The Incompetence is CRAZY!
I have never seen so much incompetence and poor patient care when dealing with the public.
As part of this poor patient care, the blood-test results I review daily are not only void of proper bio-markers associated with an individual’s health issues, they almost don’t even seem relevant.
For example, a patient brings in blood work from his family doctor and says “my doctor says my heart is good . . . my cholesterol is normal.” Sadly, this patient may have significant coronary artery disease with an unstable plaque threatening his existence without really knowing the true health of his heart.
Lipid Panel is NOT a heart test
A standard lipid panel tests for cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and triglycerides. What does this tell you about your heart?
This lipid panel is a liver-function test, not a heart test. Yet doctors continue to use it as a diagnostic evaluation for heart health and the risk of heart disease.
When it comes to evaluating someone through blood work to uncover the state of health, or to get clues as to why a health issue exists, blood testing should be very specific.
This goes for heart disease, autoimmune disease, abnormal blood-sugar regulation, hormones, and the biggest driver of all chronic health issues and disease—Inflammation.
We’ve all heard that inflammation is the driving force behind all chronic health issues and disease.
And, it is.
Before I share how to properly test for inflammation, here is a brief explanation of what it is.
What is inflammation?
Under normal circumstances, the inflammatory response created by the immune system is needed to fight foreign invaders and heal injuries. This process is evident when we can feel and see inflammation–when there is pain, redness, and heat such as a sore throat, a cut, a sprained ankle, even a sunburn.
As a defense mechanism in the body, the immune system recognizes pathogens (infections), damaged cells, and other irritants, then releases chemical messengers (cytokines) to recruit the different arms of the immune system to help in the healing process.
When something is irritating or harmful to the body, whether internal (inflammatory foods, infections, leaky gut) or external (injury, sunburn, skin irritant), the body’s response is to activate the immune system to create inflammation to remove the offensive agent.
This type of immune response should be short-lived.
However, the body runs into trouble when the immune system runs out of control, creating chronic inflammation.
The Dangers of Unmanaged Inflammation
Unmanaged, this type of inflammation can result in cancer, atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease, autoimmune disease, obesity, diabetes, allergies, skin conditions, cognitive issues, and neuro-degenerative diseases . . to name a few.
If you are dealing with an unresolved chronic health issue or a disease, it’s a good idea to get tested for inflammation.
Here are the 4 markers of inflammation you should have tested:
- Hs-CRP (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein)
- Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR)
- Interleukin 6
- Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)
If any of these markers are elevated, the next question to ask is, where is the inflammation coming from?
The extent of the inflammation is influenced by diet, physical inactivity, exposure to toxins, too much stress, and your genetics. So, to reduce inflammation, here are some basic rebuild actions (re-actions) to take down inflammation naturally:
- First, eliminate bread and grains containing gluten, animal milk products, and all refined sugar.
- Eat plant-based nutrient-dense foods five times a day. This will assure you eat foods to reduce inflammation and leave little room for inflammatory processed foods.
- Exercise with periods of intensity. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has been shown to regulate immune function.
- Consider taking nutrients including: curcumin, omega-3 fish oils, alpha lipoic acid, astaxanthin
- Change your perception of stress. The way you perceive stress can change the flood of stress hormones in the blood. Elevated levels of stress hormones can activate white blood cells to create inflammation. When you hear about the damaging effects of stress on your health—think inflammation.
- Reduce contamination. Toxins in our food, water, air, and environment can cause internal inflammation.
- To reduce contamination, eliminate processed and packaged foods, and toxic ingredients including: synthetic salts like monosodium glutamate (MSG), processed sugars, gluten, and partially hydrogenated fats.
- Find and purchase BPA-free canned goods, e.g., the brand Garden of Eden.
- Don’t use plastics in the microwave. Instead, use glass containers to store food and heat up leftovers.
- Use fruit-and-vegetable wash on your produce to wash off pesticides and wax residues.
- Buy wild-caught seafood over farm-raised.
- Buy natural nut milks over animal-based milk products.
- Consider a simple water filtration to eliminate chlorine and excessive fluoride found in your water.
- Minimize alcohol consumption.
- Work with your doctor(s) and a specialist in functional medicine to rebuild your health and reduce or eliminate the use of medications, if you can.
- Get 7-8 hours of sleep. Losing just 2 hours of sleep a night will increase inflammation.
Inflammation is REAL
Inflammation is more than just a buzz word tossed around in healthcare clinics.
It is the driving force behind chronic disease. To understand more about inflammation, the health issues it creates, and 5 actions you can take to control inflammation to regain your health check out REBUILD.
To determine if your health issues are driven by inflammation, have your doctor(s) test these 4 bio-markers. If they question it, demand they test them.
Your health is counting on it.
Great article. Despite my interest in physical, mental and behavioral health I always learn something from these. Thanks Dr. Z!
Chris, I’m glad you are getting something out of these posts. I will be posting more “How to” articles readers can rebuild themselves. Stay tuned.
Hi Dr. Z I just purchased your book Rebuild. While reading it I realized something. Back in 2014-15 I started having vomiting attacks. Having to go to ER several times. Doctors said I needed to have the gallbladder removed. Afterwards the surgeon said “We were hoping that was it, but your gallbladder was normal.” So for the next couple of years I struggled with more vomiting attacks & back to ER. I was not digesting my food. Even though I was eating I was not absorbing the nutrients. I had sever malnutrition. Fast ward to 2018 I was diagnosed with Lung cancer. I use to smoke. I suspected my immune system & digestive system could be a big part of my problem. 2018 From March though mid April I had 6 chemos, 30 radiation. In June they removed lower & mid lob of right lung. 3 month later it spread to a adrenal gland on left kidney not showing up anyplace else. Now i’m back for 4 more chemos. 1 more to go on the Dec 27th. Doctors put me on Keytruda-immunotherapy, Alimta & Carboplatin which I had carbo & Taxol last time. I will have another scan within 3 weeks of the 27th. If all clear they will eliminate the Carbo. Once the steroids wear off I am having sever inflammation & I needing to so something to help get it under control. I am taking supplements to include Vit D3 & K2. Wondering if the Virgin Cod liver oil will help. I hate to buy it & not be able to use it. Worried that the oil maybe a problems with not having a gallbladder? I wish I wouldn’t have let them take it out. I do take small amounts of Ox bile. What do you recommend for inflammation, pretty sure its all caused from treatment. Also have high pulse rate up to 120-140 Thank you in advance.
Paula, you are going through a lot! There is much to discuss. Cod liver oil is a good source of vitamin D and its a great anti-inflammatory. Having no gall bladder poses an issue breaking down and digesting fats. If you decide to use it, consider digestive enzymes with lipase in it. Lipase is needed to break down fat into a usable form. To directly answer your question, good anti-inflammatories include: curcumin, Vitamin D, alpha lipoic acid, ginger, quercetin. Yes, treatment causes inflammation, disease and diet can cause inflammation. The best first step is to eliminate gluten, animal-milk products, and white refined sugars. As you read through Rebuild, you will find an easy way to create an anti-inflammatory food plan that meets your needs. The rest of the info in the book shows you how to reduce inflammation with other actions.
I have ovarian cancer finished treatment in 2017 I dont have any sugar try to eat fruits vegetables beans chicken ground turkey all organic but now i have protein in my urine . worried something is wrong any advise. thankyou
Without knowing more about you, your history, treatment, it’s hard to say why you have protein in the urine. Are you on Avastin? If you are taking any post chemo drugs, you may want to discuss them with your prescribing doctor to see if those meds can cause issues with the kidneys leading to protein in the urine. The chemo you received may have also caused kidney problems. There are multiple reasons for protein in the urine ranging from bladder infection, kidney disease, and drug toxicity. It’s best to get an evaluation to better understand why the protein is there. I’m assuming you are getting follow up evaluations for the ovarian cancer. Its’ time to have your doctor(s) dig deeper to understand the reasons behind protein issue.
Excellent and enlightening article, thank you. Recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia and costochondritis, I now have IBS. I’m 55 years old and my entire life has changed forever. I started taking a prebiotic, probiotic combined supplement by Zenwise, that’s all plant based and organic. It is helping with the IBS except for constipation. It also has turmeric, ginger, which helps reduce inflammation. I am interested in natural alternatives to reduce inflammation. I don’t want to take ibuprofen nor Tylenol anymore so my stomach doesn’t get damaged. Tried Lyrica for 1 week, stopped due to adverse effects. I refuse to take any of the prescribed drugs for fibromyalgia due to long term usage concerns. I am taking the advice from your article. Whole Foods will be my focus. Again, thank you.
Karen, some of the current research points to serotonin deficiencies/dysfunction as a cause of fibromyalgia. Its important to reduce inflammation in any condition. You should work with a specialist in functional medicine to uncover the issues with serotonin. Vitamin D, curcumin, alpha lipioc acid, fish oils are all great anti-inflammatories.
I’ve been watching your videos on Youtube and have learned so much just in the past few days.
I recently had an abdominal ultrasound where they spotted Atherosclerotic changes of the aorta with normal caliber measuring 1.9cm. Basically, my family physician said there’s plaque starting to develop in my aorta. Although my Cholesterol readings are normal, he put me on Statins as a preventative measure. I also have high blood pressure which is controlled with medication.
Given everything I’ve bee hearing about Statins, should I continue to take this medication? Should I be taking OPC-3 along with CoQ10? Just wondering what specific supplements you would recommend to help reduce inflammation? I’m also Vitamin D deficient and will begin taking Vitamin D3 supplements, just not sure what dosage I should be taking.
If I ask my family doctor to check for these 4 markers of inflammation and they come back with elevated levels, will most doctors suggest anything other than “lifestyle” or diet changes?
Thanks again for all the work you’re doing – very informative and enlightening!
Marco thanks for tuning in . . .more videos coming! Cholesterol is not the cause of arterial disease . . . cholesterol ends up in the wall of the artery. The cause of the arterial damage needs to be found. High blood sugar, infections, etc can cause damage to the lining of the artery which sets the stage for atherosclerosis. Regarding statins, they do reduce cholesterol by shutting off the production in the liver. The real power of these drugs is their ability to shut off inflammation. THATS why they protect from artery disease. Yes you absolutely should take CoQ10 if you continue to take statins. OPC-3 is an excellent product with countless benefits, one being an anti-inflammatory. Powerful anti-inflammatories include: OPC-3, vitamin D, curcumin, fish oils, alpha lipoic acid. The amount of vitamin D you should take is based on your blood levels. Again, shoot for blood values of 60, 80, 90ng/ml in the blood. Take enough vitamin D until the levels get there. And dont forget to get rid of bread, dairy, and white sugars in your diet!