Urgent Care for Inflammation

AWWW!  Peace turns to sudden movement and panic, repressed cries, screen door falling off the track and confusion.  Someone has gotten a splinter.  Trust me, I felt foolish entering “splinter” on the form at urgent care under the section “reason for visit”, but this wasn’t just any splinter.  Two hours of soaking in hot water, mini surgery at the kitchen table with flashlight, nail scissors, safety pin, tweezers and a very sharp pocket knife.  By this time the little finger is puffy, red, swollen and tender to the touch from the lumber invasion and subsequent torture to remove it.

Inflammation is the body’s natural response to invaders.  Dangerous parasites, bacteria, and chunks of wood deeply inserted into appendages trigger the immune system to send in the warrior white blood cells, among others.  The swelling tends to immobilize the injured area as an immediate form of first aid.  And it usually goes away with the pain.  But there is a swelling you and I never feel until it lingers long enough to cause damage rather than heal, and that is internal inflammation.

This particular splinter required the strong arm pull of a gentleman with 8 years of medical training, but he did exclaim over its size while the patient tried not to throw up.  Problem solved in the finger, but how do we recognize and heal inflammation that we cannot see or feel?

It can go on unchanged for weeks, months and years without a stopping point, and this chronic condition of inflammation wears out the strength of the immune system, paving the way for many of the heart breaking maladies we endure…cancer, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, MS, rheumatoid arthritis, and many others. (1)  For instance, low grade, internal inflammation causes otherwise benign fatty deposits (in the arteries) to rupture, and that rupture is what causes blockage and stroke.  “Stroke is a leading cause of long-term disability and remains the third cause of death in developed countries”. (2)

There are things you can actively do to minimize internal inflammation.  In previous weekly specials I have discussed the extreme benefits of:

*omega 3 oil purified fish oil supplements
* the need to avoid environmental toxins which stimulate an immune response
*a diet rich in fruits and vegetable phytonutrients as an important part of the fight against inflammation.

This week I want to focus on spinach is a fantastic supplier of a newly discovered phytonutrient called glycoglycerolipid which is believed to reduce inflammation of the digestive system in particular. (3)

First spinach for the the bones, and now the stomach too!  So go get some fresh, organic spinach and make the super easy D-licious Spinach Sausage Lasagna, drink it for breakfast in a Cranberry Breakfast Soup Shake, or add it to the Spicy Chicken Mango instead of kale like I did. 

Tonight I’m thankful for doctors and spinach. How about you?

molly's avatar


(1)  http://www.jigsawhealth.com/resources/inflammation

(2) http://www.cardiovascular-medicine.ch/pdf/2009/2009-05/2009-05-077.PDF

(3) http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/25/health/nutrition/25recipehealth.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=spinach+glycoglycerolipids&st=nyt

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither Orange Tree Lane or any of its affiliates take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.