By: Sheila Olson – Confluence Daily is your daily news source for women in the know.
Inflammation can be beneficial to the body by signaling to your immune system that your body needs to recover from infection or injury. Sometimes, however, things can go awry, and your body can experience inflammation where it is not needed. Systemic inflammation can be debilitating and cause other problems that affect your entire body. If you struggle with systemic inflammation, all hope is not lost. There are some steps you can take to alleviate your pain.
What Is Inflammation?
Inflammation is your body’s natural way to heal itself and fight off toxins, infections, and injuries. When the cells in your body are damaged, a chemical response is triggered by your immune system, which includes releasing antibodies and proteins. Coupled with increased blood flow to the harmed area of your body, you will see acute inflammation. Inflammation should naturally decrease and go away entirely in a relatively short amount of time.
However, when inflammation lingers — keeping your body in a state of thinking it needs to constantly be repaired — then you may be struggling with chronic inflammation. Systemic inflammation can be caused by untreated damage to your body (infection or injury), it can be a sign of an autoimmune disorder, it can be a result of exposure to chemicals or pollutants, it can be a result of smoking or alcohol consumption, or it can be a sign of stress.
What Problems Does Inflammation Cause?
When your body goes haywire and inflammation runs rampant, your whole body can be impacted. Some symptoms of chronic inflammation are pain, swelling, redness, heat, fatigue, sores, fever, and rash. These symptoms may be just the surface of underlying issues. Inflammation that last months or years can lead to organ damage, mental health issues, high cholesterol, low white blood cells count, low energy, arthritis, cancer, and a change in your bowels. Inflammation can trigger your body to attack healthy joints, muscles, organs, and blood.
Do You Understand Your Microbiome?
Solving your inflammation problem will require you to discover why inflammation is occurring. Getting to know your microbiome can be life transformative. Your body is made out of trillions of bacteria, viruses, and fungi that impact all parts of your body and make up your microbiome. When you have a balanced microbiome, your digestive system is regulated, your immune systems are responsive, and it fosters positive mental health. When your microbiome is unbalanced, it can trigger chaos in your system, which can lead to illness and inflammation.
How Do You Minimize the Effects?
For many, a change in diet and exercise can help or completely solve the problem. An anti-inflammatory diet (adequate fibers, alliums, vegetables, fruits, omega-3 fatty acids, and healthy fats) can help to minimize toxicity at the cellular level. Most people will also benefit from introducing probiotics and prebiotics to promote a healthy gut.
Before you make any big changes to your routine, be sure to check with a doctor who could give you some insight as to why you struggle with inflammation. While for most a change in diet and exercise can not only alleviate symptoms but also cure the problem, for others exercise and a swift change of diet can worsen the problem and potentially cause further injury.
If you struggle with any symptoms associated with inflammation, consult with your doctor to determine whether inflammation can be the underlying cause, and if so, how you can tackle the problem. Inflammation is your body’s natural solution to combating infection and injury. When inflammation takes over, it’s time to reset your microbiome, change your diet, exercise, quit unhealthy habits (smoking, drinking, excessive eating), and regain control of your life.
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