Inflammatory Conditions Explained

Chronic Inflammation? Help is on the way!

A healthy immune system is crucial to the body’s ability to function properly. Our immune system defends our body from attack by anything damaging or threatening it may come in contact with. However, when our immune reaction is compromised, chronic inflammation can occur and wreak havoc on our system. For this reason, it’s important to understand the distinction between acute and chronic inflammation.

Acute vs Chronic Inflammation

Acute inflammation occurs from an outside source such as an allergic reaction, trauma, or infection. It alerts the immune system that something is wrong and in this way can be beneficial. For instance, if you sprain your ankle, healing requires you to stay off of it for a while so it can heal. The ankle becomes swollen and uncomfortable, giving you little choice in the matter. Under most circumstances, acute inflammation with proper treatment will go away on its own.

Chronic inflammation on the other hand can lead to an autoimmune response if not regulated properly. Chronic inflammation can eventually cause an immune response that can turn into any number of autoimmune diseases such as; Type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, inflammatory bowel disease, or Addison’s disease to name just a few. This is why it’s important not to let symptoms go unchecked. Chronic inflammation can cause serious damage to your healthy cells and lead to disabling or even life-threatening illness.

Some symptoms of chronic inflammation may include;

  • Joint and muscle pain

  • Fever and night sweats

  • Anxiety and depression

  • Inappropriate weight gain or weight loss

  • Frequent infections

  • Headaches

  • Brain fog

  • Fatigue and sleep disturbances

  • Skin rashes

Lab Testing

Depending on your presentation and needs, the first course of action at Ponderosa Natural Medicine is typically to run a series of lab panels that help us gain a clearer picture so we can personalize your treatment plan. These labs may include;

C Reactive Protein (CRP) tests for inflammation caused by an infection or autoimmune disorder.

Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR) also tests for inflammation caused by an infection or autoimmune disorder.

Micronutrient Panel tests for deficiencies of omega-3, amino acids, complete antioxidants, and minerals, as well as B vitamin levels all of which may contribute to inflammation.

Gastrointestinal Panel (GI) can determine if there are any gastrointestinal causes for the inflammation such as parasites, bacterial/ yeast overgrowth, or infection.

Adrenal Panel which checks your cortisol levels. Improper cortisol levels can contribute to inflammation, anxiety, sleep disturbances, and other issues which can easily contribute to your cause of pain by inhibiting your body’s ability to properly heal.

Supplemental Nutrients, Healing Herbs and Antioxidant Rich Foods

Lab results help us devise a personalized course of treatment. For chronic inflammatory conditions, treatment may includes;

  • Supplemental nutrients such as Omega-3s, Zinc, B, C, and E vitamins.

  • The consumption of foods high in antioxidants such as blueberries, broccoli, spinach, artichokes, cabbage, asparagus, avocados, beetroot, radish, lettuce, sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, pumpkin, collard greens, and kale.

  • Herbal medicines such as turmeric, rosemary, and ginger.

  • Herbs for adrenal support such as; rhodiola, licorice, holy basil, oats, and ashwagandha.

  • GI issues can be aided with berberine, L-glutamine, and licorice.

Sleep support can be very receptive to valerian, melatonin, and amino acids.


Lifestyle modifications will also most likely be recommended such as weight management, exercise modifications if needed, and stress management techniques. The reduction of things like white sugar, alcohol, and tobacco is always recommended.  An at-home topical remedy may also be beneficial for pain.

Seasonal Effects and Chronic Inflammation

As we move into the winter months, cold weather can have an adverse effect on people with autoimmune diseases by placing additional stress on the body. Cold weather can exacerbate symptoms and leave those with weakened immune systems susceptible to viruses and infections. During the winter months, it is particularly important to support your immune system.

Chronic inflammation can seriously affect your quality of life. As such, there is an emotional toll that chronic inflammation and pain can cause. For this reason, it’s important that you find a healthcare provider and possibly a mental health specialist that will listen to your concerns. A naturopathic doctor tests for and addresses the source of your pain while assisting the body’s natural ability to heal itself with the aid of natural herbs, vitamins, and nutrients. We should also be looking at any external factors that may be contributing to your chronic inflammation as well as your overall health and well-being. In other words, we strive to treat the whole patient, not just symptoms.

If you are in the Denver area and have concerns that you may be dealing with chronic inflammation call us today to schedule an appointment. call for appointment

Dr. Karrina Wallace is passionate about providing comprehensive and effective natural health care options. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition Foods and Exercise from Virginia Polytechnic and State University (Virginia Tech). She then earned her doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from the National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM) in Portland, Oregon.

Dr. Wallace’s practice, Ponderosa Natural Medicine is located in Denver, Colorado.


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