Category: News

Rethinking Inflammation as Repair Deficit

A physiology before pharmacology discussion with Russell Jaffe, MD, PhD, CCN, Sponsored by PERQUE Integrative Health

By Natural Medicine Journal

Chronic health issues can precipitate from a myriad of origins including inflammation. On this episode, integrative medical physician Russell Jaffe, MD, PhD, explains his physiology first approach to restorative healing. In addition to recommended testing, Jaffe will describe a comprehensive strategy that is fundamental to personalized medicine and improved patient outcomes. Jaffe is one of the pioneers of integrative and regenerative medicine with expertise in testing, research, diagnostics, and dietary supplements.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

Rethinking Health: Inflammation is Repair Deficit

Inflammation is a familiar term, likely conjuring images of swelling and redness, stiffness and pain. These are certainly characteristics of acute inflammation. But in this post, we want to rethink inflammation and share evidence revealing that inflammation is really repair deficit.

While inflammation is usually presented as a ‘fire’ to be ‘fought’ or a symptom to be suppressed, repair deficits are opportunities to rebuild, renew and rehabilitate. Essential nutrient deficits, toxin excess, physical deconditioning and mental anguish potentiate and/or cause the blocks to repair experienced clinically as inflammation.

Animals possess mechanisms designed to deal specifically with wound healing repair and microbial defense so that ‘inside self’ is distinguished from ‘outside world.’ In humans, this exquisitely choreographed suite of reactions is only now being fully appreciated.

Inflammation insights

In Western medicine, inflammation is seen as being acute or chronic.

Acute inflammation is the short-term immune response our body mounts in cases of trauma, infection, and allergy when it uses up and runs out of essential protective, energizing nutrients.

The immune system recognizes foreign items and determines if they are “self” (non-threatening, tolerant) or “non-self” (threatening, intolerant). In healthy people, these foreign threats trigger an acute inflammatory response. The appropriate response consists of releasing pro-inflammatory compounds when needed and turning them off with anti-inflammatory antioxidants when the threat has been neutralized or the repair completed. Homeostasis is restored. Read about Nature’s Solution to Inflammation.

When the immune system is actively engaged in defense against foreign threats, the function of repairing the body from injury or daily wear and tear is postponed.

Infectious agents and digestive remnants (incomplete digested material) are treated equally by the immune system… both are equally foreign. Digestive remnants occur due to maldigestion, prolonged transit time and consequent toxicant reabsorption. Since defense takes precedence over repair in the immune system, while the immune system is defending against these digestive remnants, it is not working on repairing the intestines. The result is increased intestinal permeability due to cumulative repair deficit. Increased permeability allows more digestive remnants to invade the body, increasing the defense work in the immune system. It becomes a vicious cycle where the underlying maldigestion and repair deficit set the stage for host hospitality to chronic infection and/or autoimmune, self-attacking chronic degenerative illness.

Chronic Inflammation Revealed

Chronic inflammation occurs when repair deficits persist. The body calls for repair, and the first responder team is unable to complete the repair or defense mission. Recruits are called in the form of pro-inflammatory signals. Persisting inflammation lingers, continuing to call for pro-inflammatory responses even as the immune systems are inadequate to the repair need.

Persisting inflammation means accumulating repair deficits. Silent or unappreciated inflammation is due to loss of tolerance and homeostasis in the immune defense and repair system. Repair deficits account for more than two thirds of all chronic disease including metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s neurodegeneration, autoimmune conditions and some cancer.[i] These conditions of cumulative repair deficit reduce life quality and increase costs of mostly palliative, symptom suppressive care.

When repair deficits accumulate in blood vessel linings, atherosclerosis, coronary artery and peripheral artery diseases emerge. Repair deficits of the endocrine organs such as the pancreas or adrenal glands, can result in diabetes, Cushing’s hyperadrenalism or Addison’s hypoadrenalism. Most chronic pain in joint tissue such as arthritis, bursitis, back pain and costochondritis is long-term deficit of repair. When the repair deficits are in the lining of the gut, acquired lactose and gluten intolerance and inflammatory bowel diseases can result). And these are just a few of the common health complaints that should be viewed as repair deficits.

Monitoring inflammation with a simple hsCRP (high sensitivity C Reactive Protein) test is vital to disease prevention. When interpreted properly, the hsCRP can guide diet, lifestyle, and supplementation toward lowered risk of the myriad conditions above. Learn more about hsCRP and 7 other important tests in the Power of Predictive Biomarkers report.

Immune Hypersensitivities

Inflammation or repair deficit often imbalances immune responses such that delayed allergies develop. Delayed or late-phase food and chemical sensitivities then contribute to chronic low-grade systemic inflammation and play a role in causing or amplifying autoimmune, chronic and degenerative illnesses.

Restoring immune tolerance

Restoration of immune competence depends on identification of elements in both biochemistry and lifestyle that need strengthening and substitution for reactive elements until tolerance is restored[ii]. Best clinical outcomes incorporate new insights from molecular biology to enable healthy immune, neuro-hormone, digestive, and detoxification system functions concurrently. Read case studies in multiple conditions.

Inflammation is fundamentally repair deficit, an opportunity to identify correctable and acquired needs. The usual, pathology-based approach is to fight and vanquish inflammation through anti-inflammatory medications that suppress both symptoms and repair. Rethinking the causes reveals opportunities to stimulate healing responses as described above that resolve the need, restore homeostasis and complete the repair, thus restoring comfort and function.

Health for life is a goal of medicine. While it takes a rethinking, today we are able to provide predictive, cost effective risk reduction and health enhancement for each individual. 

To learn about the tests used to detect immune hypersensitivities, visit For more information about safer, natural solutions to inflammation, see PERQUE Repair Guard or PERQUE Pain Guard Forte.

[i] Schmidt MI, Duncan BB. Diabesity: an inflammatory metabolic condition (Review). Clin Chem Lab Med. 2003 Sep; 41(9):1120-1130.

[ii] Jaffe R, Mani J, DeVane J, Mani H. Tolerance loss in diabetics: Association with foreign antigen exposure. Diabetic Medicine, 2006; 23(8): 924-925.

Self-Renewal in 72 minutes daily

Add life to years and years to life by… self-care in 5% of your day, starting in the evening…

30 minute transition to restorative sleep including Epsom Salt & Baking Soda soak ± cold pressed aromatic oil during which you engage 5 minutes of abdominal breathing + 15 minutes of active mindfulness practice; dry off including dry brushing of skin with towel; take evening supplements; 5 minutes of stretching in bed before sleep in cool, dark, WiFi free bedroom.

5 minutes stretching in bed on rising and before getting out of bed. OK to include notes from prior nights dreams.

As part of daily selfcare…
• OK to stretch and breathe deeply as you move about.
• Use a tooth powder and not a toothpaste.
• Use buffered l-ascorbate as mouthwash. Use a goat’s milk or castile soap.
• Take daily morning dose of dietary supplements.

Start each meal with something warm and wet… water with fresh lime juice, broth (vegetable, fish or meat; never bone) or fresh vegetable juice. Eat foods you can digest assimilate and eliminate without immune burden.

Use four self-assessments and eight predictive biomarkers with personalized interpretation to cover all of life-style choices (Epigenetics).

Hydrate by consuming more than four liters (or four quarts) of water or herbal beverage daily.

Spend 10 minutes each daily…

  • Doing Hatha Prana Yoga or Tai chi Chuan or Aikido or Pilates or Trager Mentastics or Feldenkrais technique… whichever appeals to you.
  • Ambling or forest bathing or walking, gardening or dancing while observing what is around you.
  • With an intensive journal or recording video or sketching in a free association creative mode.

Spend 7 minutes daily being grateful for what you have and sending good will as well as good wishes mentally to those about whom you care. For me, early morning time works better.

Extra benefits accrue from leaving shoes and exterior clothes at the door and changing into comfortable inside clothes. An air cleaner is needed in most urban areas.

72 minutes to renew, restore, rehabilitate, recreate and regenerate.

Doc Talk: COVID-19 and Cytokine Storm

On this edition of “Doc Talk” with Dr. Russell Jaffe and Dr. Susan Brown: The Docs are talking about COVID-19 and Cytokine Storms. How do they go together? What exactly are they? Should you hunker down in the basement? Tune in to find out the answers to all of those questions and more!

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