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    Step 9 - Control Inflammation

    If you’ve ever twisted your ankle, cut your finger or been stung by a wasp then you have experienced inflammation in the body. The pain, swelling, redness and heat you felt are all part of the bodies inflammatory process. Inflammation is a natural defence mechanism that the body utilises in order to repair damaged tissue and protect the body from foreign invaders. However, there’s another not so nice side to this natural protection process where in, it can become confused and overstimulated by toxins, infections and sensitivities which as a result means it can actually work against us rather than with us.

    We see this clearly in cases of people with allergies who if consuming something they are allergic to can go into anaphylactic shock. This is when the inflammatory response goes into overdrive and swells up the body to an extent were even the air ways can swell, making it difficult to breath. This inflammatory response would be classified as an acute inflammatory response, a sudden and quick onset of inflammation that most of the time passes rather quickly.

    Then there is chronic low-level inflammation which scientists now believe plays a major role in almost every chronic, western disease.  This is a long-term lingering condition when the immune system fails to eliminate the problem or eliminates it but remains in an over active state.

    The bacteria responsible for Lyme, Borrelia, are excellent at causing long term chronic inflammation and here’s why.
    The immune system is trained to find foreign invaders by detecting their outer cell wall proteins, once a foreign invader is detected the immune system develops specific antibodies to destroy them. However, Borrelia can change their outer cell wall proteins which allows them to hide in plain sight from the immune system. Not only that but because the antibodies from the immune system have been created to target Borrelia when they arrive at the target area and can’t find the foreign invader, they start attacking good healthy tissue which causes inflammation.

    If your immune system does manage to find and destroy the foreign invaders, or you successfully manage to kill the pathogens with antibiotics, herbal medicines or other alternative methods then there’s the after effects of a Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction to deal with.
    A Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction or a herx as it’s called in the Lyme community, is a huge inflammatory response to the poisons pathogens release when they are destroyed. These reactions produce cytokines a group of proteins secreted by cells of the immune system that act as chemical messengers and cause inflammation. Symptoms of a Herxheimer reaction include increased fever, muscle and joint pain, headaches, cognitive impairment and a general worsening of symptoms. The cause of these symptoms is inflammation. As well as following a strict detoxification protocol and binding the poisons the bugs release, patients need to address the core reason for their symptoms, inflammation. Below is a list of products that are known to reduce inflammation in the body.


    Turmeric has been used as a spice and a medicinal herb in India for thousands of years and recently science has started to back up what Indians have known for a long time that turmeric really does have magical medicinal properties. Turmeric contains curcuminoids the most important of which is curcumin. Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric, it has strong anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, it’s so powerful that it matches the effectiveness of some anti- inflammatory drugs without the nasty side effects. It works by blocking a molecule that travels to your cells and turns on genes related to inflammation. Not only that but it’s also a powerful antioxidant that can neutralise free radicals and boosts the activity of your body’s own antioxidant enzymes. However, the curcumin content of turmeric isn’t that high so if you want to experience the benefits you need to take a supplement that contains significant amounts of curcumin. Also because curcumin is poorly absorbed by the blood stream it helps to consume it with black pepper which enhances the absorption rate by 2,000%.

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    Ginger Root

    A near relation of turmeric is ginger. Ginger contains a compound called gingerol which like curcumin is natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant but also and crucially for Lyme patients, it can inhibit the growth of many different types of bacteria. As an anti- inflammatory gingerol affects the inflammatory process at a cellular level and it’s so effective that a university of Miami study found that ginger could one day be a replacement for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. I recommend juicing ginger and drinking it with hot water in the morning and evening. Alternatively there are ginger capsules on the market that have higher concentrations of gingerol that can help fight off inflammation.

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    Spirulina is among the world’s most popular supplements, it’s loaded with various nutrients and antioxidants that benefit your body and it’s the world’s richest source of vitamin B12. This superfood is also full of amino acids, the building blocks for protein, so it’s a popular supplement among the vegan community. As an anti- inflammatory it contains a compound called phycocyanin which works by fighting free radicals and inhibiting the release of histamine, which is a chemical that ignites an inflammatory response in the body. Phycocyanin is also the thing that gives Spirulina it’s blue green colour. There’s various supplements on the market but I recommend buying it in powdered form and sprinkling it in a nice healthy juice.

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    Devils Claw

    Devils claw is a flowering plant of the sesame family. Its roots contain several active plant compounds including glycosides which have demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects. It is also is full of antioxidants which ward off those pesky free radicals. As well as having anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, devils claw is also excellent for managing pain. Rather than consuming it, I recommend using a body gel and rubbing it into painful, inflamed and sensitive areas.

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    Derived from pineapple stems, bromelain is finally getting the recognition it deserves for its anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties. Bromelain has long been known to contain powerful digestive enzymes to support the digestive system but new studies reveal that bromelain also has powerful anti-inflammatory effects. In studies bromelain has been shown to reduce the effects of inflammatory cytokines but also an inflammatory fat called PGE 2 which is a known immune suppressant. Anything that suppresses the immune system is bad news for patients with autoimmune conditions.
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    Next     Step 10 - Excercise