One of the biggest hazards to your health out there is inflammation. Inflammation is a key player in the development of many illnesses, including cancer and autoimmune disease. It can cause pain and even deformity. It is the enemy within and it can be difficult to defeat.
What is inflammation?
The Medical Dictionary defines inflammation as, “a protective tissue response to injury or destruction of tissues, which serves to destroy, dilute, or wall off both the injurious agent and the injured tissues. The classical signs of acute inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function.”
It is the body’s own immune system that engages the roots of inflammation in response to many types of inflammatory triggers, including:
- Poor dietary choices, such as processed foods and those that are high in refined sugars
- Allergic responses to food triggers
- External sources of stress and emotional upset
- Environmental causes such as exposure to synthetic fibers, glues, adhesives, plastics, household or commercial cleaners, pesticides, pollution, and heavy metals
- Hormonal changes, like those that take place during menopause
- Injuries that result in scar tissue
On a short-term basis, such as in response to an injury, the body’s inflammatory response is protective. If inflammation becomes chronic, or persistent, however, havoc can ensue.
Health issues potentially resulting from inflammation
Chronic inflammation is linked to virtually every disease in one way or another. More often than not, it is the eventual signs of inflammation that alert people to the presence of disease. By that time, it has usually been present in the body for a while.
Here are just a few of the illnesses that may result from prolonged or chronic inflammation:
1. Alzheimer’s disease. Brain cells may be destroyed by chronically elevated levels of inflammation.
2. Congestive heart failure. Chronic periods of inflammation may cause the heart muscle to wear out and waste away.
3. Fibromyalgia. Inflammation attacks the connective tissues, leading to pain.
4. Asthma. Small cytokines may cause autoimmune reactions to flare up in the lining of the airways.
5. Autism. When inflammatory cytokines are released in the brain, it may arrest the development of the right hemisphere.
6. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The esophagus and digestive tract become riddled with inflammation, most often in response to food sensitivities and pH levels.
7. Arthritis. Inflammatory cytokines may cause cellular activity that leads to the destruction of synovial fluid and joint cartilage.
8. Neuropathy. Inflammation induces autoimmune reactions that attack the vascular, myelin, and connective tissues, potentially causing nerve irritation.
9. Psoriasis. Presence of chronic inflammation levels in the liver and gut may lead to poor natural detoxification and the buildup of irritating substances in the body, which can manifest on the skin.
10. Carpal tunnel syndrome. Chronically elevated levels of inflammation may cause shortened tendons in the forearm and wrist, and the excessive muscle tension may result in compressed nerves.
11. Celiac disease. Long periods of chronic immune system inflammation may bring about damages to the lining of the intestines.
12. Fibrosis. Inflammatory cytokines may lead to an attack on traumatized tissues in the body.
13. Kidney failure. Damage can be caused to the tubules and nephrons of the kidneys when circulation is restricted by inflammation.
Ways To Stop Inflammation
Improve your lifestyle choices by:
- Reducing your sources of stress
- Keeping your exercise at a moderate level, don’t overdo
- Being sure to get adequate amounts of sleep
- Avoiding the use of controlled substances
- Keeping your blood sugar stabilized by eating regular meals rich in healthy protein, fiber, and fat, and eliminating sugar, refined starch and processed foods from your diet
- Removing known food triggers from your diet.
Inflammation may be a deadly threat, but it is one that you can minimize through a healthy lifestyle – so much of your health is up to you!
-The Alternative Daily