What is Inflammation?
In the body, inflammation is the immune system’s response to an irritant. A wound that turns red, swells up, and becomes painful could be a sign of inflammation. Certain chemicals are released with the body’s inflammatory response.
Inflammation might be caused by viruses, fungi, or bacteria, external injuries, or toxins, such as chemicals or radiation . Inflammation might play a role in a surprising number of diseases, including cardiovascular disease.
What are Autoimmune and Inflammatory Diseases?
Inflammatory diseases involve inflammation that might be more systemic or localized. With autoimmune disease, the body’s immune system that protects from infection and disease attacks healthy cells in the body. Some researchers believe the immune system is attacking healthy cells by mistake.
Autoimmune disease can affect different parts of the body and the cause isn’t clear. Some people have more than one autoimmune disease and many of the symptoms of the more than 80 types of autoimmune disease are similar, often making it more difficult to pinpoint specific conditions. Rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis are examples of two arthritic and inflammatory autoimmune diseases.
Autoimmune and inflammatory diseases can be particularly painful, and the symptoms often worsen during flare-ups. Part of the reason these conditions can be so painful is due to the high levels of inflammation soaring throughout the body and affecting muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones. The first symptoms of autoimmune disease are typically muscle aches, a low fever, and fatigue. Inflammation is a key indicator of autoimmune disease and many autoimmune diseases are diagnosed based on certain blood test results, such as inflammatory markers or genetics .
Examples of inflammation diseases includes the following:
- Chron’s Disease
- Coeliac disease
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
- Multiple sclerosis
What Does the Research Say About Keto and Inflammation?
With the wealth of propitious research on the ketogenic diet, it’s easy to acknowledge the potential for positively modifying chronic disease and enhancing general health and wellness . Studies show the healthy fats and the lack of sugar on the ketogenic diet can reduce inflammatory markers. Keto is far superior for lowering inflammation when compared to a low-fat diet [6,7].
Sugar and sugar-sweetened beverages have been shown to promote inflammation . Since keto greatly decreases sugar consumption, this could also be another reason why the keto diet can be anti-inflammatory.
Some studies zone in on specific types or versions of ketogenic diets, such as a paleo-style ketogenic diet that excludes certain food groups, such as grains. Paleolithic ketogenic diet plans have shown promise for chronic diseases, type 1 diabetes, and more .
Many people experience more relief by taking the ketogenic diet a step further and modifying it to suit their individual needs. For example, someone struggling with digestive issues might want to try excluding specific food groups like dairy or grains from their diet at least for a few months. Check out our helpful article on how to go keto dairy-free!
So, let’s lower inflammation, boost antioxidants, and the rest…keto style!
Has Going Keto Helped Your Inflammation, Inflammatory Disease, and / or autoimmune disease(s)?
Comment below and share your health transformation story with us.
1) Ruskin, D. N., Kawamura, Jr., & Masino S. A. (2009). Reduced pain and inflammation in juvenile and adult rats fed a ketogenic diet. PLOS One, 4(12), https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0008349
2) Dupuis, N., Curatolo, N., Benoist, J., & Auvin, S. (2015). Ketogenic diet exhibits anti-inflammatory properties. Epilepsia, https://doi.org/10.1111/epi.13038
3) InformedHealth.org (2010). What is Inflammation? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279298/
4) U.S. National Library of Medicine. Autoimmune Diseases. https://medlineplus.gov/autoimmunediseases.html
5) Gasior, M., Rogawski, M. A., & Hartman, A. L. (2006). Neuroprotective and disease-modifying effects of the ketogenic diet. Behavioural Pharmacology, 17(5-6), 431-439. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2367001/
6) Forsythe, C. E., Phinney, S. D., Fernandez, M. L., Quann, E. E., Wood, R. J., Bibus, Doug. M., Kraemer, W. J., Feinman, R. D., & Volek, J. S. (2007). Comparison of low fat and low carbohydrate diets on circulating fatty acid composition and markers of inflammation. Lipids, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11745-007-3132-7
7) Masino, S. A., & Ruskin, D. N. (2013). Ketogenic diets and pain. Journal of Child Neurology, 28(8), 993-1001. doi: 10.1177/0883073813487595.
8) Fomin, D. A., Mcdaniel, B., & Crane, J. (2017). The promising potential role of ketones in inflammatory dermatologic disease: a new frontier in treatment research. Journal of Dermatological Treatment, 28(6), https://doi.org/10.1080/09546634.2016.1276259
9) Storoni, M., & Plant, G. T. (2015). The therapeutic potential of the ketogenic diet in treating progressive multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis International, https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/681289
10) Aeberli, I., Gerber, P. A., Hochuli, M., Kohler, S., Haile, S. R., G, I., Berthold, H. K., Spinas, G. A., & Berneis, K. (2011). Low to moderate sugar-sweetened beverage consumption impairs glucose and lipid metabolism and promotes inflammation in healthy young men: a randomized controlled trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 94(2), 479-485. https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.111.013540
11) Clemens, Z., & Tóth, C. (2018). Paleolithic ketogenic diet (PKD) in chronic diseases: clinical and research data. Journal of Evolution and Health, DOI: 10.15310/2334-3591.1115
Steph Green is a writer, researcher, and singer/songwriter with a passion for all things wellness. In 2016, after four years of struggling with her own health problems and painful autoimmune disease, Steph developed a life-changing and extensive knowledge of keto, nutrition, and natural medicine. She continues on her healing journey and enjoys helping others along the way.