Inflammation has become a popular word with health professionals, doctors, and communities and not in a good way. Before we talk about why inflammation can be bad, let’s first understand why it is good and necessary for our body. Inflammation is our body’s natural defense system. It’s the process that senses foreign invaders and sets off a series of events where white blood cells and other special chemicals protect us. Inflammation is a good thing when it happens normally protecting and healing our bodies. Examples of this good acute (short-term) inflammation:
- We get a cut, bruise, scrape, or have a virus and our body reacts with pain, swelling, and fever. Inflammation flushes out the bad and harmful stuff.
- After a hard workout, your muscles are extra sore and it’s hard to walk up the stairs or sit on the toilet. This soreness is caused by inflammation in your body repairing and strengthening itself to be stronger and protect itself from injury.
Things start to go south when inflammation is chronic or constant in your body. In these cases, your immune system is out of balance, inflammation is out of control, causing a constant state of defense in your body that contributes to disease and weight gain. The causes of chronic inflammation are sugar, high doses of the wrong oils and fats in your diet, hidden food allergens like gluten intolerance, lack of exercise and movement, chronic stress and hidden infections. These causes can trigger a raging, unseen inflammation deep within our cells and tissues. It can lead to major chronic diseases of aging like disease, cancer, diabetes, and dementia.
The scary part of chronic inflammation is it can go undetected for years and wreak havoc on your body. If you are dealing with chronic inflammation, it becomes critical for you to cool off your internal defense system and prevent a series of damaging events.
Here are two ways to start reducing inflammation in your body:
- Reduce adding processed or real sugar to food and drink. Sugar causes inflammation and is the root cause of obesity and chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, or neurological problems like depression and autism. Start by reducing the sugar, real or artificial, you add to your food or drinks. For example, if you add sugar to your coffee, reduce it by half the first week, and work your way to not needing it.
- Reduce stress. Chronic stress negatively impacts our bodies. It has become the norm in our modern lives where our schedules are packed and our ability to multi-task is the only way to accomplish all we have to do. Stress will be part of our lives but we need to manage it so we can get the rest we need, enjoy time with our loved ones, and not feel overwhelmed. Management might mean you need to stop doing some things, start a meditation practice, exercise regularly, or visit with friends.
Hope this was helpful,