The Inflammation Syndrome: The Complete Nutritional Program to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, Arthritis, Diabetes, Allergies, and Asthma [NOOK Book]

Overview

What is the Inflammation Syndrome? It's the cumulative effect of low-grade inflammation -- including the aches and pains we all experience -- that grows into chronic debilitating disease. This book, the first major book on the syndrome, reveals the powerful role that inflammation plays in a wide variety of common health conditions -- from simple aches and pains to heart disease, obesity, diabetes, Syndrome X, arthritis, asthma, and athletic injuries. Drawing on cutting-edge research conducted around the world, ...
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The Inflammation Syndrome: The Complete Nutritional Program to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, Arthritis, Diabetes, Allergies, and Asthma

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Overview

What is the Inflammation Syndrome? It's the cumulative effect of low-grade inflammation -- including the aches and pains we all experience -- that grows into chronic debilitating disease. This book, the first major book on the syndrome, reveals the powerful role that inflammation plays in a wide variety of common health conditions -- from simple aches and pains to heart disease, obesity, diabetes, Syndrome X, arthritis, asthma, and athletic injuries. Drawing on cutting-edge research conducted around the world, Jack Challem provides a revolutionary approach to healing inflammation-related problems through an easy-to-follow nutrition and supplement program. He also shares the latest information on C-reactive protein, one of the markers of serious inflammation. This book, quite simply, shows you how to feel better for life.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471470304
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/29/2003
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 391,760
  • File size: 896 KB

Meet the Author

JACK CHALLEM, known as The Nutrition Reporter™, is a leading health and medical writer and a contributing editor for Body & Soul and Let’s Live magazines, as well as other consumer health publications. His scientific articles have been published in Free Radical Biology & Medicine, Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, Medical Hypotheses, and other journals. Challem is the lead author of the bestselling Syndrome X.
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Read an Excerpt

The Inflammation Syndrome

The Complete Nutritional Program to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, Arthritis, Diabetes, Allergies, and Asthma
By Jack Challem

John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0-471-20271-1


Chapter One

Meet the Inflammation Syndrome

Hank and Debra: The Deadly Effects of the Inflammation Syndrome

For Hank and Debra, what they didn't know came back to hurt them.

In college they were athletic, trim, and attractive. Hank was the star of the college football team, and Debra was an avid tennis player. Youth was on their side, and they quickly recovered from the inevitable athletic injuries.

After they graduated and married Hank pursued a career in sales, enjoying its competitive nature but not immediately recognizing how it kept him from exercising. Meanwhile, Debra juggled motherhood and periodic jobs to earn extra money. Like many people, they learned to save time by eating mostly ready-to-heat convenience foods and fast-food restaurant meals, which tended to be high in fat and carbohydrates and low in vegetables.

Hank regularly suffered from heartburn and indigestion, but he never figured out that his poor food choices were the source of his stomach upsets. Debra had developed asthma and mild rheumatoid arthritis. Both were prescribed medications by their physicians, but diet was never even considered a potential factor in their deteriorating health.

By middle age their trim athletic figures were little more than amemory. Hank had gone from a lean 180 to 250 pounds, and Debra's weight had ballooned from 110 to 180 pounds. Hank's blood cholesterol was elevated and, combined with his weight, significantly increased his risk for heart disease. He had also developed chronic aches and pains in his shoulders and hips, a result of old football injuries. Meanwhile, Debra's asthma and arthritis had gotten worse, and she was taking prednisone and other medications to control her symptoms.

In their fifties Hank developed adult-onset (type 2) diabetes and Debra was diagnosed with breast cancer. Hank was prescribed a glucose-lowering drug, and Debra underwent surgery and chemotherapy.

Having gone through all that, their health seemed relatively stable for several years. But retirement saw no relief for their health problems. Hank was taking eight prescription medications and Debra was taking six. At age sixty-two Debra's breast cancer reappeared, and treatment failed. She died at age sixty-three. Hank, who was largely confined to home (and had hot meals and groceries delivered by a local social service organization) had a heart attack and died at sixty-five.

All of Hank and Debra's health problems were treated according to the prevailing medical standards of care. But their doctors failed to see that poor food choices and chronic inflammation were intertwined in many of their health problems. As a result the doctors treated only symptoms, not the causes of Hank and Debra's problems.

Every disease, every ache, and every pain you suffer revolves around inflammation.

Inflammation is what causes the pain of arthritis, the discomfort of allergies, the wheezing of asthma, and the stiffness from overusing your muscles. Inflammation also underlies the most devastating and catastrophic of all diseases: heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, and many forms of cancer.

If that seems hard to believe, consider that over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs reduce the risk of heart attacks and Alzheimer's disease. But this book is not going to recommend that you take drugs to reduce inflammation. Their side effects all too often outweigh their benefits, especially when natural and safe anti-inflammatory foods and nutrients abound.

Even if you seem to be pretty healthy today, odds are that inflammation is simmering in your body, quietly damaging your heart, your mind, your organs. Such inflammation may be stirred up by physical injuries, frequent colds and flus, allergies, eating the wrong types of fats and carbohydrates, and by having a "spare tire" around your middle. At a certain point your inflammation will boil over into painful and debilitating symptoms.

Inflammation is a normal process that can go dreadfully wrong. It is supposed to protect us from infections and promote healing when we are injured.

Chronic inflammation does just the opposite: it breaks down our bodies and makes us more susceptible to disease. Inflammation forces millions of people with arthritis to alter their daily lives, and it adds caution to the millions of people with asthma who do not know when their next suffocating attack will occur. Millions of other people-with multiple sclerosis, lupus, diabetes, and other disorders-also suffer from chronic inflammation.

The Inflammation Syndrome

Individual inflammatory disorders such as asthma or rheumatoid arthritis are bad enough. Far more insidious is the Inflammation Syndrome, the significance of which is only now being recognized in medical circles.

A syndrome is a group of symptoms that characterizes a particular disorder. For example, in my previous book Syndrome X: The Complete Nutritional Program to Prevent and Reverse Insulin Resistance, Syndrome X was defined as the clustering of abdominal fat, insulin resistance, hypertension, and elevated cholesterol-all of which significantly increase the risk of diabetes and coronary artery disease.

Similarly, the Inflammation Syndrome reflects the coexistence of at least two inflammatory disorders that significantly increase the risk of more serious inflammatory diseases. What causes this ongoing buildup in inflammation? Although an inflammatory response may primarily affect specific tissues, such as the knees, it commonly radiates through the body and randomly attacks other tissues. Over a number of years this systemic (bodywide) inflammation can contribute to diseases that might appear unrelated but that do share a common thread of chronic inflammation.

Some examples of the inflammation syndrome are in order. Let's start with being overweight, a condition that affects two-thirds of Americans and growing numbers of people in most other developed countries.

Excess weight contributes to inflammation because fat cells secrete chemicals, such as C-reactive protein and interleukin-6, that promote inflammation. Being overweight increases the risk of many other diseases, and part of the reason is related to inflammation. If you are overweight, you have a greater risk of developing adult-onset diabetes, which also has a strong inflammatory component. Inflammation in diabetes is related to being overweight, to having elevated blood sugar and insulin levels, and to consuming too many refined carbohydrates (such as white bread and sugary breakfast cereals).

The Inflammation Syndrome does not stop here. Having diabetes also increases the risk of periodontitis, a type of dental inflammation. Each of these disorders-overweight, diabetes, and periodontitis-is serious by itself. But as the inflammation in these disorders simmers year after year, it also increases the risk of coronary artery disease, which medicine has recently recognized as an inflammatory disease of the blood vessels. In a nutshell each inflammatory disorder has an additive effect, increasing the body's overall level of inflammation and the risk of very serious diseases.

Many other examples of the Inflammation Syndrome abound. Allergies stir up the inflammatory response, increasing the risk of rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune (self-allergic) disease. Infections also trigger an immune response, and chronic infections and inflammation account for an estimated 30 percent of cancers. Joint injuries frequently set an inflammatory response into motion, setting the stage for osteoarthritis. Serious head injuries and their resultant brain inflammation increase the long-term risk of Alzheimer's disease, which is also being viewed by doctors as an inflammatory process affecting brain cells.

This is serious and scary stuff, and the stakes for your health are very high. But the point of this book is that chronic inflammation and the inflammation syndrome can be prevented and reversed. This book shows you how.

What Is Chronic Inflammation?

Inflammation assumes many different forms, and everyone experiences it at one time or another. Perhaps the most common type of inflammation is sudden and acute, such as when you burn yourself in the kitchen, overuse muscles when moving furniture, or injure tendons when playing sports. The injured area swells, turns red, and becomes tender to touch.

Under normal circumstances inflammation helps you heal, and it can even save your life. For example, if you accidentally cut your finger with a knife, bacteria from the knife, air, or surface of your skin immediately penetrate the breach. Unchecked, these bacteria would quickly spread through your bloodstream and kill you.

However, your body's immune system almost immediately recognizes these bacteria as foreign and unleashes a coordinated attack to contain and stop the infection. Inflammation encourages tiny blood vessels in your finger to dilate, allowing a variety of white blood cells to leak out, track, and engulf bacteria. Some of these white blood cells also pick up and destroy cells damaged by the cut. In addition, inflammation signals the body to grow new cells to seal the cut. Within a day or two your cut finger becomes less inflamed, and a few days later it is completely healed.

Your body responds in similar fashion if you strain a muscle, such as by lifting too heavy a box, or by overexerting yourself during sports. The resulting inflammation, characterized by swelling, pain, and stiffness, is designed to remove damaged muscle cells and help initiate the healing process to replace those cells. Again, within a few days the inflammation decreases and you are well on the road to recovery.

Chronic inflammation, however, is very different. It does not go away, at least not quickly, and many people believe from their own experience that it will never go away. It results in persistent swelling, stiffness, or pain. Furthermore, you become more susceptible to inflammation as you age, but that, too, may be reversible.

* * *

QUIZ 1 How Is Your Current Health?

Have you been diagnosed with one of the following conditions, regardless of whether you are taking medications for treatment:

AIDS or HIV infection Add 2 points ______

Asthma Add 2 points ______

Bronchitis Add 1 point ______

Celiac disease or gluten intolerance Add 2 points ______

Coronary artery (heart) disease Add 2 points ______

Diabetes or elevated blood sugar Add 2 points ______

Gingivitis or periodontitis Add 1 point ______

Hepatitis Add 2 points ______

Inflammatory bowel disease Add 2 points ______

Rheumatoid arthritis Add 2 points ______

Osteoarthritis Add 2 points ______

Eczema, psoriasis, or frequent sunburn Add 1 point ______

Stomach ulcers Add 1 point ______

Ulcerated varicose veins Add 2 points ______

A recent physical injury-by accident, or through sports/athletics, or via a severe sunburn Add 1 point ______

Do you have any consistently stiff or aching joints, such as those in your fingers or knees? Add 1 point ______

Does your body feel stiff when you get out of bed in the morning? Add 1 point ______

If you are overweight by ten pounds or less, do you carry all or most of the extra fat around your abdomen? Add 1 point ______

If you are obese (more than twenty pounds over your ideal weight), do you carry all or most of the extra fat around your abdomen? Add 2 points ______

Is your nose stuffed up or runny a lot of the time? Add 1 point ______

Do you get injured (anything from serious bruises to broken bones several or more times a year) because of accidents, the nature of your work, or athletic activities? Add 1 point ______

Have you been hospitalized for surgery during the past twelve months? Add 1 point ______

Do you smoke or chew tobacco products? Add 2 points ______

Do you get frequent colds or flus? Add 1 point ______

Do you have any seasonal allergies, such as to pollens or molds? Add 1 point ______

Do you have any skin sores or rashes that don't seem to go away? Add 1 point ______

Your score on quiz 1: ______

Interpretation and ranking:

0-1 Low. You have a low level of inflammation, which is healthy. 2-6 Moderate. You have a moderate level of inflammation that affects your current health and poses risks to your long-term health, and you should work to reverse it. 7-20 High. You have a high level of inflammation, which is very harmful and requires immediate attention to reverse. 21+ Very high. Although rare, your level of inflammation is extremely high and should be reversed without delay.

* * *

Can Your Doctor Measure Inflammation?

For many disorders inflammation is so obvious it does not have to be measured. For example, the pain of arthritis is a clear enough sign of inflammation. Swelling, redness, and tenderness to the touch also are obvious signs of inflammation in muscle injuries, gingivitis, and many other disorders. These are typically localized forms of inflammation, though they burden the entire body with a variety of inflammation-promoting substances. Tests to confirm inflammation in these situations may be an unnecessary expense.

More general systemic, or bodywide, inflammation is not always apparent. Inflammation of blood vessel walls increases the risk of a heart attack, and inflammation of the stomach wall (gastritis) greatly increases the risk of ulcers and gastric cancer.

A common blood test measures the sedimentation rate (or "sed rate"), reflecting how fast red blood cells settle and form a sediment.

Continues...


Excerpted from The Inflammation Syndrome by Jack Challem Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
1 Meet the Inflammation Syndrome 9
2 Your Inflammation Triggers 19
3 The Dietary Causes of Inflammation 26
4 Balancing a Diet That's Out of Balance 34
5 What's Wrong with Anti-Inflammatory Drugs 49
6 Fifteen Steps to Fight the Inflammation Syndrome 59
7 Anti-Inflammation Syndrome Menu Plans and Recipes 78
8 Good Fats That Rev Up Your Body's Natural Anti-Inflammatories 103
9 Vitamin E to Extinguish the Flames of Inflammation 116
10 Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and Vitamin C to Rebuild Your Tissues 128
11 B Vitamins and More to Reduce Inflammation 136
12 The Inflammation Syndrome, Diseases, and Specific Conditions 155
Afterword: Staying Healthy for Life 217
App. A: Medical Tests to Assess Inflammation 219
App. B: Sources of Anti-Inflammatory Products 220
Selected References 231
Index 247
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 24, 2011

    Strongly recommend but . . .

    There is a lot of good information in this book with plenty of science to back it up. But, the presentation is a turnoff to an analytical mind. The endless testimonials are a turn off. When you have good science, testimonials not only are not necessary, they make it a less professional presentation. Additionally, it is repetitive. A good editor and proofreader could do great things with a new edition.

    11 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 28, 2012

    Clear, concise, and informative resource

    The book strikes a great balance between biological/medical information, taking action, and utilizing recipes. I would highly recommend it for anyone interested in an anti-inflammation diet/lifestyle.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2006

    Inflammatory Truth

    Inflammation IS the cause of many illnesses and ailments. My child and my mother are living proof that ridding your body of inflammation helps your body to heal itself. I agree with most of what's in this book, but would suggest George's Aloe Vera as a substantive anti-inflammatory that every one should have every day.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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