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How do chronic inflammation and CRP (c-reactive protein) impact your Healthspan? Today’s blog will teach you how to interpret your hsCRP value on your next blood test and give you strategies to lower your body’s chronic inflammation. Remember, we all want a long life! But more importantly, we want to feel our very best and stay mentally engaged during that long life. The average Healthspan in the United States, as calculated by the HALE Index (Health-Adjusted Life Expectancy), is 10-16 years shorter than the average lifespan. You can change that!
High-sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hsCRP) is a marker in your blood that goes up when any inflammation, is present. Because it measures acute as well as chronic inflammation, even a cut on your finger that is healing normally can raise this number. Chronic diseases such as gum disease or digestive problems can also raise this number. The optimal range of hsCRP is below 1 mg/dL and a higher value is considered predictive of an increased heart attack or stroke risk. It also signals problems such as cancer, allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, inflammatory bowel disease and more, including vague symptoms such as fatigue and anxiety. Patients are often referred to me at Oklahoma Dental Wellness because of high hsCRP levels and it is consistently due to low-grade periodontal disease - which is easily treated.
START SOMEWHERE with one of the following strategies to quench chronic inflammation:
Free your environment of refined foods. Remember, it is dose that makes the poison. Avoid thinking that you will never get to enjoy your favorite delicacies! Just make them a treat rather than daily consumption. Refined foods include sugar, processed foods, and trans fats. Concentrate each day on giving your body the real goodness that it requires for repair, energy, and rejuvenation. Look at the end of this blog for your free START SOMEWHERE Food Fiber list to get started! The fiber in real food will nourish your intestinal bacteria and help curb cravings. Vibrant health begins in a healthy gut.
Find a way to play! This could be taking a brisk walk with a friend, working in the yard or whatever activity you enjoy. The key is to get moving. Research suggests that as little as 20 minutes each day of moderate movement has anti-inflammatory benefits.
Prioritize sleep. It sounds easy and you know it’s important. Nevertheless, sleep is often a default in our society. Restorative sleep is critical for immunity (resistance to infection), mood (positive relationships), and memory. It’s all connected.
Get your Vitamin D3 level evaluated. This was last week’s topic. Vitamin D3 functions more as a hormone and affects virtually every cell in your body - including your brain. It’s inexpensive to get your level in the optimal range and you will feel remarkably better!
Enjoy delicious anti-inflammatory foods such as Avocados, Nuts, Dark Leafy Greens, Carrots, Beans, Broccoli, Salmon (and small, wild-caught fish), Apples, Artichokes, Berries, Sweet Potatoes, and Dark Chocolate (70% or more cacao - yum!).
Read labels and avoid foods that are difficult to pronounce. If you can’t pronounce it, your body probably won’t know what to do with it! So many items that are labeled “health food” or “natural” are anything but Healthspan enhancing! Always look for the serving size and the number of grams of sugar. There are four grams of sugar in one teaspoon. It really helps to picture the amount of sugar in one serving.
Thank you for joining me today! Learn simple, sustainable strategies to quench chronic inflammation, lower your hsCRP, and live with vitality and energy. You can do it. I will help you!
Your Healthspan Strategist,
Dr. Debbie Ozment
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