Inflammation: From Lifesaver to Natural Born Killer in a Heartbeat


If you stop to think about it, inflammation is intended to heal the body, not destroy it. Say, for instance, you slice your finger with a knife. Your body organizes and dispatches a boatload of white cells to begin battling bacteria before you’ve even finished putting a Band-Aid on the wound.

That works out just fine until we begin to age or we begin engaging in questionable health habits. That’s when the acute inflammation process turns against our bodies by refusing to shut down, often running amok even when there isn’t an injury or illness to battle.

As a result, even performance athletes become chronically inflamed. The ones we see here at Restoration Healthcare exercise and perform at extreme levels but can’t seem to shake a nagging sports injury or make the specific gains they desire. Often, it’s chronic inflammation that’s to blame.

As our immune system weakens with age, poor diet, lack of or too much exercise, the body finds it more difficult to rid itself of illnesses that result from aging or neglect. It’s at this point that strokes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s — and even cancer —begin to raise their ugly symptoms. Your immune system sends out more troops to combat these increasing issues, and the cells begin killing off the healthy tissues along with the diseased tissues. It’s at this point that we’ve added the word “chronic” to inflammation.

And it’s also at this time that we should be considering means of combating this inflammation derivative. Many doctors might prescribe medication at the first signs of chronic inflammation. Truth is, a number of conventional medical doctors don’t even recognize chronic inflammation as the cause of diseases.

But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chronic low inflammation contributes to at least seven of the top 10 leading causes of mortality in this country. For cancers, that includes prostate, ovarian, pancreatic, colorectal, lung and lymphoma.

Chronic inflammation is also linked to diabetes, osteoporosis, depression, macular degeneration, and neurodegenerative processes of the brain such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. And cardiovascular disease is at the front of the line when it comes to ailments tied to inflammation.

Here at Restoration Healthcare, we believe a fistful of pills won’t work nearly as well as some simple changes to lifestyle and diet to combat chronic inflammation. And while the aging process still plays a major factor, changes in how you live can contain or curtail the results of runaway inflammation.

Our founder, Dr. Thomas Bakman, and our medical director, Dr. Sunny Raleigh, believe things that contribute to a chronic inflammation state of the body include low sex hormones, obesity, a diet high in saturated fats, smoking and not getting enough exercise or sleep.

They know, for instance, that the mitochondria within every cell is responsible for generating ATP (adenosine triphosphate) — which is the basic energy component of the body. If the mitochondria become dysfunctional it can do the opposite and create free radicals the can damage the cells and initiate an inflammatory response for the body.

The bottom line is that inflammation becomes the first step in creating disease, and there are tips we can obtain from the blood, body composition and urine that tell us how well the body is functioning and whether it is inflamed or not.

So if you want to be proactive with your health, the best bet is to discover how inflamed your body is. Once that is determined, strategies can be employed to reduce the risk factors and curtail the rampant attack on the body by chronic inflammation.

According to Dr. Bakman, the best route is a regimen that might include IV nutrients, treatment with ozone therapy, detoxification and dietary changes to a more anti-inflammatory diet. And of course, exercise is extremely important to controlling the low level chronic inflammation.

As an example, we had a case of a woman in her mid-40s who was struggling with fatigue. Her general practitioner diagnosed her with a thyroid disorder and prescribed medication.

When she came to us here at Restoration Healthcare, we conducted tests that showed inflammatory markers that were elevated, but not over the limit. She also showed high levels of mercury and other toxic elements.

Treatment included a Chelation detox through an IV, and IV Nutrient Therapy drips aimed at reducing her inflammation. In addition, we suggested she begin a gluten-free diet, which she was willing to do.

The results? After 90 days, her energy level increased, and her blood work showed her inflammatory markers were reduced by half. In addition, her metal toxicity levels were reduced by more than 50 percent.

And most important, she has shown a significant reduction in her risk for chronic disease.