

o Heart disease
o Stroke
o Hypertension
o Arthritis
o Cancer
o Asthma
o Depression
o Alzheimer's

Eicosanoids form the command center of your immune system. Knock them out completely, and the immune system gets knocked out as well. This occurs in those who have immune-deficiency diseases, such as AIDS.

Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids reduce pro-inflammatory eicosanoids, whereas omega-6 fatty acids increase the production of pro-inflammatory eicosanoids.


Dr. Barry Sears, Official Science Site of the Zone Diet, www.drsears.com

MedicineNet www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=25922

"Anti-Inflammatory Medicine: Dietary Modulation of Eicosanoids" Inflammation Research Foundation, Marblehead, MA www.inflammationresearchfoundation.org

"A Silent Killer in Our Midst" Dr. Barry Sears, Zone Health.com www.zoneliving.com (2005)



Insulin

Insulin is the storage hormone that drives nutrients into cells. It is vital for your survival since it allows cells to either store nutrients or immediately use them for energy. Without adequate levels of insulin, your cells would literally starve to death. And this is exactly what happens in type 1 (childhood-onset) diabetes, in which the patient is producing no insulin. (In fact, only a small percentage of diabetics have this type of diabetes.) Without injections of insulin, death is the inevitable outcome. But most of us are much more likely to have the opposite problem: we make way too much insulin. This is bad news, since it is excess insulin that makes you fat and keeps you fat.

Excess insulin's link to silent inflammation stems from the fact that it increases the production of arachidonic acid (AA), the building block for all pro-inflammatory eicosanoids. And if that isn't bad enough, recent research shows that insulin induces inflammation by increasing the production of interleukin-6 (IL-6), a pro-inflammatory cytokine that causes the formation of C-reactive protein, another marker for silent inflammation. The bottom line: controlling insulin is essential if you want to reverse silent inflammation and move toward a state of wellness.


"A Silent Killer in Our Midst" Dr. Barry Sears, Zone Health.com www.zoneliving.com (2005)

Cortisol (hydrocortisone)

A steroid hormone, or glucocorticoid, produced by the adrenal gland. It is released in response to stress and a low level of blood glucocorticoids. Its primary functions are to increase blood sugar through gluconeogenesis; suppress the immune system; and aid in fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism.

When your body is in a constant state of silent inflammation, it reacts to it by having your adrenal glands pump out high amounts of cortisol, the primary anti-inflammatory hormone used to decrease excess inflammation. We tend to think of cortisol as a stress hormone, but in reality it is an anti-stress hormone. At the cellular levels all stress creates an inflammatory state caused by an over-production of pro-inflammatory eicosanoids. Cortisol is sent out to lower the levels of these eicosanoids, which is fine over the short run when stress is temporary. But having a high level of constant silent inflammation means you are going to have high levels of cortisol on a permanent basis, causing a number of nasty consequences such as increasing insulin resistance (which makes you fatter), killing nerve cells (which makes you dumber), and depressing your entire immune system (which makes you sicker). This is the collateral damage that comes from increased silent inflammation.


"Cortisol" Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cortisol

"First Aid USMLE Step 1" Tao Le et al. (2009)

"A Silent Killer in Our Midst" Dr. Barry Sears, Zone Health.com www.zoneliving.com (2005)



Arachidonic Acid (AA)

This is the 20-carbon length long-chain omega-6 fatty acid that is the immediate precursor of many eicosanoids that increase inflammation. Egg yolks, fatty red meat, and organ meats are rich sources of arachidonic acid.


"Anti-Inflammatory Medicine: Dietary Modulation of Eicosanoids" Inflammation Research Foundation, Marblehead, MA www.inflammationresearchfoundation.org


Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA)

This is the 20-carbon length long-chain omega-3 fatty acid that that inhibits the formation of arachidonic acid (AA). Fish oils are the richest source of EPA.


"Anti-Inflammatory Medicine: Dietary Modulation of Eicosanoids" Inflammation Research Foundation, Marblehead, MA www.inflammationresearchfoundation.org


AA/EPA ratio (A Measure of "Silent" Inflammation)

This unique test measures the ratio of arachidonic acid (AA) to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) in plasma. This ratio of the principle omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids is a measure of the body's eicosanoid balance. Balancing the eicosanoids in the body is an excellent way for managing heart disease and other chronic and inflammatory processes.

When Good Fat Turns Bad, a lower AA/EPA ratio indicates a better balance of "good" and "bad" eicosanoids in your body. An AA/EPA ratio of less than 3 but not less than 1.5 is considered to be ideal. It is no longer considered "well" to have a ratio greater than 10. Anything exceeding 15 means a high level of inflammation in the blood (Toxic Fat Syndrome) and requires immediate dietary attention.


Dr. Barry Sears, Official Science Site of the Zone Diet, www.drsears.com

"Anti-Inflammatory Medicine: Dietary Modulation of Eicosanoids" Inflammation Research Foundation, Marblehead, MA www.inflammationresearchfoundation.org

















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