Dr. Fliedner’s Guide for Reducing Chronic Inflammation

Chronic inflammation is often called a “silent killer” in the West because it can contribute to serious health conditions before showing immediate symptoms. “Chronic inflammation can persist for months or years and is a contributing factor to more than half of deaths worldwide.” (National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences)

If left untreated, chronic inflammation can lead to a variety of health problems, including cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and autoimmune disorders. Quite alarming news when most of us don’t even know it exists, but we are feeling the symptoms.   

Dr. Fliedner has put together this guide to help you improve your health by educating you on inflammation — its common signs and symptoms, its causes, and the lifestyle changes you can make to reduce inflammation and live a healthier life. 

Let’s jump in!

The Ultimate Guide to Reduce Chronic Inflammation

This comprehensive guide will discuss ten effective strategies to combat inflammation and promote a healthier, happier you. 

These include: 

  • Anti-inflammatory Diet
  • Proper Sleep
  • Regular Exercise
  • Stress Management 
  • Alternative Therapies
  • Vitamins and Supplements
  • Hormone Management
  • Weight Loss Techniques
  • Avoid Toxins
  • Seek Professional Guidance

By adhering to Dr. Fliedner’s recommendations and incorporating the suggested lifestyle changes outlined in this guide, you can take proactive steps to manage your health and effectively reduce inflammation. This approach may alleviate joint pain, fatigue, and other symptoms associated with chronic inflammation, paving the way for a more vibrant and energetic life. Begin your journey towards improved health today.

Understanding Inflammation and its Impact on the Body

Inflammation is a natural and essential biological response of the body’s immune system to various stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants. It is a protective mechanism that helps the body eliminate harmful agents and initiate the healing process. Acute or short-term inflammation is the body’s response to an immediate threat, such as an injury or infection. This type of inflammation is a normal and necessary part of the healing process and typically resolves once the threat has been eliminated.

However, when the inflammatory response becomes chronic, it can harm the body. Chronic inflammation is a prolonged state of inflammation that can last for weeks, months, or even years. This type of inflammation is often associated with a variety of health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, arthritis, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Chronic inflammation can also lead to a weakened immune system, increased susceptibility to infections, and a general decline in overall health and well-being.

Common Causes of Chronic Inflammation

Inflammation can be triggered by various factors, both internal and external. One of the most common causes is an unhealthy diet high in processed foods, refined carbohydrates, and unhealthy fats. These foods can promote the production of inflammatory compounds in the body, leading to chronic inflammation.

Stress is another major contributor to inflammation. Chronic stress can activate the body’s inflammatory response, releasing inflammatory cytokines and other pro-inflammatory molecules. This can have widespread effects on the body, including an increased risk of chronic diseases.

Environmental factors, such as exposure to toxins, pollutants, and allergens, can also trigger an inflammatory response. Toxins and pollutants can damage cells and tissues, leading to an immune response that can result in chronic inflammation. Allergens, such as pollen or certain foods, can also cause an inflammatory reaction.

Underlying medical conditions, such as autoimmune disorders, can also contribute to chronic inflammation. In these cases, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own healthy tissues, leading to a sustained inflammatory response. Other factors, such as a sedentary lifestyle, poor sleep, and certain medications, can also play a role in the development of chronic inflammation.

Recognizing Common Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Inflammation

Early detection and intervention of chronic inflammation rely on recognizing its signs and symptoms. Common indicators include:

  • Fatigue: Persistent tiredness and lack of energy despite adequate sleep.
  • Joint pain: Continuous discomfort or joint swelling, often with stiffness.
  • Digestive issues: Recurrent abdominal pain, bloating, or altered bowel habits.
  • Skin problems: Unexplained rashes, eczema, or psoriasis flare-ups.
  • Frequent infections: Heightened vulnerability to infections due to a weakened immune system.
  • Brain fog: Difficulty concentrating, memory issues, or cognitive decline.
  • Mood disorders: Mood swings, anxiety, or depression are potentially linked to chronic inflammation.
  • Weight gain: Challenges in losing weight despite a healthy diet and regular exercise.
  • Chronic pain: Persistent pain in various body parts, such as muscles or the back.
  • Unexplained swelling: Swollen lymph nodes or general swelling throughout the body.

Experiencing one or more of these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean you have chronic inflammation, but they could be potential indicators. It is crucial to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and a personalized treatment plan.

Chronic pain can trigger joint pain throughout the body.

The Link Between Chronic Inflammation and Health Conditions

The medical community recognizes chronic inflammation as a contributing factor to various health conditions. Research shows that prolonged inflammation can play a role in the development and progression of diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, and certain types of cancer.

For example, chronic inflammation is implicated in atherosclerosis, a condition characterized by plaque buildup in the arteries. Continuous inflammation in the arterial walls can narrow blood vessels, increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Managing chronic inflammation can potentially reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Over the past 30 years, the medical community has witnessed several studies that support evidence for the role of inflammation in the initiation and progression of diabetes. Addressing inflammation may improve insulin sensitivity and help manage diabetes better.

Arthritis, characterized by joint inflammation and stiffness, is another condition associated with chronic inflammation. Continuous activation of the immune system can damage joints and contribute to arthritis progression. Managing chronic inflammation may alleviate symptoms and slow the disease’s progression.

Furthermore, research suggests a connection between chronic inflammation and certain cancers. Prolonged inflammation can create an environment that promotes cancer cell growth and spread. Managing inflammation may help reduce the risk of cancer development and progression.

It’s important to note that chronic inflammation does not necessarily cause all the health conditions mentioned but can contribute to their development or exacerbate existing conditions. Addressing inflammation may reduce the risk and severity of associated health issues. 

Consulting a healthcare professional like Dr. Fliedner is essential for a proper diagnosis and personalized treatment plan.

10 Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Chronic Inflammation

Now that we’ve addressed the life-threatening impact of chronic inflammation, let’s explore proactive lifestyle changes to reduce inflammation and enhance overall well-being.

These include: 

  • Anti-inflammatory Diet
  • Proper Sleep
  • Regular Exercise
  • Stress Management 
  • Alternative Therapies
  • Vitamins and Supplements
  • Hormone Management
  • Weight Loss Techniques
  • Avoid Toxins
  • Seek Professional Guidance

Anti-inflammatory Diet

What you eat plays a crucial role in managing inflammation. Many nutrient-dense foods, rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, can help modulate the body’s inflammatory response. Consider incorporating the following foods into your diet:

Healthy Fats. One of the most well-known anti-inflammatory foods is fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines. These fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to have potent anti-inflammatory properties. Omega-3s can help reduce the production of inflammatory cytokines and eicosanoids, and may also help to improve the body’s immune response. 

Other sources of omega-3 fatty acids are walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds, which have anti-inflammatory properties.

Leafy Greens. Leafy green vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and collard greens, are also excellent sources of anti-inflammatory compounds. These vegetables are rich in antioxidants, including vitamins C and E, as well as carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin. These nutrients can help neutralize free radicals and reduce oxidative stress, which are key drivers of inflammation.

Berries.  Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries, are another group of anti-inflammatory foods. These fruits are packed with polyphenols, a class of plant-based compounds that have been shown to possess potent anti-inflammatory properties. Polyphenols can help reduce the production of inflammatory cytokines and may also have neuroprotective effects. 

Rainbow-colored fruit and veggies. Select a colorful plate of fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes, bell peppers, pomegranates, beets, carrots, etc.. When we eat plant foods, phytonutrients protect us from chronic diseases. Phytonutrients have potent anti-cancer and anti-heart disease effects.  “Ensuring the consumption of a variety of foods will enable the individual to sample from thousands of phytochemicals that may help to offset an increased risk of chronic disease,” according to the National Library of Medicine.

Whole Grains. Opt for brown rice, quinoa, and oats instead of refined grains. A 2022 JAMA Network Open study of over 4,000 adults found that cereal fiber from whole grains significantly lowers inflammation markers more than fiber from fruits or vegetables.

“The reason [whole grains] play a role in managing systemic inflammation is because they are rich in fiber, which aids both in detoxification and maintaining a healthy gut microbiome, a critical component for a robust immune system and controlling inflammation,” says Ginger Hultin, M.S., RDN, author of Anti-Inflammatory Diet Meal Prep

Herbs and Spices. Turmeric, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, and clove all have natural anti-inflammatory compounds. Incorporating these into your meals can help modulate the inflammatory response and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Nuts and seeds.  Walnuts, almonds, and chia seeds are also excellent sources of anti-inflammatory nutrients. These foods are rich in healthy fats, fiber, and antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation and support overall health.

Incorporating these anti-inflammatory foods into a balanced, nutrient-dense diet is a crucial step toward reducing chronic inflammation and enhancing overall well-being.

Proper Sleep

Adequate sleep is essential for managing inflammation, as lack of rest can increase inflammatory cytokines and hinder the body’s ability to regulate inflammation. Aim for 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night to support natural healing and recovery processes.

Regular Exercise

Exercise is a powerful tool in the fight against chronic inflammation. Regular physical activity has been shown to profoundly impact the body’s inflammatory response, helping to reduce the production of pro-inflammatory compounds and increase the release of anti-inflammatory substances.

One primary way that exercise helps to reduce inflammation is by promoting weight loss and maintaining a healthy body weight. Excess body fat, particularly around the abdomen, is associated with increased levels of inflammatory markers, such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6). By engaging in regular physical activity and adopting a balanced, nutrient-dense diet, individuals can achieve and maintain a healthy weight, which can significantly reduce inflammation.

Exercise also directly affects the body’s inflammatory pathways. During physical activity, the muscles release a variety of anti-inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin-10 (IL-10) and adiponectin. These substances can help counteract the effects of pro-inflammatory compounds, reducing overall inflammation in the body.

Furthermore, exercise has been shown to improve the function of the endothelial cells that line the blood vessels. Endothelial dysfunction is a key contributor to the development of cardiovascular disease and is closely linked to chronic inflammation. By improving endothelial function, exercise can help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular complications associated with inflammation.

The type of exercise can also play a role in the anti-inflammatory benefits. Aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, running, or cycling, effectively reduces inflammation. This is because aerobic exercise can increase the production of anti-inflammatory enzymes and promote the release of endorphins, which have natural anti-inflammatory properties.

Resistance training, such as weightlifting or bodyweight exercises, can also help to reduce inflammation. This type of exercise can increase the production of muscle-derived anti-inflammatory cytokines and improve insulin sensitivity, which is closely linked to the inflammatory response.

By incorporating a variety of exercise modalities into a regular routine, individuals can take a comprehensive approach to managing inflammation and promoting overall health and well-being.

Engage in physical activity that suits your fitness level and preferences. Regular exercise helps reduce inflammation and promotes overall well-being.

Stress Management

Stress management is another essential component of reducing inflammation. Chronic stress can activate the body’s inflammatory response, leading to the release of inflammatory compounds that can have widespread effects on the body. Meditation, yoga, deep breathing, and mindfulness can help reduce stress levels and promote a more balanced inflammatory response.

Practice stress-reducing techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, deep breathing exercises, or engaging in hobbies that bring you joy and relaxation. For more stress management therapies, see the Alternative Therapies below.

Alternative Therapies

A variety of alternative therapies can be effective in managing inflammation in the body. 

These therapies can be complementary, supporting the body’s natural healing processes and reducing the risk of chronic diseases associated with inflammation.

One such therapy is acupuncture, a traditional Chinese medicine practice that involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body. Acupuncture has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects, potentially by modulating the production of inflammatory cytokines and promoting the release of endogenous opioids, which have natural pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties.

Massage therapy is another alternative therapy that can reduce inflammation. Massage has been shown to increase blood flow, promote the release of anti-inflammatory compounds, and reduce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. This can be particularly helpful for individuals experiencing musculoskeletal pain or inflammation.

Mind-body practices, such as meditation, yoga, and tai chi, can also effectively reduce inflammation. These practices have been shown to decrease the production of inflammatory cytokines, improve immune function, and promote overall well-being. By reducing stress and promoting relaxation, these practices can significantly impact the body’s inflammatory response.

Finally, hydrotherapy, or water-based therapies, can be a valuable tool for managing inflammation. Techniques such as hot and cold water immersion, steam baths, and contrast showers can help to improve circulation, reduce swelling, and promote the release of anti-inflammatory compounds.

It’s important to note that while these alternative therapies can be beneficial for managing inflammation, it’s always best to consult with a qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment regimen, especially for individuals with underlying medical conditions or taking prescription medications.

Vitamins and Supplements

Properly prescribed vitamins and supplements from a qualified physician such as Dr. Fliedner can be part of an overall therapy to reduce inflammation. Some essentials are vitamin D, which has been linked to reduced inflammation and improved immune function, and antioxidant supplements, such as vitamins C and E, which can help neutralize free radicals and reduce oxidative stress.

Hormone Management

Dr. Fliedner has dedicated his life to helping his patients overcome the debilitating health issues that accompany aging men and women by prescribing hormone therapy. After seeing so many wondrous health recoveries, Fliedner believes that “bioidentical hormone therapy (BHRT) is vital to wellness and integral to a healthy lifestyle.” 

Weight Loss

Maintaining a healthy weight is another important factor in reducing inflammation. Excess body fat, particularly around the abdomen, is associated with increased levels of inflammatory markers. Adopting a balanced diet and regular exercise routine is the first step toward losing weight and reducing inflammation.

However, if patients find that these lifestyle approaches are not adequate alone, Dr. Fliedner recommends several FDA-approved prescription medications for long-term weight loss. Some of the more successful prescription medications are below:

Orlistat (Xenical, Alli): Reduces the amount of fat absorbed by the intestines.

Phentermine-topiramate (Qsymia): One of the most effective medications for weight loss in people with obesity, along with GLP-1 receptor agonists like liraglutide and semaglutide.

Naltrexone-bupropion (Contrave): A 2022 study found that this medication was associated with significant weight loss compared to a placebo, with participants losing an average of 11–22 lb (5–9 kg).

Liraglutide (Saxenda): A GLP-1 receptor agonist that comes as a liquid solution in a prefilled injection pen.

Semaglutide (Wegovy): A GLP-1 receptor agonist that can also be found in the diabetes medication Ozempic. 

Contact our office to schedule an appointment to discuss these weight loss medications with Dr. Fliedner.

Avoid Toxins

Finally, avoiding or limiting exposure to environmental toxins and pollutants can also help reduce inflammation. These substances can trigger an inflammatory response in the body and contribute to the development of chronic diseases. 

Avoid tobacco. If you smoke, consider quitting. Smoking not only increases inflammation but also significantly impacts overall health.

Consider using natural cleaning products, avoiding exposure to secondhand smoke, and minimizing using personal care products with harmful chemicals.

Dr. Fliedner treats inflammation with hormonal therapy and weight loss medications.

Seeking Professional Guidance

Dr. Fliedner is passionate about improving the health of his patients.  He believes that inflammation is the driver of disease. He says, “The best health is related to a lifestyle focused on diet, sleep, exercise, stress management, supplements, hormonal therapy, and weight loss.” 

When diagnosing inflammation issues, Dr. Fliedner comprehensively evaluates your health. He and his team will interpret inflammation test results, offer personalized guidance, and develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. 

Dr. Fliedner will investigate the underlying causes of chronic inflammation and address related health conditions, possibly recommending further diagnostic tests or treatments to manage inflammation effectively.

Final Thoughts

Managing chronic inflammation requires a holistic approach. Our patients have seen reduced inflammation and improved health by adopting an anti-inflammatory diet, staying physically active, managing stress, prioritizing sleep, and seeking professional guidance for hormonal balance and weight loss.

Take control of your health and start your journey towards reducing chronic inflammation today. Embrace a lifestyle that nurtures your well-being, and consider contacting our office for a private consultation with Dr. Fliedner. 

Together, we can reclaim optimal health for your body.

To request an appointment with Dr. Fliedner, call our office at 469-455-1665 or fill out the form below.

  • Read our Privacy Policy for more details about privacy
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.