What is Chronic Inflammation
Most often inflammation and chronic inflammation are mistaken as similar; however, the two are different conditions. Acute Inflammation is known as the immune response to an infection, pain, o injury and that isn’t really a concern. Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, is a disease and that is when drastic lifestyle changes must take place.
Chronic Inflammation is often times the root cause of chronic degenerative diseases. While the normal type of inflammation may be good for the body as part of the natural defense mechanism, helping it heal and protect itself, chronic inflammation has been found to be more damaging to your organs than scientists ever thought.
When the immune system shows signs of imbalance and the causative agent persists, it can cause acute inflammation to become chronic, igniting feelings of a smoldering fire in the body, pain, and discomfort which contributes to disease. According to the Center for Disease Control, 7 out of 10 Americans lose their lives due to chronic disease.
Causes of Chronic Inflammation
An inflammatory response that continues for a prolonged duration- chronic inflammation is caused by:
- Persistent infections caused by extracellular pathogens or intracellular pathogens, environmental antigen, viral or microbial infection.
- Persistent activation of inflammatory molecules.
- Prolonged exposure to pro‐inflammatory materials
Certain foods, including dairy products especially from commercial feedlot animals, sugar, coffee, according to the pcrm.org website, might also be regarded as allergens causing chronic inflammation. Inflammation becomes chronic when there is a persistent stimulus, coming from environmental toxins, cigarette smoke and household chemicals.
Free radicals damage our cells and DNA via a process best known as oxidation. Free radicals develop in foods prepared using processed vegetable oils (fried foods or rancid oils=oxidation), high fructose corn syrup– which combined are usually the end result of most processed foods.
The stimulus might also be an allergy to gluten or a low-grade or a lingering infection from an old injury. Pro-inflammatory cytokines, which belong to the immune system, kill cells having oxidative chemicals. However, if they continue to attack, they start killing the cells needed by the body to thrive. The good news is that, by adding Antioxidants from foods vegetables, fruits, healthy fish and fats to your diet–you can prevent and even reverse the formation of free radicals.
|Signs & Symptoms||What Contributes To Chronic Inflammation||What Reverses Chronic Inflammation|
|Processed Foods||Gluten Free Foods (Buckwheat, Quinoa,Millet, Rice, Non-GMO Corn)|
Chronic pain (muscles, joints,migraines)
|Alcohol||Avoid Grains(if severe inflammation)|
Allergies that worsen
|high fructose corn syrup||Turmeric, Ginger & Aloe Vera|
|Feed-lot commercial meats||Pastured, Organic humanly raised meats,butter (CLA)|
Elevated Glucose Levels
|High glycemic Index Foods||Salmon, Sardines or supplementing with Krill & Fish Oils|
Skin irritations, rashes
|Pesticides & herbicides||Fruits (preferably organic)|
High Blood pressure
|No sleep||Mild-hacking cough|
Stress & Little Sleep
|Stressful job, unhealthy habits||Meditation, Yoga, good solid sleep,|
How Chronic Inflammation Affects the Body
- Chronic inflammation weakens and suppresses the immune system, thus increasing the risk of the formation of cancerous tumors and chronic diseases like Cardiovascular disease, asthma, allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, gastrointestinal disorders, chronic migraines, and Alzheimer’s. The longer the inflammation persists, the higher the risk of carcinogenesis. In essence, Chronic inflammation symptoms are disease in itself and the pain, discomfort created by the conditions mentioned above.
- Prolonged inflammation kills brain nerve cells in Alzheimer’s patients.
- Chronic inflammation in a joint destroys cartilage and posing a serious threat of arthritis.
- Persistent inflammation of kidneys may lead to kidney failure.
- Unchecked and prolonged inflammation in the pancreas might result in pancreatitis, destroying pancreatic islet cells that produce insulin. This poses a severe risk of type 1 diabetes.
- Unchecked or persistent inflammation is increasingly being linked to cardiovascular disease and cancers. According to the Wall Street Journal, new scientific evidence reveals that chronic inflammation is linked to diabetes, cancer, heart disease, lupus, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity, allergies and even auto-immune disorders like autism.
How to Prevent, Cure, and Reverse Chronic Inflammation:
Prevention should always be your first goal in avoiding chronic inflammation. However, if you are already there, you can do the following:
- Immediately change your lifestyle and adopt a balanced diet rich in nourishing, anti inflammatory juices, and healing foods . That way you will be ahead of the game in fighting the root cause of many diseases: Chronic Inflammation. Here are an example of other foods that lower inflammation while reducing pain at the same time.
- Remove alcohol, processed foods, sugar (hidden in many packaged, baked goods, and refined carbs). Here is a great interactive Anti-Inflammatory-Food-Pyramid created by Dr. Weil with reliable and sound advice on what foods to eat lots of and what foods/drinks to consume in moderation.
Note: While I love this advise I use coconut and avocado oil, pastured butter or ghee for cooking and DO NOT USE or recommend (canola oil).
- As we all know processed foods and SUGAR are the culprit of inflammation, but don’t forget that alcohol and excessive stress contribute to the problem in many ways than one. That is why, the key to reversing inflammation is to add anti-inflammatory foods listed here, cut down on alcohol to a minimum, sleeping well, and managing stress by practicing activities such as tapping therapy, yoga, meditation, and pretty much anything that lowers your pulse/heart rate. Studies like this one have connected a high pulse rate to heart attacks and cardiovascular disease.
- Turmeric, for example, has one of the highest anti-inflammatory factors of any spice, along with ginger, and a diet rich in mostly raw vegetables.
As always thanks for reading!
Do you or someone you know suffer from chronic inflammation, and rely heavily on medication? I’m wondering what other people think about natural treatments to reverse it. Tell me about your experience in the comments below.
To your best health,