Inflammation - the hidden mood demon
Everyone experiences inflammation at some time or another, it is a normal function of our body's immune system. Inflammation is the body's way of protecting itself from infections and injuries, also from substances that enter the body that the immune system sees as foreign invaders.
It has a very vital function in that it speeds up healing and protects us from various chemicals, germs, bacteria and viruses which would otherwise cause havoc with our health.
Inflammation is only a problem when it becomes excessive or is triggered by something that is not a real threat to us, such as food proteins.
This is usually caused by a metabolic over-reaction of the person concerned.
External, or surface inflammation is characterised by redness, swelling, heat, pain and loss of function. Internal inflammation can lead to ailments such as depression, rhinitis, asthma, heart disease, fibromyalgia, lupus, diabetes, arthritis and high blood pressure.
For our purposes, what we are interested in here is the negative effects upon mood which can be caused by brain inflammation. Anything that is swollen and inflamed cannot function as well as that same limb or organ without the inflammation, and this is what happens. The blood circulation becomes restricted and fluid balance is altered. Normal neurotransmitter production in this condition is severely disrupted and thrown out of balance.
To correct this type of problem, first you need to identify your histamine status, that is, are you a high or normal histamine type (low histamine types suffer less inflammatory problems).
You can find a list of high or low histamine symptoms here that will help you decide.
If you are a high histamine type, you will need to bring your histamine down to a more normal level.
Don't be tempted to over do it! Histamine is still an important and necessary neurotransmitter.
Refer to the histamine raising and lowering suggestions on the same page. High histamine types are known to suffer from inflammation and over-reactions to foods and chemicals etc.
Next you will need to identify what triggers your inflammation. Refer to the allergy and e-numbers pages for some clues as most inflammatory problems originate from foods or chemicals.
High homocysteine levels can also cause brain inflammation.
Prostaglandins are hormone-like compounds, some of which can promote inflammation while others reduce it. The kinds of foods that we eat, particularly fats and oils, can greatly influence the types of prostaglandins the body produces.
Omega-6 fatty acids, found in most cooking oils including corn, safflower, peanut and soybean oil, promote inflammation, because they are the basic building blocks of arachidonic acid and prostaglandin E2, two of several, key inflammation causing substances in the body.
On the other hand, oils found in cold water species of fish (like salmon), flax seeds and leafy green vegetables contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory. It has also been recognised that transfatty acids, particularly those found in partially hydrogenated oils, increase inflammation in the body because they interfere with the enzymes needed to process omega-3 fatty acid.
Prostaglandin E1, omega 3, cortisol, magnesium, chromium, the bioflavonoids quercetin and rutin, vitamin C, glutamine, vitamin E, MSM.Anti Inflammatory Foods
Mackerel - sardines - tuna - salmon - trout - tomatoes - peppers - peas - spinach - kale - parsley radishes - raw carrots - celery - onions - garlic and cucumbers - apples - pairs - kiwi - oranges - grapefruit - peaches - plums - melons - strawberries - blueberries - blackberries - currants - chicken - turkey - chilli peppers.Inflammatories
Allergies, Prostaglandin E2, omega-6, potassium, iron, zinc, manganese, sodium, high B complex, serotonin, acidosis, homocysteine, lack of oxygen.Inflammatory Foods
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