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14 Signs of Inflammation and How to Stop It

14 Signs of Inflammation and How to Stop It

The signs of inflammation are many and varied — it’s been linked to everything from bloating to joint pain to sinus congestion and skin rashes. Although a clinical assessment is the only way to determine for sure if you suffer from inflammation, the more of the following symptoms you experience, the more likely you have low-grade inflammation, says Mark Hyman, MD, author of The UltraSimple Diet (Pocket Books, 2007).

  •  Bloating, belching, passing gas
  •  Diarrhea or constipation
  •  Fatigue, sluggishness
  •  Itchy ears or eyes
  •  Dark circles or bags under eyes
  •  Joint pain or stiffness
  •  Throat tickle, irritation or coughing
  •  Stuffy noise, sinus trouble, excessive mucus
  •  Acne, cysts, hives or rashes
  •  Ruddy, inflamed-looking skin
  •  Flushing
  •  Water retention, skin puffiness
  •  Craving certain foods
  •  Compulsive or binge eating

The good news: Inflammation is fixable: “Our best tool to reverse inflammation isn’t a drug, but our diets,” says Barry Sears, PhD, a former research scientist at Boston University School of Medicine and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and author of the forthcoming Toxic Fat Syndrome. One of the best ways to snuff out inflammation is by heeding food sensitivities and intolerances. These are inflammatory responses that occur when the gut fails to break down certain foods.

The most notorious offenders are dairy, wheat, corn, sugar, soy, eggs and peanuts. Keep a food diary to identify negative reactions (which may be delayed by hours or days after you’ve eaten), then root out food sensitivities by following an elimination diet for at least a week. (For more on that, see “False Fat” in the March/April 2003 archives.)

By eliminating the foods that irritate your body and eating more of those that help your body combat inflammation, you’ll get rid of a lot of bloating and water retention, produce fewer “weight-gain” hormones, and have more energy for activity, says Elson Haas, MD, medical director of the Preventive Medical Center of Marin in San Rafael, Calif., and author of The False Fat Diet (Ballantine, 2001). That sounds like a slim-down strategy we can all live with.

Read more: Eating for Health, General Health, Health, Natural Remedies, , ,

By Catherine Guthrie, Experience Life

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Experience Life magazine is an award-winning health and fitness publication that aims to empower people to live their best, most authentic lives, and challenges the conventions of hype, gimmicks and superficiality in favor of a discerning, whole-person perspective. Visit experiencelife.com to learn more and to sign up for the Experience Life newsletter, or to subscribe to the print or digital version.

110 comments

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5:09AM PDT on Mar 19, 2014

Thank you

11:11AM PDT on Aug 26, 2013

Thanks.

3:21AM PDT on Aug 9, 2013

Thanks

6:14PM PDT on Aug 8, 2013

Good to know. Thanks!

5:51AM PDT on Aug 7, 2013

Eat smart

4:36AM PDT on Jul 28, 2013

Good info here..

12:51AM PDT on Jul 28, 2013

ty

1:19AM PDT on Mar 23, 2013

I have some of these... =(

8:20AM PDT on Mar 19, 2013

our bodies are overloaded with poor quality foods....

11:05AM PST on Feb 27, 2013

It's incredible.

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