Episode 2: Diet and Inflammation. Learn how the foods you eat affect your brain and body

An interview with Dr. Arland Hill, DC, MPH, DACBN


About this Episode


In our second episode of the Empowered Through TBI Podcast, Joanne Phillips, MS, RD, interviews Dr. Arland Hill, DC.


Show Notes

Inflammation is the body’s response to illnesses including infections or injuries.

Acute Inflammation is one that starts rapidly and becomes severe in a short space of time. Signs and symptoms are normally only present for a few days but may persist for a few weeks in some cases.

Chronic inflammation refers to long-term inflammation and can last for several months and even years. It can result from: failure to eliminate whatever was causing an acute inflammation, an autoimmune disorder that attacks normal healthy tissue, mistaking it for a pathogen that causes disease or exposure to a low level of a particular irritant, such as an industrial chemical, over a long period

C-Reactive Protein (CRP): CRP is a protein made by your liver that can be measured in your blood.  CRP increases when there’s inflammation in your body.

Homocysteine is an amino acid.  Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. When proteins break down, elevated levels of amino acids like homocysteine may be found in the bloodstream. You can’t get homocysteine from your diet. It has to be made from methionine, another amino acid that is found in meat, fish, and dairy products. Vitamins B6 (pyridoxine), B12 and folic acid are needed to make this reaction occur. If homocysteine cannot be converted into cysteine or returned to the methionine form, levels of homocysteine in the body increase. Elevated homocysteine levels have been associated with heart attack, stroke, blood clot formation, and perhaps the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

Insulin Resistance: is when cells in your muscles, body fat and liver start resisting or ignoring the signal that the hormone insulin is trying to send out—which is to grab glucose out of the bloodstream and put it into our cells.  The hormone insulin helps control the amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood. With insulin resistance, the body’s cells don’t respond normally to insulin. Glucose can’t enter the cells as easily, so it builds up in the blood. This can eventually lead to type 2 diabetes and other chronic health conditions.  Insulin resistance leads to rapid, premature aging and all its resultant diseases, including heart disease, stroke, dementia, and cancer. Weight loss/diet and exercise can help reverse insulin resistance.

Hemoglobin A1C test measures what percentage of your hemoglobin — a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen — is coated with sugar (glycated). The higher your A1C level, the poorer your blood sugar control. 

Fasting Insulin the insulin fasting blood test is chiefly used as a test insulin levels and to diagnoses diabetes and insulin resistance. It suggests that fasting insulin levels could identify insulin resistance long before plasma glucose and HbA1c levels rise.  The higher your insulin levels are, the worse your insulin resistance.

Ferritin is the major iron storage protein in the body. A ferritin test is a laboratory blood test that measures the amount of ferritin in a person’s blood stream and is ordered as an indirect way to measure the iron stores in the body. Serum ferritin is also an important inflammatory disease marker, as it is mainly a leakage product from damaged cells. Serum ferritin is also a well-known inflammatory marker, but it is unclear whether serum ferritin reflects or causes inflammation, or whether it is involved in an inflammatory cycle.

Complete Blood Count (CBC): A complete blood count (CBC) is a blood test used to evaluate your overall health and detect a wide range of disorders, including anemia, infection and leukemia.  A complete blood count test measures several components and features of your blood, including:

  • Red blood cells, which carry oxygen
  • White blood cells, which fight infection
  • Hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells
  • Hematocrit, the proportion of red blood cells to the fluid component, or plasma, in your blood
  • Platelets, which help with blood clotting

Abnormal increases or decreases in cell counts as revealed in a complete blood count may indicate that you have an underlying medical condition that calls for further evaluation.

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