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Most of us think of inflammation when we get an injury and physically see swelling. Acute inflammation is your body’s immediate natural response; you often see redness and swelling and sometimes experience a loss of function. This is a protective mechanism that helps your body heal and is usually a short-term situation.


Inflammation which occurs for long periods of time throughout the body (systemic) without us realizing it, and can slowly cause tissue damage over time and increase risk of disease.

Chronic inflammation is low grade and systemic, constantly engaged, silently damaging tissues increasing your risk of disease. Symptoms aren’t obvious like they are with acute inflammation and chronic inflammation presents itself in various ways in various people.

Chronic inflammation contributes to everything from achy joints to asthma to irritable bowel disease to diabetes to heart disease to migraines to skin rashes, and the list goes on.

Your body sees inflammation as a priority and will try to take care of it before other issues. This could mean if you’re struggling with lack of energy, difficulty losing weight, or even digestive issues, it’s going to be difficult for your body to fix these without reducing inflammation first. 

Chronic Inflammation contributes to many leading causes of death in the United States: 

  • Heart Disease
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Kidney Disease
  • Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease

What May Lead to Chronic Inflammation?

  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • Over exercise
  • Poorly controlled

How Can You Tell if You May Have Chronic Inflammation?

If you do go see a functional or integrative medicine doctor with concerns about chronic inflammation, one test they’re bound to run is a C-reactive protein levels blood test. Many traditional doctors may also order this test for various reasons.


C-Reactive Protein (CRP): CRP is a general blood marker of inflammation. It measures a protein that signals a response to inflammation. It doesn’t tell us the specific cause, but it does tell us that an inflammatory response exists. Make sure you don’t have any acute inflammation going on (from a recent injury, sickness or stubbed toe) when you get this test done because CRP will be elevated in response to any inflammation, acute or chronic. You want your CRP level well below 1 and preferably at 0, indicating that no inflammation exists.

Testing your CRP levels can give you an idea of your current state of inflammation, but there will likely be more questions to answer. If a patient has chronic inflammation, a doctor may choose to run labs like ferritin (for generalized inflammation), homocysteine, and MPO (to assess cardiac inflammation), and CRP and ESR (for generalized inflammation, autoimmunity, and infections).

Inflammation could come from allergies, infections, decreased immune system, autoimmunity, or more.

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More information on LDN

What Can Lead to Neuroinflammation (also oftentimes Chronic Inflammation)?

  • Traumatic brain injuries (Concussions, motor vehicle accidents, injury from violence)
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • By-products of diseases- circulating endotoxins
  • Microglial activation- different components to inflammation are led by microglial cells
  • Chronic stress- Chronic stress involves elevated cortisol which can lead to microglial activation via the release of inflammatory cytokines.  In other words, stress often causes chronic inflammation which can lead to neuronal injury or death and therefore changes in behavior. It interferes with all stages of neuronal renewal.
    • Stress causes people to feel scattered and feeling like they can’t think straight. They often wonder what is happening to them.

How can we quiet that brain cell activation which leads to inflammation?

According to Dr James LaValle,  RG3 and Nicotinamide Riboside may help.

Methylcobalamin (RG3-Synapsin®) Spray

Methylcobalamin (RG3-Synapsin®) Spray (RG3 + Nicotinamide Riboside + Methyl B12) is an innovative, patent-pending powder blend of ginsenoside Rg3 and nicotinamide riboside along with ingredients to aid in solubilization and dispersion. It is designed to be used in formulations for the support of neurological health and cognitive support.

Methylcobalamin (RG3-Synapsin®) was invented by renowned author, pharmacist and functional medicine speaker Jim LaValle, RPh, CCN, ND, and is commonly used in combination with methylcobalamin or hydroxocobalamin in formulations to support neuronal function and cognition.

Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN)

Read about the mechanism in which low dose naltrexone LDN works to reduce inflammation.

Abstract Low-dose naltrexone (LDN) has been demonstrated to reduce symptom severity in conditions such as fibromyalgia, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and complex regional pain syndrome. We review the evidence that LDN may operate as a novel anti-inflammatory agent in the central nervous system, via action on microglial cells. These effects may be unique to low dosages of naltrexone and appear to be entirely independent from naltrexone’s better-known activity on opioid receptors. As a daily oral therapy, LDN is inexpensive and well-tolerated. Despite initial promise of efficacy, the use of LDN for chronic disorders is still highly experimental. Published trials have low sample sizes, and few replications have been performed. We cover the typical usage of LDN in clinical trials, caveats to using the medication, and recommendations for future research and clinical work. LDN may represent one of the first glial cell modulators to be used for the management of chronic pain disorders.

What is Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN)?

Naltrexone belongs to a class of drugs known as opioid antagonists. Naltrexone blocks opiate drugs from binding to the opioid receptors, which can result in increased endorphin and enkephalin release. Therefore, this results in reduced: 1. signaling and release of inflammatory substances, 2. nerve cell inflammation and 3. autoimmune mediators.

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