An atom is made up of protons, electrons, and neutrons. Humans take in atoms daily by breathing, eating, and drinking. Atoms unite in the body to form molecules that comprise the body’s cells.
Atoms and molecules are unstable when they have an uneven number of proteins, electrons, and neutrons. They are known as free radicals. They damage cells, leading to illness and aging in the body.
When the body has excess free radicals, it is said to have oxidative stress. Inflammation is a typical response, causing cell and tissue damage and leading to many problems within the body.
The body has a natural defense against oxidative stress, free radicals, and antioxidants. However, when the number of free radicals outnumbers antioxidants, the free radicals win. When this happens, your body is not capable of fighting off infections.
Causes of Oxidative Stress and Inflammation
Some causes of oxidative stress and inflammation are within your control, and others are not. Below are the major contributors:
- Medical Conditions
Diseases may be neurological, cardiovascular, or others that make you more susceptible to infections, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, chronic kidney disease, asthma, allergies, and some cancers. It can also lead to premature aging.
Lyme disease is an excellent example of a condition that causes oxidative stress and inflammation. Because it is often misdiagnosed, it becomes chronic, and your symptoms worsen. The inflammation due to Lyme disease spreads throughout the body, affecting joints and the heart, and when it crosses the blood-brain barrier, it affects the brain and the nervous system.
- Diet and Nutrition
Multiple studies on the foods that contribute to oxidative stress and inflammation show that the western pattern diet, the foods Americans eat daily, are the worst. The western diet is also known as the standard American diet. It consists primarily of processed, high-fat, high-sugar, and prepackaged foods that promote inflammation throughout the body, including the brain.
When a person becomes overweight, there are even greater levels of inflammation, which lead to a weakened immune system and a greater likelihood of developing multiple diseases.
- Lifestyle Factors
What you consume is one lifestyle factor contributing to oxidative stress and inflammation. There are many others, including the following:
- smoking cigarettes
- chewing tobacco
- drinking alcohol
- misusing prescription and illicit drugs
- sitting for most of the day
- lacking physical fitness
- living in an area with much environmental pollution
- cooking methods
- having an excess of fat cells
Certain medications may cause oxidative stress and inflammation, including asthma inhalers, anti-seizure medicines, statins, antibiotics, estrogen, acne treatments, and blood pressure medications. You must research the prescription drugs you have been given and talk to your doctor about other options to reduce oxidative stress.
Managing Oxidative Stress and Inflammation
There are proven steps you can take to prevent and reduce the amount of oxidative stress and inflammation in your body. The first step is to recognize the symptoms.
Symptoms of Oxidative Stress and Inflammation
Symptoms of oxidative stress and inflammation can mimic symptoms of other conditions. Therefore, working with a Lyme literate specialist who can use advanced testing to ensure you get an accurate diagnosis is critical. Symptoms may include one or many of the following:
- Red spots that may be hot to touch
- Joint pain and swelling
- Feeling tired when you should have energy
- Loss of appetite
- Emotional changes such as stress, anxiety, or depression
- Brain fog or other cognitive troubles
- Lack of motivation
- Social withdrawal
Prevention of Oxidative Stress and Inflammation
While avoiding all environmental toxins that cause oxidative stress is impossible, you can do many other things to reduce the amount you encounter. The key is to increase the number of antioxidants in your body that can fight and destroy free radicals. Below are ways to increase antioxidants:
Certain foods have nutrients that support the development of antioxidants. Examples include sweet potatoes, spinach, berries, avocados, broccoli, cabbage, nuts, and pumpkin. Also, mushrooms, turmeric, ginger, tomatoes, green tea, and salmon.
Many researchers recommend the Mediterranean diet to reduce inflammation. However, working with a specialist means you will get a unique diet plan based on your body’s needs, tolerances, and preferences.
- Improve Your Lifestyle
Today the dangers of smoking, drinking, and eating processed, fatty foods are widely known today. Unless you are motivated to make healthier choices, nothing will change, and the inflammation will continue to damage cells and speed up aging.
There is no better time to stop smoking, drinking, or misusing drugs, start exercising, and take care of yourself. Your specialists can assist with detoxing your body.
Self-care involves being aware of your body’s needs and prioritizing to meet those needs. If you have been putting off getting evaluated for aches, pains, or mental health symptoms, now is the time to do it. Also, begin using relaxation techniques daily to avoid the effects of stress. Stop saying “yes” to every request for help. One of self-care’s most essential elements is getting enough quality, restorative sleep each night.
- Ozone Therapy
Ozone therapy is very effective when administered by a specialist, such as a Lyme-literate doctor. It increases the oxygen supply in the body, stimulates the immune system, and makes it easier to get rid of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other pathogens. Ozone gas can be applied directly to an area needing healing intravenously or intramuscularly.
Finding Quality Care
When searching for a specialist, it may be easier to search for a Lyme-literate doctor since Lyme disease is a more common condition they treat. Don’t be afraid to look outside the United States and Canada. Remember, you are searching for the best doctor, not the one your insurance company requires or recommended by your neighbor.
Avoid the cycle of getting referrals from doctor to doctor and bouncing around to different specialists for an accurate diagnosis. Contact a specialist, like those at Lyme Mexico, who are leaders in the industry. You deserve the highest quality treatment the first time.