My doctor has advised me to lose weight as she says I’m close to becoming diabetic. I have failed at dieting all my life, so I bought your book and have managed to eat considerably less for the last three months. However, I’m not losing nearly as much weight as I think I should be. Just a few pounds and I am keeping active walking my dogs every day. I really don’t think I can eat any less and starting to feel a bit hopeless about it all. Would appreciate anything you can say on the subject.
If you search on amazon for books about inflammation you’ll find close to 7,000 results. That’s quite a lot published on this subject. All of this interest is in chronic, low-grade, systemic inflammation; the kind that underlies an enormous range of illnesses, rather than temporary, localised inflammation from a cut or other injury.
Not everyone is susceptible. For example, you’ll see below that wheat can be inflammatory, but it may not affect everyone, and certainly not to the same degree. At one end of the spectrum, there are those with celiac disease who can have a life-threatening reaction to wheat. There are others who, while not celiac, are still very much affected by wheat. One study suggests that as much as 40% of our population could fall into this category, but others say the proportion is much higher than that. (1)
This can get to be more of a problem as we age. There is no single cause; multiple factors build up over time that challenge our immune system until it becomes overwhelmed. The advanced stages of inflammation can become an autoimmune reaction, where the immune system attacks and eventually destroys healthy tissue, whether joint cartilage, the thyroid gland, brain cells or whatever are your weakest genetic links.
How can you know if this plays an important part in your health? If you have changed your eating in the past and felt so much better as a result, it’s likely this was due to lower inflammation. Inflammation contributes to insulin resistance, so not only could this move you towards developing diabetes, but it makes it much more difficult to lose excess fat. Lowering inflammation could be the only thing that will make a difference.