So, the holiday ‘spirit’ has taken its toll on more than just your liver already. You’re feeling not exactly like your usual self…sluggish, lethargic, swollen…just a bit ‘meh’.
You’re not alone, and you wouldn’t be the first.
Overconsumption of alcohol, food, and a lack of exercise is generally how we occupy our time come the holiday season. Which is great, and don’t get me wrong, I’m feeling festive af. But the indulgence is doing little for your insides.
Inflammation is the body’s response to injury, or trauma. And it may not seem that way, but that half tub of ice-cream on top of your plum pudding…it’s causing internal trauma that we need to get on top of.
Sugar. Is. Pro-inflammatory. So limit it. It’s been shown that over-consumption of sugar leads to inflammatory markers in the blood, which is a predictor of juvenile-onset diabetes, inflammation is also linked to Type II diabetes. Not ideal.
Diets that promote inflammation are generally high in refined starches (pasta, white bread), sugar, saturated and trans-fats, and low in omega-3 fatty acids, natural antioxidants and fibre. Interestingly this same diet has been shown to lead to depression.
Look, I’m not saying don’t have any sweets, it’s just important that you control your portions.
It’s been shown that stressful events influence inflammation in the body the same way sugar induces inflammation by influencing cytokine production (I’ll save you the details). The thing about this is, stress influences our diet…so the combination of hectic (family) holidays and poor meal choices may leave us one big inflamed mess. Make the right choices.
Given the pain that radiates from your head the morning after, you know alcohol isn’t the greatest thing on the planet for your insides. No surprises there.
The liver does most of the work when it comes to breaking down alcohol, the by-products of which cause damage to liver cells, promoting inflammation. Over-consumption of alcohol, even just for a short period, can lead to fatty build up in the liver, cue, fatty liver disease - known as ‘the alcoholics disease’. This build up causes…you guessed it, inflammation. Not only this, but excessive alcohol consumption effects your body’s cytokine production causing weekend immunity for up to 24 hours after you’ve been crushing the dance floor.
That’s the d-l on pro-inflammatories…and what about anti-inflammatories? Read here.