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Everything You Need to Know About Chronic Inflammation (According to an Integrative Doctor)

You gained 5 pounds, OVERNIGHT?!?!

Some of you have been there before: You woke up in the morning ready to start your day, and then you jumped onto your scale.

“What the &#*$?! I gained weight, overnight??? How did this happen? I was sleeping!”

Did you sleepwalk to the pantry and overindulge in those vegan chocolate chip cookies? Probably not! Did you buy a new workout machine that builds muscle while you were fast asleep? Highly unlikely!


Inflammation is your body’s reaction to a stimulus your body does not like.


So, why would you have gained weight overnight? The simple answer is . . . the weight is actually inflammation – not fat!

Think of the added five pounds as “water weight” that accumulated while you were dreaming. Why would your body do this to you? Doesn’t your body know that you need to look good in those new pants you purchased last week?!

So, why make you gain weight and look puffy? Simple: Something caused inflammation to kick in. But, what and more importantly, why?

What Is Inflammation?

Inflammation is your body’s reaction to a stimulus your body does not like. We can have good inflammation and bad inflammation:

Good Inflammation

Good inflammation translates to the soreness you feel after a workout. The “breakdown” of muscle during your workout will create small amounts of inflammation, which normally subsides within a day.

Inflammation is also good because it helps to promote the destruction of viruses and bacteria when your body is sick. The inflammatory response is your body’s way of calling in the troops to kill the bad guys.

Bad Inflammation

Bad inflammation is something attacking your body and destroying its tissues. This inflammation is much different than self-inflicted soreness after a workout.

This bad inflammation occurs because your body is doing damage to itself, due to a trigger or a stimulus. Multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and Hashimoto’s disease are all autoimmune conditions in which the body attacks itself, creating massive amounts of chronic inflammation!

Bad inflammation is something attacking your body and destroying its tissues.

What you feel as puffiness, swelling, weight gain, and/or muscle and joint pain is actually the by-product of a physiological war occurring inside your own body.

At times, this inflammation is necessary (such as when you are sick: your body’s immune response is to call in the “good guys” to kill the “bad guys”). At other times, inflammation is a sign that your body needs some serious TLC.

Fear you might have an autoimmune condition? Here are 7 Signs You May Be Suffering from an Autoimmune Condition (From an Integrative Doctor)



Why Do I Always Feel Inflammation? Maybe It’s One of These 5 Common Triggers:

If you’re asking “Why do I feel chronic inflammation?,” the answer is simple: triggers!

Triggers can be physical, chemical, or emotional. These triggers can wreak havoc on your body, causing you to feel inflamed!

Here are some of the most common triggers:

1. Alcohol

Do you remember waking up the morning after a long night of “celebrating” only to feel completely hungover? The cloudy thinking you experience is brain fog! Alcohol passes what is called the blood brain barrier and literally kills neurons. You perceive this damage to the neurons as the “hungover” feeling, and you feel cloudy and foggy.

Besides alcohol causing inflammation of the brain, alcohol can cause inflammation of the gut. There is a lot of sugar in alcohol, and for some – especially for those that may have a gut infection – sugar will cause them to look three to four months pregnant after a night out on the town.

2. Food

Food can have the same effect. Have you ever asked your vegan/vegetarian/dairy-free friends why they are vegan? Or, why they don’t eat gluten, soy, and/or dairy?

For some, they adopted this lifestyle because if they eat certain foods, those foods will wreak havoc on their gastrointestinal systems. These are your “gassy” friends! Or, the ones that must run to the restroom as soon as they are done eating. Or, the ones who look like they smuggled a couple yoga mats under their shirt 30 minutes after eating!

3. Infections

Infections can cause chronic inflammation. The most common infection I find in patients is a fungal infection called candida. Candida can cause you to be bloated, puffy, and pregnant-looking, as well as cause muscle/joint pain and chronic headaches.

Low-grade viruses will create long-term inflammation, as well. These viruses are notorious for triggering autoimmune conditions, which is exactly what happened to my wife, Natasha, who has Hashimoto’s disease.

4. Stress

What if I told you that stress is one of the leading causes of disease? Why?

Stress not only weakens the immune system (which can make you chronically sick) and makes you feel as if you are riding an emotional roller coaster, but stress also causes your adrenal glands (little organs that sit on top of your kidneys) to release an inflammatory hormone called cortisol.

Stress is one of the leading causes of disease.

Cortisol released in large amounts is extremely inflammatory to the body. Specifically, it destroys the gut lining, causes brain fog (AKA destroys neurons), and can inflame muscles and joints.

Besides creating inflammation, cortisol causes you to gain weight, especially around the hips and belly area.

Maybe, some of the five pounds you put on overnight was due to the adrenal glands!

5. Genetics

Ok, before teaching you about genetics, understand that this is a VERY complicated subject. So, let’s keep it simple . . .

Our parents pass their genes down to us. These genes make us who we are. Not all genes are perfect, and some can be altered (or mutated) and cause your body’s normal functions to stop working properly (i.e. detoxifying, absorbing B vitamins, utilizing hormones, and keeping you emotionally stable).


Inflammation can simply be “in your family!”


There are specific genes that, if mutated, limit your body’s ability to handle inflammation properly. They also decrease your liver’s ability to detoxify the inflammation in your body.

In a way, you can blame this on your parents. But, those genes were passed down to them from their parents, so inflammation can simply be “in your family!”

So, Now What? Ask Yourself These 3 Questions:

If you are feeling chronic inflammation, begin asking yourself a few questions:

1. Did you eat/drink anything in the last few hours that could have caused this?

Always think about new foods or restaurants you tried. Many patients are able to begin pinpointing specific foods that cause them to have “weird” bowel symptoms. Or, cause them to feel tired and fuzzy an hour after eating.

2. Are you going through an extremely emotional time in your life?

Stress = adrenal gland stress = cortisol = inflammation = weight gain = brain fog

Maybe find a few more Vinyasa yoga classes to attend and work on controlling how your body responds to emotional stress. You may need to remove yourself from those emotional triggers.

3. Have you been sick recently, and do you feel you have recovered properly from the sickness?

Many times, people will say: “Oh, I just have the flu.” However, what they are really saying is their body is being attacked and this could be a BIG problem if their body can’t kill off the virus on its own.

Still asking “now what?” Read: So You’ve Been Diagnosed With an Autoimmune Disease. This Integrative Doctor Explains What to Do Next



If This Information About Chronic Inflammation Rings a Bell, Follow These 2 Steps:

You should begin seeking out in-depth answers! Don’t let chronic inflammation linger on and on! If you do, you may allow irreparable damage to occur.

This is what I suggest:

1. Get in-depth blood work

I don’t mean go to the ER and tell them you are inflamed. The nurses will probably look at you as if you told them to hold Wounded Peacock Pose.

What I mean is seek out a healthcare professional that specializes in chronic health conditions. Chances are, they will begin to dig deep into what could be causing your inflammation.

Download all the basic blood markers I run on all my patients and ask your doctor to run them all. This will be a good start. Click here to download the FREE PDF

2. Seek out a healthcare specialist that understands genetic mutations

Most of my patients are autoimmune patients, or athletes, who are struggling with the inability to function/compete as they did before. When we begin working together, I always go straight to genetic mutations, as these answers will tell us the “why.”

Should you have any questions, schedule a complimentary consultation for us to discuss your health concerns. Let’s see if we can begin to figure out this chronic inflammation issue that you’re struggling with.

FREE EBOOK – 5 Secrets to Improving Your Energy

Dr. Corey King, D.C., B.C.I.M. utilizes Integrative/Functional Medicine to help his patients heal. Dr. King has been specializing in autoimmune diseases, thyroid gland dysfunction, diabetes, and gastrointestinal dysfunction for the past 12 years. You can learn more by visiting his website or Instagram and you can also check out his online course, Fundamentals For Healing.


Did you know yoga can help reduce inflammation?

Take this Yoga for Inflammation class on YA Classes.

Yoga Class
With Chelsea Ortega


All included information is not intended to treat or diagnose. The views expressed are those of the author and should be attributed solely to the author.

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Dr. Corey King

Dr. Corey King, D.C., B.C.I.M. is a chiropractor and Board Certified Integrative Medicine specialist. After 12 years treating patients at his medicine and neurological practice in Southern California, he now works remotely with patients domestically and internationally. Dr. King has helped hundreds of patients find solutions for dealing with their autoimmune conditions. Visit his website for a free consultation.

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