A blog by Anne Goldberg, The Savvy Senior

Reduce my what? Don’t be offended, and as long as I have your attention, can we talk about inflammation? Let me elaborate.

Recently I was driving in traffic on I-95, and somehow started thinking about the causes of chronic, systemic, disease-inducing inflammation. Let’s see, first of course are antibiotics, the biggest bomb you can drop in your digestive system to incite systemic inflammation. So antibiotics are number one and they’re closely followed, of course, by our favorite nemesis, sugar. Ubiquitous sugar. Then there’s stress and the formidable harm it poses from the overproduction of cortisol and its domino effect

Antiobiotics, Sugar and Stress. Antiobiotics, Sugar and Stress. I started to laugh out loud as I realized that the acronym added up to ASS! And then I was on a roll… How can you reduce your ASS? What’s causing your ASS to increase? How big is your ASS? I was laughing so hard, my stomach hurt. I shared it with some friends and the reaction was the same. Out loud, out-of-control hysterical laughter and I knew I was on to something.

If I can bring awareness to these three predominant causes of inflammation through laughter and help people to ‘just say no’ to them (well, at least to begin the process of conscious awareness so that you know you have a choice to say no) then I will feel that I’ve accomplished my core mission, which is to provide information and inspiration for seniors so they can make the choices that help them live happier, healthier, longer lives.

Now I’m certainly not suggesting that you refuse all antibiotics, as they can be life-saving for certain. It’s the overuse of them in our food supply and for viral infections (like colds and the flu) or for small infections that may benefit from alternative approaches. Nature provides us with powerful antibiotics such as 100% pure essential oils like lavender, tea tree/melaleuca, or oregano, each of which has been shown, in evidence-based science, to have bacterial-fighting properties in research by the National Institutes of Health¹, ², ³. Be judicious in when and how often you allow yourself to take antibiotics. Make sure the risk/reward ratio is worth it.

And then there’s Sugar… that’s a horse of a different color, so to speak. We have no nutritional need for processed sugar yet the amount of it that infiltrates our diets on a daily basis has caused an unprecedented increase in diabetes and cancer. Read ingredients. Become informed and say NO to processed foods with added sugar (and chemicals – another big cause of inflammation.) Enjoy fresh fruits, especially berries for a sweet treat that will leave you feeling energized. Feel like ice cream? Take any frozen fruit (preferably organic) and using a blender, whir it up with Greek yoghurt and/or coconut cream and/or milk with some honey and salt. Yumm!

And now we come to Stress. That’s the big one. Until recently, we didn’t truly understand the intricate dance of stress and well-being. Chronic stress, like water running over rocks for years, will wear us down and erode our health due to the overproduction of cortisol and its deleterious effect on the endocrine system. Dale Carnegie taught that 90% of what we worry about NEVER happens. So what’s the point of worrying? Let it go. Your best weapon against stress is your breath. When you are feeling stressed, inhale slowly and count – 1, 2, 3, 4, – then hold your breath for 2 seconds and then release and count 0 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6… Repeat. Repeat until you feel the energy shift in your body.

Be a Savvy Senior. Reduce chronic, systemic inflammation by reducing how much antibiotics, sugar and stress you have in your life.  In other words, reduce your ASS! LOL everyone!

¹ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22313307

² https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1360273/

³ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23484421

Anne Goldberg, The Savvy Senior, has a mission to help seniors know they are old enough to have a past and young enough to have a future. Her vision is to create an army of senior volunteers bringing their wisdom and experience back to the community. She helps seniors live into their future with vitality by teaching them how to use computers; with conferences & workshops on The Art of Living Longer; with decluttering & organizing; and with “Tell Your Story Videos”, preserving the stories & wisdom of your life for future generations. For more information, visit www.SavvySeniorServices.com or call (954) 536-8008.