How Inflammation Heals

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How Inflammation Heals

The “rejuvenation” phase of the inflammation process is true anti-inflammation.

Whereas pro-inflammation weakens the invaders, anti-inflammation heals and repairs.

The balancing of these 2 parts of inflammation is the key to maintaining wellness.

The healing process has 4 stages:  recall, resolution, regeneration, and repair.

As you might expect, it’s much easier to win a war than to fix the battlefield after victory.

You’re the commander of the healing process.


The recall phase starts with calling off the attack dogs, pro-inflammatory eicosanoids, it launched to fight the battle.

It does this by releasing cortisol.

The trouble is, cortisol also shuts down the “good” anti-inflammatory stuff, so it also hinders healing.

Unfortunately, this newly secreted cortisol goes everywhere.

So now, parts of your body not affected by inflammation are bathed in cortisol, which shuts down their normal eicosanoid production.

Although cortisol is considered a stress hormone, it should really be called an anti-stress hormone because it shuts down inflammation.

The trouble is when you have constant silent inflammation, cortisol is constantly being secreted.

The result is you become fatter (it increases insulin resistance), sicker (it decreases the inflammatory response), and dumber (it kills neural cells connected with memory in your brain).


Once the attack dogs are called off, your body still needs to remove any offending material from the battlefield.

That’s the job of a specialized group of white blood cells called macrophages.

Besides the debris from the invaders, the macrophages also eat dead cells and any red blood cells leaked onto the battlefield.


Once the battlefield is cleared, the vascular wall needs to be reestablished and then your body begins the regeneration of damaged tissue.

Success of the repair process depends on the type of cell needing to be regenerated.

If it’s a constantly multiplying cell (like a skin cell or blood cell), then regeneration happens quickly.

Cells with a longer life span (like the cells lining your blood vessels) take longer to regenerate.

Permanent cells like muscle cells (especially those of the heart) and nerve cells have extremely limited regenerative abilities.

Once you lose these cells to inflammatory damage, they’re gone forever.

This is why silent inflammation is so disastrous to your heart and brain – organ function is permanently impaired.


The final phase of healing is the repair phase, where new tissue is generated.

This requires a careful balance of pro-inflammatory eicosanoids and anti-inflammatory eicosanoids.

Now that most of the pro-inflammatory eicosanoids are gone (thanks to cortisol), the real players in the repair phase are a group of anti-inflammatory eicosanoids known as lipoxins and resolvins.

Lipoxins are more powerful in reducing pro-inflammatory eicosanoids than cortisol and are more selective because they don’t shut down the “good” eicosanoids.

It’s important to get the right balance of pro- and anti-inflammatory eicosanoids in the repair phase because this balance governs the amount of scar tissue formed.

Scar tissue is repaired tissue which simply isn’t put together right.

If you have the right amount of anti-inflammatory eicosanoids, however, the repair process is orderly and the tissue is made stronger than before.

In addition, anti-inflammatory eicosanoids also cause the release of hormones important to the rebuilding of new tissue.

With the right levels of anti-inflammatory eicosanoids and hormones, your tissue is not only repaired, but actually becomes stronger.

This healing phase of inflammation can work wonders to make your body stronger.

Or it can fizzle out and do a poor job of healing, leaving your body weaker.

It all depends on the levels of anti-inflammatory eicosanoids.

Being in the Anti-Inflammation Zone ensures you’ve given your immune system the tools it needs to dampen the pain from the attack phase of inflammation while enhancing the healing phase.

Rather than degrading tissue and accelerating the aging process, you’ll constantly build new tissue.

All of this slows the aging process.

This is the key to getting inflammation to work in your favor instead of against you.

In summary, controlling both phases of inflammation is critical to maintaining wellness.

The goal is to tip the balance toward cellular rejuvenation and away from the cellular degradation caused by silent inflammation.

Come join us on our natural weight loss journey!  We’d love to have you along!

Have an awesome day!

(Based on Dr. Barry Sears’ “The Anti-Inflammation Zone”)

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Dick and Lenay

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