Anti-inflammatory has become the new buzzword throughout the health community. Whether people are talking about joint pain or heart disease, inflammation is believed to be the cause behind it. With this sudden interest in inflammation, nearly everyone has become desperate to do one thing—lower it. Whether that means starting a special diet, taking a supplement or making lifestyle changes, it’s all about reducing inflammation.
So before you focus all of your efforts on reducing chronic inflammation, let’s take a closer look at what it actually is, signs you may have it and how you can actually get rid of it with 7 simple steps.
What is inflammation?
Inflammation is actually the result of your body’s defense system protecting it from foreign substances. When your body senses one of these foreign substances, it releases chemicals from your white blood cells, which usually causes redness, warmth and swelling. This process, called acute inflammation, helps your body to heal and only lasts for a few days.
Inflammation can be triggered by a number of different things, including a range of infections, injuries and toxins. And while this sensitivity to foreign substances is an important defense mechanism, it can also go awry causing long-term, chronic inflammation.
When this occurs, your body may not be responding to infections and injuries in the traditional sense. Instead, it may be responding to inflammatory foods, chronic stress, drinkingand smoking habits, an imbalance of gut bacteria, food allergies and certain medications, all of which can contribute to inflammation.
As you probably guessed, this type of long-term inflammation, unlike acute inflammation, can be very hard on your body. With chronic inflammation, your body is in a constant state of heightened stress. Over time this can cause damage throughout your body and contribute to a number of conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, even Alzheimer’s.
What are the signs of chronic inflammation?
Acute inflammation causes the obvious symptoms of redness, swelling and warmth. On the other hand, chronic inflammation causes subtle signs which are much harder to detect. On top of that, these symptoms may vary from person to person.
If you’re dealing with chronic inflammation, you may notice some of these surprising symptoms:
- Depression and/or anxiety
- Digestive difficulties (cramping, bloating, constipation or diarrhea)
- Tiredness and/or lethargy
- Skin problems (itchiness, eczema, psoriasis or acne)
What can you do to beat chronic inflammation?
- Fill at least half of your meal plate with fruits and vegetables. Include plenty of leafy greens and berries.
- Choose plant-based proteins, such as nuts, beans and seeds.
- Eat whole grains, such as brown rice, wheat bread and wheat pasta.
- Choose healthier fats, such as those found in avocados and olive oil.
- Eat fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as anchovies, salmon and sardines.
- Use fresh spices and herbs to season your food and get added antioxidants.
- Get regular exercise, plenty of sleep each night and maintain a healthy body weight.
Reducing chronic inflammation is as simple as…
Working with your primary care provider is the best place to start when trying to treat something as complex as inflammation. As the medical professional that knows you best, your primary care provider can accurately identify any causes behind your chronic inflammation, as well as develop an effective treatment plan customized to suit your unique needs.
With the opening of GMC’s Primary Care & Specialty Center-Suwanee you can enjoy all the benefits of comprehensive care, skilled providers and a beautiful, spa-like environment without any of the hassle.