Chronic Inflammation -

Chronic Inflammation

What is inflammation?

Have you ever got injured or been bitten by a mosquito or an ant? If you have, then you must have noticed that small red bump at the site of injury or a bite. When the injury is healed, it indicates that the inflammation has come to an end. This is nothing but acute inflammation and this is our body’s natural response to protect itself. One which is very important for our survival. This response includes the release of antibodies and proteins, as well as increased blood flow to the damaged area. The whole process usually lasts for a few hours or days in the case of acute inflammation.

There is another type of inflammation called chronic inflammation. In chronic inflammation, the inflammatory process may begin even if there is no injury and it does not end when it should. It can continue for months or years. Signs and symptoms of chronic inflammation are subtle and often go unnoticed, unlike acute inflammation. Few signs and symptoms can be fatigue, fever, ulcers, chest pain and gastro-intestinal disturbances etc.

Causes of chronic inflammation can be:

● If acute inflammation is left untreated
● An auto-immune disorder
● Long term exposure to irritants or health issues like chronic deprivation from sleep, obesity, uncontrolled diabetes, smoking, alcohol, chronic stress, unhealthy diet etc.

Chronic inflammation and cancer:

Chronic Inflammatory mediators include metabolites of arachidonic acid, cytokines, chemokines and free radicals. Chronic exposure to these mediators leads to increased cell proliferation, mutagenesis, oncogene activation and angiogenesis. The ultimate result is the proliferation of cells that have lost normal growth control and hence cancer, however, not every chronic inflammation episode can cause cancer.

How to detect inflammation in the body:

There’s no single test that can detect inflammation in the body, but there are few blood tests that can help:

● CRP (C- Reactive Protein)
● ESR (Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate)
Apart from the above mentioned tests, your doctor might also ask you to perform other tests if required.

How to reduce inflammation in our body?

There are few lifestyle changes that you can bring about in order to reduce the inflammation:

● Remove the “culprit foods” from your daily diet- Foods like sugar. Refined/ processed food items, red meat, processed meat like hot dog and sausages, deep fried food items, sweetened beverages like sodas etc.

In addition sometimes gluten can also result in heavy inflammation in few people who are sensitive to gluten. If you are one among them, make sure you avoid the same.

In addition, do not practice a high carbohydrate diet. There is some evidence that a high carbohydrate diet, even when the carbs are healthy, may promote inflammation in some people. Speak to your healthcare professional and practice what suits you the best.

● Include Anti-inflammatory foods such as- berries, green leafy veggies, fatty fish, citrus fruits, nuts and seeds. These foods being rich in antioxidants will help in eliminating the free radicals generated in the body caused by inflammation.

● Stop using the same fried oil again and again. Use cold pressed and extra virgin oils such as olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, ghee etc.

● Certain herbs and supplements can also help- such as turmeric, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, oregano, Vitamin D, Vitamin E etc.

● Certain teas can also help, such as green tea, ginger tea, chamomile tea, peppermint tea etc.

● Probiotics foods- the probiotic foods help in producing butyrate and short chain fatty acid in our intestine and help in reducing inflammation and thereby building your immunity.

● Be active- Regular exercise improves circulation and it can help you manage your weight. Aim for 30 to 60 minutes daily.

● Manage stress- Unchecked tension is bad for your health overall and it may drive you to overeat and gain too much weight.

● Get enough sleep- Both duration and quality of sleep can affect inflammation.

● Another technique worthy of noting is intermittent fasting- this helps in reducing the overall fat percentage in our body and therefore inflammation. It also helps in reducing the release of pro-inflammatory cells called “monocytes” in blood circulation which are highly inflammatory.

Other treatment options:

● NSAIDS (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) and aspirin
● Corticosteroids
● Topical analgesics and other creams


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