pdf of this article

For more information, contact:


Certified Clinical Nutritionist


6675-101 Falls of Neuse Rd
Raleigh, NC 27615
Telephone: (919) 676-6161
FAX: (919) 676-6575

Bobbie Barbrey, RPh, CCN, a registered pharmacist and a certified clinical nutritionist, is the owner of Medicap Pharmacy in North Raleigh, a full-service retail pharmacy, which also offers compounding and nutritional counseling.

Inflammation: Attack on
Your Optimal Health!

“Everything causes inflammation!” exclaimed a member of my Pilates class recently. Why is it that most of the things you enjoy are the very things that are shortening your lifespan? Stop for just a moment and give that statement some thought and let me offer an additional viewpoint.

Pharmacist Bobbie Barbrey works with a patient to design a healthy eating plan to reduce inflammation.

You make conscious decis-ions every day with your life-style and dietary choices that, if pro-inflammatory, result in reducing the number of years with your children, your grandchildren, your favorite hobbies, and travel—not to mention the deterioration of the quality of life during these years. Such choices also set you up to be among these disturbing statistics: 25 percent risk of getting diabetes, 24 percent risk of dying from heart disease, 10 percent risk of Alzheimer’s, and up to 40 percent risk of getting cancer.

Let’s look at your role in this process and two important key steps you can take to reverse the tidal wave of accelerated aging that begins as inflammation.

I have worked as a pharmacist for over 30 years and the most disturbing illusion I have witnessed over and over is that taking a prescription drug for chronic diseases will make you healthier. Patients often feel they don’t have choices when a medication is prescribed or they are not aware of the actions they can take to minimize or eliminate the need for the medication.

Understand an important fact: Chronic diseases have inflammation as their root cause. You may feel a sense of relief when there is a diagnosis for your condition. But the next question you should ask yourself is why do I have this condition? My mission statement speaks to my passion for this: “Improve the health and wellness of every patient we are privileged to serve, with the spirit of compassion and gratitude.” What I want you to think about is: “What patterns in my life contributed to this diagnosis and how do I change the path that I am on?” Don’t live the diagnosis. Let’s look at two areas that will provide the greatest return on your efforts to get healthier.

The Power of Healthy Eating

There is one choice you can make that is universally more powerful than any prescription drug or supplement and supports healing better than any other choice you will make. It will be as much as 80 percent of the solution to improving your health—80 percent! It is completely within your control and it will not cost you more. It is the biggest key to your optimal longevity. What is it? Healthy food!

Many of the foods you consciously chose to eat are fuel for the inflammatory fire! You will be healthier when you begin to make healthier food choices. Big food corporations have created an addictive cycle to your eating. But their priority is corporate profit, not your health. And what many think of as “good” today does not necessarily mean healthy.

Let me share my own story. I did not eat the perfect diet or practice ideal lifestyle habits during my 30s and 40s. I was busy. I had no time. I had too much work to do, a job to do—gosh I was so important with all of these responsibilities! Sound familiar? Was I in balance? Yes, as much as walking along the edge of the Grand Canyon might be. That led to a-fib and later a cardiac ablation for me. Choices? Yes, I had them but I ignored the messages—the symptoms—my body was sending me. Are you ignoring your health “messages” right now? Are you willing to accept the outcome of living in denial of your symptoms?

The Role of Stress

Improper food choices are the most inflammatory process you have control of. What’s next? Stress. Stress is a silent killer. It upsets the balance of hormones throughout the body, affecting every bodily system. It makes it difficult to digest foods and absorb nutrients, and difficult to get adequate sleep for repair.

I often hear patients planning to adopt better habits—when they retire:I’ll begin to eat better, exercise, meditate when I have more time.” Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock. Yes, I am being dramatic but let’s turn this around: are you going to commit to living a longer life with optimal health or are you satisfied with being one of the statistics?

Take action now to make you a priority. Add health to your daily schedule and let nothing interfere with this restorative time. Begin a meditation practice today, in whatever form it takes. What else can you do to reduce stress? Engage with your friends regularly, get out in nature, exercise, make sleep a priority, and put your devices away after dinner.

Making Changes: What’s Your Motivation?

These changes are not easy to do alone. Many people do not know what foods or actions in their lives are actually inflammatory. If you are not in perfect health, odds are you could make some changes that would benefit you long-term. It’s my specialty and passion to help people make these changes to help them achieve optimal health.

So, let me offer you this option to help you establish a healthy eating plan. I subscribe to an incredible software program that allows me to send out a daily email for 30 days as a reminder and educational message to support you on your path. This is normally part of a consultation visit. I will set up the first 10 people who call and mention this article for the Paleo Diet or the Auto Immune Paleo Diet (low inflammatory eating plans) at no charge to you. I only ask you to tell me your “why.” What is your motivation for doing this? Make an emotional attachment to your “why.” Are you in? Are you ready to make a change?

I hope the answer is “yes!” and that you will start the New Year with your health as a priority. Remember to celebrate your successes! It is a journey and I would like to be part of it. Call me today to set up an appointment for your individual consultation.