Inflamation, The Secret Killer

March 3rd, 201012:59 pm @ Angela Odom


There is a wonderful show on A&E about psychic kids. I love this show and I’m glad to see it because it encourages kids to accept the gifts they were given and find empowerment, acceptance and more importantly, no fear. Sometimes we know that we know unfortunately, because we are encouraged to be so logical, we often miss signs or warnings that come to either prepare us for what is to come or aid us in preventing major problems.

In February 2004, about six months prior to experiencing the first signs of something going wrong in my body, Time Magazine published a series of articles about inflammation being a secret killer. The byline says: “The surprising link between inflammation and heart attacks, cancer, Alzheimer’s and other diseases.”

This was a magazine I saw numerous times in my comings and goings that always got my attention. I had not actually seen the words really, only the bright red cover. In my life, anytime something screams at me — as this magazine did — I have to pick it up. I purchased the magazine, took it home and about two months later I finally read the article. For whatever reason, I could not put the magazine down until I read every article pertaining to inflammation.

Prior to seeing this magazine, I had disturbing dreams about losing both my hair and teeth. After reading the magazine, my dreams showed a strange association between what I read and losing my teeth and hair. One year later, in 2005, I was diagnosed with lupus and began having problems with my teeth because of Prednisone and I lost some hair due to the chemo drug Cytoxan. We always know that we know and life does not drop you in crap without some form of advanced warning.

After reading the article and experiencing those unsettling dreams, something within tried to get me to make changes in my life. I felt the need to change my diet, exercise more, and spend less time seated at my computer. I needed to get up and move about more and work on reducing stress. Unfortunately, I was going through a horribly stressful time at work. Instead of taking a more proactive stance in this, I was reactive and this did not help matters at all.

The article (which begins here) states the following:

Suddenly, inflammation has become one of the hottest areas of medical research. Hardly a week goes by without the publication of yet another study uncovering a new way that chronic inflammation does harm to the body. It destabilizes cholesterol deposits in the coronary arteries, leading to heart attacks and potentially even strokes. It chews up nerve cells in the brains of Alzheimer’s victims. It may even foster the proliferation of abnormal cells and facilitate their transformation into cancer. In other words, chronic inflammation may be the engine that drives many of the most feared illnesses of middle and old age.

The dreams, combined with the screaming magazine cover, were all trying to tell me I was in trouble. A few months later after experiencing strange symptoms, achy joints, and a large herald spot on my right arm, I visited a doctor and asked for a full blood panel.  The tests came back showing my cholesterol was off the charts, my blood was out of whack and the tests for C-Reactive Protein and Sedimentation Rate were both very high. I had lots-o-inflammation.

No doctors have more experience treating chronic inflammation than the physicians who specialize in rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus and other autoimmune disorders. For decades these diseases have provided the clearest example of a body at war with itself. But the spark that fuels their internal destruction doesn’t come from excess cholesterol deposits or a stubborn bacterial infection. Instead, in a bizarre twist of fate, the body’s supersophisticated, learned immunological defenses mistakenly direct an inflammatory attack against healthy cells in such places as the joints, nerves and connective tissue.

This article was informative. Though I had no idea at the time it would have anything to do with me, I have since found myself reflecting on the words I read and the dreams I had. We always know that we know. The article also told me more doctors are looking at how chronic inflammation adversely affects the body. Perhaps — at least this is my hope — this is why more people are being diagnosed with autoimmune diseases because doctors are more aware. The article states there is a link between chronic inflammation and heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.

This is the article that started it all for me and I still refer to it from time to time. You can read it in its entirety here and all of the associated articles here. It’s an eye opener.

Tags:  Heart Disease, Inflammation