Inflammation is a sneaky assailant on our health, and while we cannot see it or feel its presence, it can slowly damage our bodies without us even being aware of it. You may begin to notice subtle signs of feeling more tired than usual and just generally unwell but over time start to develop uncomfortable symptoms that become impossible to ignore. Read on to learn more about what inflammation is and what you can do to control it so you can feel your best.
What Is Inflammation?
Inflammation plays an important role in our response to injury, infection, or chemicals, but it is detrimental to our well-being when it is prolonged or occurs without cause. For example, when we are wounded, the resulting chemical reaction produces prostaglandins, lipids that cause various inflammatory responses, including fevers, allergic reactions, and blood vessel dilation. But sometimes, an inflammatory response happens when our immune systems engage without us being injured or infected. When they cannot find anything to heal, the immune cells that usually protect us begin to damage our healthy organs, joints, and arteries.
Acute vs. Chronic Inflammation
Acute inflammation is a temporary and protective response while slowly progressing, long-term inflammation is considered chronic.
The symptoms of acute inflammation include the following.
- Weight changes
- Autoimmune diseases
- Brain fog
Chronic inflammation has more serious consequences, including rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease — studies even point to it as a possible cause of Alzheimer’s disease.
Whether your inflammation is acute or chronic, your liver is signaled by small molecules to release C-Reactive Protein (CRP) into your bloodstream. Along with CRP, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and plasma viscosity (PV) are often used to diagnose and monitor inflammatory conditions.
How to Avoid Chronic Inflammation
With a basic understanding of what causes chronic inflammation, there are steps you can take to combat it and minimize its effects on your health.
A poor diet exacerbates chronic inflammation, and the worst food offenders include the following.
- Refined carbohydrates
- Red meat
- Processed or fried food
- White foods such as pasta and rice
On the other hand, some fruits, leafy vegetables, olive oil, and foods that contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids such as cold-water fish and soybeans help decrease inflammation.
People with excess weight, particularly around their midsections, experience higher inflammatory compound levels, and CRP is typically higher in obese individuals. On the other hand, maintaining a healthy weight and incorporating an effective and routine exercise regimen helps reduce the risk of inflammation and even reverse it.
Prolonged stress leads to the uncomfortable physical symptoms of inflammation as well as mental health issues such as stress and anxiety. Paying attention to your stress levels and adopting healthy stress-reducing habits such as yoga or meditation can help prevent the onset of chronic inflammation.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble compound produced from sunlight exposure and improves the following functions.
- Bone strength
- Dental health
- Cell differentiation
- Cognitive health
- Cardiovascular health
- Blood sugar
There is evidence that low Vitamin D levels are associated with higher inflammation levels. Further, research has found that it actually reduces inflammation by helping to regulate the production of immune defense proteins and hindering the growth of pro-inflammatory cells. Adding an effective Vitamin D supplement can keep your levels optimized and help stave off inflammation.
Dr. Randolph’s Helps You Fight Inflammation
Chronic inflammation is a sign that your health and overall well-being are at risk. But you do not have to stay miserable dealing with ongoing inflammation and its adverse effects on your body. At Dr. Randolph’s Ageless and Wellness Center, we check for CRP levels in your blood. Knowing if you have unwarranted inflammation in your body helps you fight inflammation and its uncomfortable — and often dangerous — symptoms. Contact us today to start feeling better and get your inflammation under control.