Is Chronic Inflammation Putting You At Risk for Disease?
Inflammation is the body's response to injury. It is the body's way of signaling the immune system to heal and repair damaged tissue, as well as defend itself against foreign invaders, such as viruses and bacteria.
This type of inflammation is essential for survival.
There is another type of inflammation that is detrimental to survival: chronic or silent inflammation. It occurs when the immune system is imbalanced. Too much inflammation is like a small, smoldering fire that never goes out.
Chronic inflammation is now considered to be the common link in most lifestyle related diseases.1 According to Dr. Mark Hyman in Inflammation: How to Cool the Fire Inside You That’s Making You Fat and Diseased, “This inflammation leads to every one of the major chronic diseases of aging — heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia, and more.”
Chronic low-grade inflammation often does not have symptoms but a simple blood test for C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker for inflammation in the blood, can shed light on elevated levels of inflammation. High levels of CRP often lead to an increased risk for heart disease. Out of range CRP levels can also indicate an infection or the presence of chronic inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.2
Healthy lifestyle habits are the first line of defense against inflammation.
5 Steps to Reduce Inflammation in the Body:
- Eat anti-inflammatory foods. Choose real food in its most natural state; food that comes from the earth, water, trees, and ground.
- Reduce and eventually eliminate inflammatory foods. Reduce foods that are processed or refined, as well as artificial sweeteners, dyes, flavors, & preservatives.
- Exercise. Engage in moderate exercise for 20 minutes most days of the week.3
- Lose unnecessary weight.4 Storage of excess energy causes an inflammatory reaction. Improving nutritional intake, reducing stress and engaging in an active lifestyle are key to weight loss and long-term weight management.
- Manage stress.5 Too much stress results in too much adrenaline and cortisol. Chronically elevated levels of both of these hormones indicate the body is in a continuous state of fight or flight. Aim to create a healing lifestyle, eliminating everyday stress and taking good care of the one body you have.
Inflammation is a good thing—it helps protect and heal. However, when the immune system is unbalanced, inflammation contributes to disease and weight gain.
To regain optimal health, it is necessary to put out the smoldering inflammation fire.
Begin today by engaging in healthy lifestyle habits. For a specific treatment plan, speak to your Doctor.
Information presented by W(h)ealth should not be relied upon to determine diet, make a medical diagnosis, or determine treatment for a medical condition. The information is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. Consult a doctor and/or medical professional before making any health changes, especially any changes related to a specific diagnosis or condition.