The fire within that causes disease

No matter what your diagnosis, inflammation is a major part of the problem. The fires of chronic inflammation gradually destroy an otherwise beautifully running machine.

by Dr. Martha Grout — 

Every chronic disease is an inflammatory disease. No matter what your diagnosis — allergies, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, asthma, cancer, COPD, Crohn’s, chronic fatigue, diabetes, emphysema, fibromyalgia, Gulf War Syndrome, heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, lupus, multiple sclerosis and obesity, to name a few — inflammation is a major part of the problem. The fires of chronic inflammation gradually destroy an otherwise beautifully running machine.

If you hit your thumb with a hammer, the resulting swelling and inflammation is short-lived and part of the healing process. That’s good. But inflammation is disastrous when it doesn’t turn off. A persistent stimulus feeds the fires of chronic inflammation.

The number one stimulus is bad diet — an army of free radicals is launched every day when we eat processed and convenience foods. The constant supply of free radicals overwhelms our anti-oxidant defenses and damages DNA. Did you believe all those ads that margarine was better than butter? Margarine is a tub of inflammatory trans-fats.

Most processed foods and commercially raised cattle are high in inflammatory omega-6 fats. Since we do not rotate foods much anymore, most people have food sensitivities or outright allergies. Increasingly, people are sensitive to wheat (gluten), which inflames the gut. Forget the whole grain versus refined issue — the wheat we eat today is mostly a hybrid that is low in protein and high in starch and gluten.

Another common stimulus in the body is the burden of inflammatory heavy metals, pesticides and chemicals stored inside us. Chronic stress produces hormones that trigger inflammation. Overweight? Fat cells, especially those around the abdomen, produce large amounts of inflammatory chemicals. That is why overweight people suffer so much more disease and disability.

Chronic inflammation’s effect on arteries can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Its effect upon the immune system is to depress it, which promotes chronic, low-grade infections and cancers. Chronic inflammation destroys nerve cells in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. In a joint, it can eat away at cartilage. In rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disorder, the inflammation is systemic, eating away at the entire body. Inflammation of the kidneys triggers high blood pressure and/or destruction of kidney tissue. Inflammation of the small airways in the lungs is asthma or chronic bronchitis.

It takes an integrative approach to put out the fire. A medically assisted diet and lifestyle program can lead to an anti-inflammatory diet for a lifetime. You can be tested for sensitivities or allergies to chemicals, foods, pollens and molds, and then be desensitized to them. You can use chelation to reduce the levels of mercury, aluminum, lead and other inflammatory heavy metals that have built up in your body. Chelation is also anti-viral and naturally thins the blood.

Because we cannot see the fires of inflammation smoldering inside, we walk headlong into chronic diseases that usually can be stopped before they become the center of our lives.


Martha Grout, M.D., M.D.(H), has two decades in emergency medicine and a decade in homeopathic medicine. The Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine in Scottsdale, Ariz., specializes in diagnostic tests for chronic illness and HEG for brain training. 480-240-2600 or

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 28, Number 2, Apr/May 2009.


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