After holiday inflammation

Many of us enjoy the holiday foods and beverages. Sometimes our bodies say this is not working for our best. 

More coffee, alcoholic and carbonated beverages, excess  fats and sugars, lower fiber and the things we overindulge in over the holidays with our homemade or store bought foods.

If you’re one of the many that has one of the many inflammatory conditions such as IBS, arthritis, pancreatic conditions, crones, gastrointestinal disorders, heart conditions, migraines or asthma this time of year can lead to flare ups. Some are very disciplined thus avoid tempting foods, I’m not fully that person.

When we have inflammation our brains can have a lower ability to think and regulate our moods. 

It also puts stress on our immune systems. Our bodies are trying to fight off the inflammation when our body is in a state of war with itself we can come down with viruses, fungal and bacterial infections.  

What is inflammation? It is part of our body’s defense system. It brings signals to the brain to protect us, some inflammation is helpful to say “slow down I’m hurt”. Other inflammation is a trigger from other influences. It can become chronic. Cytokines are little proteins that affect the growth of all blood cells.

Inflammation can interrupt our sleep due to painful flare ups because of the chemicals being formed in the body where the inflammation lurks. It sets our body in a state of a stress response. It is a cycle that goes around, and each wrap around the loop gets worse. It can take weeks to recover when our body is overloaded. 

Ways to comfort your body that wants to kill you. Drink more water if your health conditions allow. Go back to your fodmap eating  (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols) Anti Inflammatory diets can really help but this does not happen overnight.

You might need to be on your pain meds more or taking anti inflammatories such as Ibuprofen (advil). I try hard to stay away from this option, it often can make a gut hurt longer.

Baths with Epsom salts or dead sea salt, compresses on your joints, Castor oil compresses for your gut. Caraway seeds for bad gas.

Turmeric (polyphenol curcumin) It has been used in many parts of the world in cooking, drink and topical applications, treating everything from acne to inflamed organs. 

Chili peppers are also anti-inflammatory. Now as much as I love hot food and hot peppers… When my intestines are inflamed, one of the last things I want to do is fill it with spice.. I mean a nice fire after a rich meal can be relaxing till one is sitting rolled up in a pain ball with the feelings of flames rolling around in your guts. I have no use for the joint pain flaring in the first place but adding gut pain is counter productive!

Smaller healthy meals can make a difference. Non jarring exercises with gentle movements can help to heal the problems by lubricating the joints and elongating the muscles and ligaments.

If you are still suffering from the hauntings of holidays past, be kind to yourself, take breaks if you can. Put some non caffeinated beverages together and read a good book, watch a show, game or take a nap to let your poor body rest and heal. Hope your New Year has started with good ideals.

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