Chronic inflammation is the hidden condition of most of the common chronic diseases in today’s life. Many people don’t know how chronic inflammation are killing their health internally and numbers of people suffering from diseases originated from chronic inflammation increases day by day. And it becomes worst when you are treated with symptoms or pain rather than addressing to root cause of inflammation. But before knowing how to prevent chronic inflammation you must know what is inflammation, what causes chronic inflammation and why you should aware of it?
If you love your health in real sense you should at least know what actually chronic inflammation is and what causes chronic inflammation to stay healthy and disease free. I am repeating again as it is one most important aspect of your health in modern lifestyle. If you are unaware of this means you are bringing hazards to your health. By knowing the causes of inflammation or inflammation makers you can take control over it.
What is inflammation?
First of all, let me tell you what inflammation actually is? Inflammation is the body’s natural defense to foreign invaders, damage cells, infections. It is the process of requiting body’s immune cells with a aim to fight against foreign invaders such as virus, bacteria, toxin and remove them and heals damage cells or tissues. The body appoints white blood cells and inflammatory cytokines like C Reactive Proteins (CRP) and Interleukin-6(IL-6) to fight with invader affected area. Testing of those in blood stream, inflammation level can be determined.
Inflammation is common to everyone and without inflammation wound or infection would never heal. Inflammation is further classified as acute and chronic inflammation based on duration of inflammation.
Acute inflammation occurs for shorter period of time usually up to few days. After completion of healing process acute inflammation disappears. Acute inflammation is a natural beneficial process of wound healing.
You may wonder, why you should be so serious about natural healing process of the body. Acute or short period inflammation surely helps your body to recover but when it last long it creates other problems. What will be happened to a area where continuous war is taking place. The same will be happened to the tissues, organs or other parts of the body where chronic inflammation takes place. Chronic inflammation runs for a prolong period and can lasts for months or even years. When the body does not get proper support to heal itself or when foreign invaders attacks continuously on a particular area, tissue or organs, chronic inflammation can last for months or even years. It indicates your body is continuously fighting but unable to get ride of infection, toxins, bacteria or other invaders. Chronic inflammation continuously creates stress in the body.
Result of chronic inflammation
Acute inflammation helps the body to heal naturally. On the other hand when inflammation lasts for a prolonged period it causes harm to the body more than benefits. Chronic inflammation occurs when the body fails to eliminate the cause of inflammation or there is continuous presence on pathogen in the body. If inflammation last for a prolong period, it can create oxidative stress and damages your tissue of organs or other part of the body. Futhermore chronic inflammation can lead to many chronic diseases and silently starts killing you.
Diseases related to chronic inflammation
In common, diseases with name ending with “itis” often are identified as inflammatory diseases. Eg.- Bronchitis as inflammation of bronchi, arteritis is the inflammation of artery or blood vessel, Cystitis as inflammation of bladder, Otitis media as infection in ear, Dermatitis as inflammation in skin and so on.
Heart disease or arteorelesosis is also identified as inflammatory disease.
Some of diseases which are resulted from chronic inflammations include: (1)
- ankylosing spondylitis
- arthritis (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis)
- Crohn’s disease
- irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- systemic lupus erythematous (SLE)
- Parkinson’s disease
- ulcerative colitis
But there is long list of chronic inflammatory diseases and it does not end here.
What causes inflammation?
Many factors can trigger Inflammation. We have listed here some of the common inflammation makers which you must be aware of. (2)
- Infectious agents, e.g. virus, bacteria, fungal organisms, etc.
- Necrotic tissue,
Toxins, poisons, chemicals, heavy metal such as lead, aluminum, mercury are foreigner to the body. When such agents go inside the body, it can damage cell structure and create oxidative stress in the body. Immune system of the body can attack such affected tissue and inflammation can start.
Examples such as heat, cold, radiation, foreign bodies/invaders
Sometime immune system acts abnormally with an abnormal response to normal tissue or foreign tissue. Immune system mistakes body’s own tissue as foreign tissue and attacks continuously. That is known as autoimmune diseases.
Several factors trigger autoimmune diseases including modern unhealthy diet, toxins, chronic stress and hormonal imbalance, imbalance of healthy gut bacteria, infections. (3)Maintaining a healthy immune system is very much necessary in modern day’s life.
Gut operates major percentage of immune system and balance and healthy gut play a critical rule in well functioning of immune system and over all well being. Many diseases originate from a unhealthy gut. Most importantly if you have imbalance of friendly gut bacteria(flora) in your gut there will be overall impact on your health. Such condition can fuel conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, colon cancer and some other problems outside the digestive tract.
Food comes under physical or biological agent in inflammation triggers. Foods treated with chemicals, pesticides, toxins, refined and other pro inflammatory food. Manufacturers use chemical or other agent in processing of food to enhance life and make food attractive. Farmers use harmful chemicals, pesticides in field. Those are like foreign invaders, toxic to the body and can’t be processed by the body. The body either store them or simply pass them out through excretory system as it can’t process those chemicals or toxins. If the body stores such toxins or chemical, it can lead to a disease in future. And what about food with GMO or genetically modified organism, only future will tell us use of such food with GMO.
We are coming shortly with a list of some common foods available in the market which triggers inflammation.
Researchers found that chronic psychological stress is associated with losing body’s ability to regulate inflammatory response. (4)
Some people may not feel emotional stress but some activities such as over working stress, lack of sleep, skipping meal, over exercising can tax the body.
Stress can cause hormonal imbalance and make your adrenal gland to release of stress hormone Cortisol which creates flight or fight situation. If such situations become chronic it affects the immune system and prevent from healing.
Chronic stress can also lead to adrenal fatigue which means your adrenal gland exhausted and can’t produce hormones properly to run the body properly. (5)
Lack of sleep
In controlled studies, researchers found that mediators of inflammation elevates in individuals whose sleeps were restricted to 25-50% of normal 8 hours sleep.(6)Lack of sleep also put your body in stress.
Take home message
You can either reduce the effect of inflammation or take control over the inflammation triggers. In my opinion to avoid chronic inflammation it is always better to take control over those which can create inflammation. Inflammation is inevitable, so natural phenomenon it is almost impossible to avoid all those factors of inflammation makers. But definitely we can take control over those things which can create chronic inflammation to stay healthy as far as possible.
We can limit our exposure to chemicals, toxins and pollutants. We can take control over foods and beverages that triggers inflammation. Take control over highly processed or refined food as well as food treated with preservatives, additives in a uncontrolled way. Avoid damaged food, damaged or rancid fat/oil. It is good to make a habit to read label of packaged food before buying. Say no to smoking as well as take control over consumption of alcohol.
Include food high in antioxidant in diet to fight with free radicals as well as protect your body. You will get idea about food with antioxidant properties here. Go organic as far as possible. Turmeric or curcumin has a powerful anti inflammatory profile, we have written about researched based health benefits of turmeric or curcumin and turmeric home preparation as curcumin the most effective compound of turmeric badly is absorbed in intestine. I prefer to pay the genuine farmer rather who is not ready for excessive bargaining for his hard work than the hospital bill. If we are aware of those thing, we can also give our contribution to make our world pollutant, toxin free.
Do some physical activity regularly, apart from other benefits moderate exercises also helps to lower stress as well as to sleep better. Yoga, meditation etc helps to lower stress.
And finally it is your choice.
Disclaimer: Information provided here are generalized information for educational purpose only, not intended to provide one to one health consultation or replace practice of a qualified practitioner. Different people may have different health condition and may have different reaction to the same food. Hence it has been advised to consult with health care provider before application of any of above information
The Immune System Recovery Plan-Susan Blum
The Immune System Recovery Plan-Susan Blum