We all experience inflammation at some point in our lives. It is a word often used in medicine to describe our body’s response to a physical condition, but what is inflammation and what does it mean to our overall health?
Inflammation is a vital part of the body’s immune response. It is the body’s attempt to heal itself after an injury; defend itself against ‘foreign invaders’, such as viruses and bacteria; and to repair damaged and/or compromised tissue(s). Without an inflammatory response, our bodies would simply not heal properly, regardless of the issue.
There are two types of inflammation:
1. Acute inflammation occurs after a cut or scrape to the skin, a sprained ankle, a torn muscle, acute bronchitis, a sore throat, tonsillitis or appendicitis. It is short-term in nature and the effects subside after a few days. Acute inflammation is a normal, healthy and helpful immune response.
2. Chronic inflammation is long-term and often occurs as a result of ‘wear and tear’ conditions, including osteoarthritis, and autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, allergies, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac, gout and Crohn’s disease. Additional health risks associated with chronic systemic inflammation are heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, lung issues (COPD), depression and cancer. Ultimately, chronic inflammation is a failure of the body’s immune system to maintain a healthy homeostatic state and is a clear indicator of systemic dysfunction.
Many factors cause chronic inflammation, two leading causes are poor diet (highly processed and/or sugar laden foods) and inadequate hydration. Others include excess weight, poor digestion, food allergens, lack of exercise, poor biomechanics, high stress, smoking, environmental toxins such as herbicides and pesticides and excessive alcohol consumption.
Luckily the majority of these causes can be slowly reversed through lifestyle and dietary changes.
Experiencing any of the above symptoms? Contact me for a free consultation and let’s get you feeling better!