What is inflammation?
Basically, it is your body’s response to threats such as toxins, infections, irritants, and injuries.
But did you know inflammation, specifically chronic low-grade inflammation, can really damage your overall health?
There is a lot of research on the causes of inflammation and its effects on your body. So much more than I can discuss in this blog!
1. Inflammation can be useful for your body
Inflammation is your body’s natural defense against injury or illness. It is a basic function of your immune system, which will set off different physical reactions in response to an infection or a physical injury.
If it is a short-term condition, the “acute inflammatory response” is triggered.
Examples of this are when you catch a cold and develop a fever. Signs of this inflammatory response might be pain and heat.
Or when you break a bone, you may see swelling and redness.
Acute inflammation has a quick onset and the signs and symptoms can last from a few days to a few weeks.
2. Chronic Inflammation can be damaging
Chronic inflammation is when the inflammation lasts for several months or even several years.
Inflammation can become chronic when
- your body can not manage the acute inflammation.
- an auto immune problem begins to attack your healthy tissues.
- your body is exposed to an irritant over a long period of time such as an industrial chemical.
You might suffer from chronic inflammation if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- skin problems
- inability to lose weight
- joint pain
- aches and pains
- digestive problems
- sensitivity to foods
Examples of conditions where your body sustains low levels of inflammation include food allergies, obesity and autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
Chronic inflammation is also involved in the development of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancer, and heart disease. These conditions can be a significant health risk and can even lead to heart attacks or strokes.
3. There are simple fixes for acute inflammation
For example, if you have a fever, you can take a pain reliever for the pain. You can also apply a cold compress and take a fever-reducing medication to bring down your temperature.
For an injury such as a broken bone, you can reduce inflammation and the resulting swelling and pain with RICE therapy (rest, ice, compression, and elevation).
4. Treating chronic inflammation isn’t as easy
It’s not so simple with chronic inflammation, especially autoimmune disorders. However, you may find some relief making lifestyle choices that reduce inflammation and avoiding factors that turn on your body’s inflammatory response.
Eat an Anti-inflammatory diet which focusses on avoiding:
- processed foods
- fast foods
- fried foods
- trans fat
- red meat
- white bread and pastries
And eat this instead:
- foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids
- fatty fish
- nuts and seeds
- whole foods
- green leafy vegetables
- spices and herbs
- olive oil
Get my Anti-Inflammatory Food Guide and pin it to your fridge. That way it is handy when you want to know what to buy at the grocery store.
5. A healthy lifestyle can help fight inflammation
Other actions you can take to reduce the risk factor of developing chronic inflammation include:
- stay active and exercise
- maintain a healthy body weight
- maintain proper hormone levels
- get 7-9 hours of good sleep a night
- build a healthy gut
- address nutrient deficiencies
- avoid alcohol
- stop smoking
6. Good supplementation
Find a supplement that is natural, organic and effective. One that I take daily and helps fight inflammation is from Black Oxygen Organics. Plus, it contains all the vitamins and minerals that your body needs to be healthy!
If you are concerned about long-standing inflammation and its consequences, it’s always a good idea to check with your physician to determine your risk level and discuss appropriate steps for you.
Do you suffer from signs of inflammation? From headaches, arthritis? Or something more chronic?
Are you doing anything for it? Let us know in the comments below or sending me an email!
Here’s to decreasing inflammation,
Certified Holistic Nutrition Coach
Certified Workplace Wellness Consultant
https://www.facebook.com/groups/anitasagingwithvitality/ (40 and over)
PS. Join Anita’s Aging with Vitality Facebook group and pick up some more tips and strategies on fighting inflammation!