Inflammation is your body’s immune response to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens (viruses, bacteria), toxic compounds and more. It has long been known to be the root cause of virtually every chronic disease that comes through a doctor’s office door, including arthritis, heart disease, most cancers, most all autoimmune diseases, Parkinson’s disease and especially Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Why is inflammation so powerful?
But behind the drywall, the water damage spreads. Over time, you may have wood rot, ruined walls and mold. And if the mold affects the health of those in your family, you could be looking at costly medical bills, remediation of the home and maybe even needing to sell your home.
Clearly, it would have been better to fix the problem.
In the very same way, inflammation goes on below the surface. It slowly but surely causes more and more damage. The symptoms appear small and may even be in one specific area at first. We may try to treat them, but if the treatment is not a true fix, then it’s just a patch.
Inflammation leads to disease eventually, not immediately.
To be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia, patients are almost always in the moderate to severe range. They could have done so much more to fix, repair and reverse it had they started working on it earlier.
Don’t Let Your Symptoms Go Unchecked
Let me share a little personal example (it wasn’t “little” at the time, but in comparison to the brain, you could call it little.) Many years ago, I had terrible psoriasis all over my body. I tried every lotion, potion, treatment, cream and pill under the sun.
Nothing changed until I figured out, by food allergy tests and the process of elimination, that I was very sensitive to gluten, peppers and tomatoes. These three, which I ate almost daily and actually craved, were causing incredible inflammation in my gut. For me, that translated into psoriasis on my skin.
It took me about five years to finally figure it all out, including repairing leaky gut and restoring beneficial bacteria in the gut, but I did! When the symptoms finally cleared up, it was an incredible relief! I’ve had no symptoms for many years, but I still make it a practice to avoid or very infrequently eat gluten, peppers and tomatoes.
In the same way, when you fix whatever has been causing your inflammation, the symptoms will usually eventually clear up. They have to because you removed the point of inflammation. You went to the source and fixed the problem. You remove the thorn, and you will eventually heal.
For the sake of your brain, quenching any inflammation is always the best plan of attack. Elevated blood sugar and insulin resistance are also associated with inflammation.
Dr. Colbert’s Top Tip for Inflammation
I highly recommend a healthy keto diet. A healthy keto diet not only slows or stops inflammation, it also helps heal your gut, feeds your good bacteria and protects your brain from plaque buildup. Basically, a healthy keto diet does it all!
On a side note, one very common sign of inflammation is the presence of belly fat. Usually, the more belly fat someone has, the higher their inflammatory markers and the smaller their hippocampus (the brain’s memory center). A shrinking hippocampus is not a good thing!
Also, belly fat itself is highly inflammatory. Inflammation may be caused by diet (as was my psoriasis), infections, toxins, a leaky gut, medications or something else. Sugar and trans fats are inflammatory to everyone, and gluten and dairy are inflammatory to many.
Everyone agrees that inflammation must be stopped because it leads directly to disease and often to Alzheimer’s and dementia, but will they do anything about it? Sadly, not many will.
Most causes of inflammation are self-induced, and changing a habit, especially if it is a food and lifestyle habit, is not the easiest thing to do. But when it comes to the brain and the very real risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia, making new habits is easy!
Don Colbert, MD, has been a board-certified family practice doctor for over twenty-five years in Orlando, Florida, and most recently in Dallas, Texas. He is also board-certified in antiaging medicine through the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and has received extensive training in nutritional and preventive medicine. He is the author of three New York Times best-selling books: “Dr. Colbert’s Keto Zone Diet,” “The Seven Pillars of Health” and “Dr. Colbert’s ‘I Can Do This’ Diet,” along with best sellers “Toxic Relief,” the Bible Cure series, “Living in Divine Health” and “Stress Less.” He has sold more than 10 million books and treated more than 50,000 patients in his years of practicing medicine.