Conveniently Located in Pikesville, MD


Inflammation: What Causes it and How to Reduce It

Are you suffering from stomach aches, bloating, or digestive issues? Do you have constant headaches, migraines, or fatigue? We meet people every day looking for relief from symptoms like these, with the simple request to feel better. Inflammation is the root cause of most of this pain and discomfort and it’s why we’re going to spend some significant time understanding it.   

What is inflammation?

Inflammation is the body’s normal response to some type of harm. When something harms the cells in your body, the process of inflammation is immediately triggered to repair the damage. Your body does this by releasing chemicals to alert your immune system.   

Symptoms of acute inflammation appear quickly and are typically resolved within a few days or weeks. For example, extended exposure of your skin to the sun can result in a burn that may bother you for several days with heat and redness or swelling, but your body can usually resolve it with a little bit of time.  

The five signs of acute inflammation are:

  • Heat
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Loss of a function

We rarely get called for sunburn, but sometimes our bodies are unable to shut off an inflammatory response to harm. That’s when we can help–when pain and discomfort are a result of chronic inflammation. 

What is chronic inflammation?

Chronic inflammation occurs when the inflammation response does not shut off. The body’s immune system remains in a constant state of alert for months or even years. This can be the result of something obvious–an accident, a tick bite leading to Lyme Disease, a chemical exposure, or another obvious reason. But often this is something that is internal and undetected by the person suffering from chronic inflammation. We’re here to help identify the source and help each person find relief. Each one is unique, but the causes mainly fall into a handful of categories. 

Common causes of chronic inflammation

  • Stress:  Both physical and mental stress tells your body that something is wrong and it immediately begins sending out that immune response we talked about earlier. Sustained stress can easily lead to sustained inflammation. 
  •  Food: What you eat can trigger the body’s immune response. Refined sugar, trans- or saturated fats, certain carbohydrates, and processed foods can all increase inflammation.
  • Weight: Adipose tissue, commonly called fat, are the cells that store energy and surround/protect our organs (cushion our body). When there are too many of these cells, the body begins to release an inflammatory response. 
  • Smoking/Alcohol: Smoking, and especially nicotine, causes injury to the respiratory system and white blood cells, resulting in chronic inflammation. Heavy consumption of alcohol over an extensive period of time causes organ dysfunction, especially for the liver and brain and results in chronic inflammation.  
  • Other Causes: This list is not exhaustive. Exposure to toxic chemicals (often in the workplace), mold, or Lyme Disease among other traumas can also cause chronic inflammation. We have responses for all of them!

Identifying Your source of inflammation

In order to eliminate or reduce inflammation, we must first understand what is causing it. We focus on the person as a whole to understand what’s happening. Together, we examine your lifestyle and identify manageable steps to make it better. An important piece of that is gathering data to help make changes. 

In addition to a personal consultation with Cara-Michele, our team at Strength & Vitality Wellness can perform a system survey, called BrainSpan, that measures the inflammatory balance of your cells. We’ll take a simple, spot blood test that will identify specific fatty acid biomarkers in your cells that are essential to the health and function of your brain & body. These biomarkers include: 1) Omega-3 Index; 2) Cell Inflammation Balance, and 3) Cell Toxicity Index. 


A 15-minute online functional assessment can be taken in our center or in the comfort of your own home. This interactive tool will help identify nervous system deficiencies that could inhibit optimal cognitive performance. Maybe you’ve noticed a lapse in memory or fuzzy thinking. This assessment can help identify areas to address.  

In 7-10 days you will receive a comprehensive cell health report that combines the blood-work and cognitive function assessment. The report measures your current cell health and includes personalized recommendations for how to improve it, including specific interventions for optimizing memory, attention, and processing speed. 

With this report in hand, together we can identify the most efficient ways for you to reduce inflammation and begin feeling good again!

How to reduce inflammation

Strength & Vitality Wellness can help you reduce inflammation in easy, manageable steps, but it’s going to require some lifestyle changes. But no worry, you will likely see the benefits fairly quickly, making it well worth your new habits. Here are some of the common ways we can reduce inflammation in your body: 

Blood sugar maintenance

Avoid spikes and dips in blood sugar by maintaining stable levels through your diet. Our nutrition plans can help you identify low-carb and low-sugar options that will help you prevent spikes and inflammation. 

Balanced Omega-3 and Omega-6 ratio

These fatty acids are not the same as other fats. Instead of being used for energy or stored, they have an important role in inflammation. Omega-6s are inflammatory, while Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory.  

We love finding accessible ways for you to achieve these nutritional improvements! Our goal is to help you sustain a healthy diet over time and that can include recipes, shopping tips, supplements, and other strategies. 

Stress management   

Identifying strategies for tolerating or managing your stress can greatly reduce inflammation. Decluttering, deep breathing, exercise, infrared sauna, and many other tools are available to help you unwind and clear your head. We can help you find the right fit for your lifestyle. 

The Strength & Vitality Approach

Everyone deserves to be pain-free! There are many natural remedies for reducing chronic inflammation that include diet and lifestyle choices. Our comprehensive approach to internal and skeletal muscular pain has saved hundreds from surgery or a lifetime of medication. Read more about our approach, and how it’s helped others here. If you are ready. . . to make a change, to feel better, to get your life back, or just to see what we’re about, sign up for your FREE consultation today. 

See how our comprehensive approach can help you

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