Chronic Inflammation is Killing Us
Inflammation is a good thing, until it’s not.
It’s good because it keeps you alive. It’s your immune system fighting off things that can harm you, like infections, injuries, and toxins.
When you cut yourself, and it turns red and becomes inflamed, that’s inflammation at work. Your immune system sent out the signal for an immune response that lasts a few hours to a couple of days.
This is called acute inflammation, and this is good, healthy inflammation.
But then there’s chronic inflammation, the unhealthy kind that is the driving factor of aging, illness and disease.
Chronic inflammation occurs when this response doesn’t go away within a couple of days, leaving your immune system in a constant state of alert.
Over time, chronic inflammation has a negative impact on your DNA, cells, tissues and organs. It can turn on genes that cause those aches, pains, and illnesses that we accept as a normal part of aging.
Chronic, low-grade inflammation affects us on a daily basis with symptoms that are usually much more subtle than redness and swelling, but much more debilitating in the long run.
It is a silent epidemic that is slowly, and painfully, killing us.
Some of these symptoms include, being tired to the point of fatigue, aches and pains, depression, anxiety, digestive issues, weight loss, weight gain, persistent infections, not sleeping well, feeling weak, brain fog, allergies, asthma, coughing and phlegm, and gum problems.
They can range from mild to severe and last for months to years.
These issues are not the normal aging they are warning signs that the worst is yet to come.
Chronic inflammation has been shown to cause most cancers, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, type 2 diabetes, obesity, asthma and cognitive decline and dementia, just to name a few of the things we can look forward to if we don’t get inflammation under control.
These are the things that we can’t see, here are some of the things that we can see, but don’t associate with illness - acne, eczema, rosacea, abdominal fat, and the visible signs of aging on your skin such as wrinkles, sagging and dark spots.
Pretty much every illness that we associate with “oh, I got this because I’m getting older” is caused by chronic inflammation in the body.
It can be caused by an untreated infection or injury, leaky gut, an autoimmune disorder, long-term exposure to toxins in your food and air, smoking, obesity, alcohol, chronic stress, a diet high in fried foods, refined carbohydrates, processed meats, and soda and juice are just some of the causes of chronic inflammation.
Most of us have no idea we have chronic inflammation until we are diagnosed with another illness, but unfortunately, we’re given a pill to address the symptoms, not told how to address the cause.
Some of the health issues that are caused by chronic inflammation are those aches and pains that we reach for over-the-counter NSAIDs to alleviate, you know the ones – aspirin, Advil, Aleve, Tylenol, etc. Unfortunately, the wreak havoc on gut flora and have been linked to peptic ulcer and kidney diseases.
The steroids that may be prescribed to decrease inflammation and suppress the immune systems response have been studied and shown to lead to vision problems, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis.
The best way to address inflammation without side effects is with food and lifestyle changes.
Consuming olive oil, leafy greens, tomatoes, salmon, sardines, mackerel, avocados, colorful berries, and nuts are all loaded with anti-inflammatory compounds.
Adding ginger, garlic, turmeric, onions, and cayenne pepper to your foods will also give you an anti-inflammatory kick.
Lifestyle habits that will have a positive effect on inflammation are weight loss, getting movement into your life – this doesn’t necessarily mean a “workout”, this means just move more than you used to, although a workout wouldn’t be a bad thing…