Controlling Middle and Old Aged Inflammation is Critically Important

by Chris Centeno, MD /

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chronic-inflammation

I hear all the time from patients that our recommendations to reduce chronic inflammation have changed their lives, even before we ever get to trying to help them with precise stem cell injections. Now a new study highlights just how important controlling that chronic inflammation can be. This research now adds leukemia to the list of terrible diseases caused by inflammation, like heart attacks and strokes. In particular, this blood cancer has now been linked to chronic inflammation in the bone marrow.

Why Chronic Inflammation Can Wreck and Kill You

There are two types of inflammation—acute and chronic. One is needed to help repair tissues, while the other destroys them. Let me explain.

Acute inflammation is what happens when you injure something. The area swells as your body brings in an army of cells to try to repair the injury. If your body heals the problem, then the inflammation is turned off. If your body fails to fix the area, then low-level chronic inflammation can set in, which can lead to problems. Take, for example, a joint that has to repair small bits of cartilage damage every day. The stem cells in the joint, when exposed to the chronic inflammation, don’t produce normal cartilage cells but instead what’s called hypertrophied cartilage (abnormal tissue that’s not as durable as normal cartilage). Hence, controlling chronic inflammation in joints is essential.

Chronic inflammation (CI) can also build up in your body as you age. Being overweight with abnormal blood-sugar control (prediabetic or diabetic) can fan the fires of CI. Other things that can cause this problem include poor sleep due to apnea or other reasons, like eating a diet with foods that you’re sensitive to, lack of exercise, a bad mix of bacteria in your gut, and bad genes.

Chronic inflammation is known to cause some nasty stuff. This list includes arthritis, heart attacks, strokes, and cancer. Hence, fighting chronic inflammation as you age is crucial.

What Not To Do and What To Do About Chronic Inflammation

If you want to die an early and agonizing death, doing things, like those below, to cause more chronic inflammation is one way to go about it.

  1. Not recognizing that you have CI
  2. Allowing yourself to gain weight as you age
  3. Eating sugar, refined foods, and high-glycemic foods
  4. Eating foods that are wrong for your genes
  5. Skipping frequent exercise

How can you combat chronic inflammation? First, you have to understand the warning signs of a problem. One surefire sign that CI is in your life is the inability to function without NSAID drugs, like Motrin, Aleve, ibuprofen, Celebrex, Mobic, or others. We have an entire generation of middle-aged and older people who have discovered that popping a Motrin helps them do things with less pain. Before long they’re taking one every day to function, becoming addicted to the drug. If this is you, please stop taking these deadly drugs that all by themselves can cause a heart attack or fatal stroke.

What can you do to get off of these drugs?

  1. Lose weight. An excellent way to do this is to try the eating recommendations in Dr. Pitts’s book—Nutrition 2.0. If that doesn’t work, then consider an elimination diet. The goal here is to eliminate foods that may not agree with you and then slowly add them back to see which ones are a problem. A good one is the CLEAN diet.
  2. Regain the ability to exercise. Many middle-aged and older people have lost the ability to work out due to musculoskeletal problems, like a bum shoulder, a bad ankle, or aching knees. Get those areas fixed through advanced regenerative medicine techniques, like the ones offered at Regenexx. On the other hand, avoid surgery as much as possible.
  3. Add supplements. I’ve discussed many times on the blog how you can add certain anti-inflammatory supplements to reduce this chronic inflammation and feel better. This list includes the following:
    • Glucosamine and chondroitin
    • Fish oil
    • Curcumin
    • Resveratrol
    • Avocado pits

We’ve got an entire store full of anti-inflammatory–support supplements (except the avocados) at this link.

The New Study

The new research is focused one type of cell that lives in your bone marrow called hematopoietic stem cells (HSC). These cells do everything from creating new blood cells to assisting in muscle and other repairs. The researchers found that inflammation as measured through toll-like receptors (TLR) caused damage in the genes of HSCs, which lead to leukemic-type cells. TLRs respond to proteins commonly found on the surface of bad bacteria that your body needs to fight off. Hence, this is one part of your immune system that can cause inflammation to help fight an acute infection but that can also play a role in chronic inflammation.

The upshot? If you’re aging, like the rest of us, controlling chronic inflammation may help you live longer and healthier. I’ve given you some tools above. The beautiful part about that toolbox of things to do is that I hear several times a week from patients who have just read the website and whom we have yet to see in the clinic that making these changes has allowed them to have less pain and get rid of harmful over-the-counter or prescription medications!

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8 thoughts on “Controlling Middle and Old Aged Inflammation is Critically Important

  1. Kathy

    I have CL! DDD and Fibro. I use the Butrans pain patch for the DDD. Is it bad for me? Are there natural anti-inflammatories I can use? Just hurt my shoulder too. Much pain! All very difficult to deal with. On limited income. I do excercise. Any other suggestions? ? Kathy

    1. Regenexx Team Post author

      Kathy,

      Exercising is great! Cutting down on sugars and keeping Blood Sugar under control is very important. As outlined in the Blog, there are great natural supplements for Pain and Inflammation like Curcumin, Fish Oil, Glucosamine and Chondroitin and Resveratrol. But, please speak to your Doctor about whether it is okay to add them to your current regimen.

  2. J

    Avocado pits!?!?!?!?

    1. Regenexx Team Post author

      J,

      It clearly doesn’t look like it belongs on the list, but it does have amazing anti-inflammatory properties. Please see: http://www.regenexx.com/blog/old-age-aches-and-pains-avocado-pits/

  3. stef

    Still not able to get authorisation to export your supplement north of the border ?

    1. Regenexx Team Post author

      Stef,

      The products are also available through Amazon, the benefit of which is they ship internationally. Canada is listed, but check for your location. Please see: https://www.amazon.com/Supplement-Regenexx-Advanced-Stem-Cell/dp/B00J9PVOY8/ref=s9_psimh_gw_g121_i1_r?_encoding=UTF8&fpl=fresh&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=&pf_rd_r=F7PJ2P7S8MQ0JY5BQGDJ&pf_rd_t=36701&pf_rd_p=6aad23bd-3035-4a40-b691-0eefb1a18396&pf_rd_i=desktop

  4. Mark

    What can you take for an injury (e.g. ankle sprain, etc.)? And, what about headaches?

    1. Regenexx Team Post author

      Mark,
      Generally, both Curcumin and Fish Oil are good for inflammation, Curcumin is particularly good for pain as well, and resveratrol helps increase blood flow to the brain. It is important, however, to find out what’s actually going on with your ankle, and causing the headaches so you and your physician can discuss the use of these supplements. Headaches can also be a neck issue. Please see: https://regenexx.com/blog/new-research-fish-oil-can-turn-bad-inflammation-into-healing/ and https://regenexx.com/blog/can-a-stem-cell-supplement-ingredient-improve-blood-flow-in-the-brain/ and https://regenexx.com/blog/turmeric-compound-found-to-regenerate-neurons/ and https://regenexx.com/blog/neck-headache-causes/

Chris Centeno, MD

Regenexx Founder

Chris Centeno, MD is a specialist in regenerative medicine and the new field of Interventional Orthopedics. Centeno pioneered orthopedic stem cell procedures in 2005 and is responsible for a large amount of the published research on stem cell use for orthopedic applications.
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