Tame the Fire within

Inflammation is an important and useful physiological response. When a pathogen, toxin, or trauma stresses the body, a short-term burst of inflammation is part of its effort to protect and heal you. Inflammation becomes a problem when it is chronic, meaning that it lasts for a sustained period of time.

Thesedays many people are struggling with chronic inflammation in some form. It is related to stress overload, the typical western diet, central obesity, a fatty liver, the lack of sleep, a lack of fresh air, poor gut health, insufficient vitamin D, over-training or being too sedentary, working too hard and feeling exhausted, feeding fatty acid imbalances, absorbing environmental toxins, etc. The modern lifestyle is inflammatory and conflicts with our ancient genome.

With chronic inflammation, instead of specific areas of the body becoming temporarily inflamed so you can heal, your whole system becomes inflamed and remains inflamed—indefinitely. Bodily resilience is being drained by the unchecked inflammation long before any physical pain or discomfort is experienced.

Continuous spillage of inflammatory products into the circulation disrupts cellular communications and increases oxidative stress thus eroding the cells, membrane, glands and blood vessels; it alters and depletes the sex steroid hormone, causes a rise in rogue cells and sets the stage for autoimmunity. Inflammation causes mitochondria to work less effectively, so energy production is compromised and ultimately this leads to premature ageing and early reproductive decline.

Inflammation and pregnancy complications

Inflammation cells (eicosanoids and cytokines) are cell signalling molecules necessary for controlling ovulation, fertilization, implantation, gestation, labour and lactation. However, they should be acquiescent.

Inflammation is an increasingly recognized factor contributing to reproductive dysfunction. There are various causes of infertility such as pelvic inflammatory disease, polycystic ovary syndrome, obesity, endometriosis, and recurrent pregnancy loss. The common denominator in all these is inflammation.

Problems in the gut can negatively affect ‘immune tolerance’ which is essential for initiating and maintaining pregnancy. Infertility is increasing, because both women and men are becoming more chronically inflamed.  Miscarriages and premature births are increasing, because chronic inflammation stimulates labour.  Pre-eclampsia also results from chronic inflammation.

The identification and reduction of inflammation from multiple sources are paramount in fertility optimization.  I regard inflammation with immune activation, the resulting coagulation problem and pro-inflammatory insulin resistance as the key drivers of the infertility epidemic.

It is very important for my patients to understand it is essential to control overt and silent inflammation in fertility optimization.

The program offered to the individual is designed to reduce chronic inflammation and oxidative stress throughout the body and regain metabolic health so that reproductive potential can be realised.

Agnes Ryu

Agnes Ryu

Dr. Ryu is a clinician and biochemist specializing in integrative medicine. Her clinical interests include fertility, hormones, metabolism, healthy ageing, menopause, and natural breast cancer care. As an integrative practitioner, Dr. Ryu aims to uncover the root causes of health issues and strives to empower patients with the knowledge and tools to take charge of their own health.

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