Acute and Chronic Inflammation and its Effects
It can be classified as either acute or chronic.
Chronic inflammation is the result of an immune system imbalance. If we can redress that, we can help cut the risk for the aforementioned long-term health problems and help ease many of the near-term low-grade ills—like skin disorders, joint pains, digestive problems, migraines, anxiety and mood swings—that many people experience as a result.
Inflammation actually is good in the short-term. It’s part of our immune system’s natural response to heal an injury or fight an infection. However it’s supposed to stop after the injury is healed or the infection gone.
However, if it becomes a long-lasting pattern, enduring, or “chronic,” symptoms are seen in many diseases and conditions.
Inflammation is associated with so many life-altering conditions and diseases—starting with heart disease to obesity, diabetes, and many autoimmune diseases.
Some researchers of heart disease think that when fats build up in the walls of the heart’s coronary arteries, the body fires back with inflammatory chemicals, since it sees this as an “injury” to the heart.
It is directly linked to type 2 diabetes. Some experts say obesity triggers the inflammation, which makes it difficult for the body to use insulin.
That may be one reason why losing weight and keeping it down is a key step to lower your chance of getting type 2 diabetes.
What many people think of as “arthritis” is osteoarthritis, in which the tissue that cushions joints, cartilage, breaks down, particularly as people age.
Rheumatoid arthritis is different. The immune system attacks your body’s joints, causing some damage to your joints. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, and red, warm, swollen joints.
Why Inflammation must be addressed at its origin…
The fact that your immune system drives the inflammatory process in disease is well established. Unfortunately Western medicine offers little in the way of definite answers as to managing or overcoming the autoimmune process.
The classic approach is generally to contain the immune response with immune suppressive agents which are predominantly steroids. This approach is designed to reduce symptoms but doesn’t stop the underlying disease processes or allows for damaged tissues to regenerate and heal.
Unless you turn off the actual cause, all you have done is postponed the inevitable and potentially destroyed more tissue in the process, by allowing the condition to continue.
The Link between Gut Dysfunction and Inflammatory Diseases
The majority of inflammatory diseases start in the gut with an autoimmune reaction which progresses into general inflammation. To truly be effective at managing or to overcome a disease there needs to be focus on all levels.
As the gut becomes unable to process and make use of the nutrients and enzymes that are vital to good digestion; the digestion in time is impaired and absorption of nutrients is affected. As more exposure occurs, your body initiates an attack. It responds with allergic reactions, and other symptoms.
It begins to make sense for the reason that the pain and dysfunction along with the body’s capacity to be inflamed is absolutely necessary for normal cell repair processes to occur.
It is when the regulation of the cause is not treated or controlled that we begin to have a problem. It has been shown that many of the inflammatory diseases we suffer from are gut intervened but not presenting as gut issues.
Therefore the question of what we eat is very important is the discuss
Your Diet Does Matter
The types of food you eat may have a direct effect on how much inflammation you have. Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, plant-based proteins (like beans and nuts), fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids (such as salmon, tuna, and sardines), and using healthier oils, like olive oil.
Also eat foods with probiotic, like yogurt (just check that it doesn’t have too much sugar). Limit processed foods and completely eliminate polyunsaturated food from your diet.
Exercise and Sleep
If you have a condition like RA, exercise is good for you. If you make it a habit, it pays off in many ways. For instance, it helps you stick to a healthy weight, which is another good way to keep your condition in check.
Research shows that when healthy people are sleep-deprived, they are more susceptible to inflammatory processes. Exactly how that works isn’t clear, but it may be related to metabolism. It’s one more reason to make sleep a priority!
Smoking Makes It Worse
Lighting up is a sure-fire way to raise this condition. Like most people who try to kick the habit, it may take you several tries before you quit for good — but keep trying! Tell your doctor it’s a goal and ask for their advice.
Spices Hold Promise
Ginger root has anti-inflammation perks. So do cinnamon, clove, black pepper, and turmeric (which give curry powder its orange-yellow color). Scientists are studying how much it takes to make a difference
Many people take NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) to tame inflammation and ease pain. Some of these medicines need a prescription. Others, like ibuprofen and naproxen, are sold over the counter. They work well, but if you take them regularly, tell your doctor, because they can cause stomach problems, like ulcers or bleeding. And they may make blood clots more likely, which could lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Chronic inflammation can reveal itself in a variety of way, but these 10 signs are the most common in my experience.
- If you have a “spare tire” around your waist.
Fat cells in the abdomen churn out inflammatory chemicals—and the more belly fat you have the more of these chemicals they create. Belly fat a “hotbed” of inflammation.
- Your blood glucose levels are high.
High blood sugar increases the numbers of inflammatory cytokines circulating in your blood. It also increases your levels of destructive molecules called advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which are pro-inflammatory.
- If you have digestive problems like gas, diarrhea, bloating, or constipation.
These can stem from a sick, inflamed, overly leaky gut—and a leaky gut that allows toxins to escape into your bloodstream is one of the leading causes of chronic inflammation throughout your body.
- You’re tired all the time.
Inflamed cells are sick cells, and they can’t produce the energy you need to feel refreshed and invigorated. As a result, you feel fatigued even when you first get out of bed—and by afternoon, you’re exhausted.
- You have skin problems like eczema or psoriasis or your skin is red and blotchy.
This could be an external sign of internal fire. (This is why there’s a powerful link between psoriasis and inflammatory conditions that manifest internally, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease.)
- You have allergies.
If you’re always battling watery eyes and a runny nose, you could be chronically inflamed.
- Your face is puffy, or you have puffy bags under your eyes.
This is a common sign of internal swelling.
- If you have gum disease.
This is another outward clue.
- You’re depressed, anxious, or suffering from “brain fog.”
Can effect your brain chemistry, causing changes in how you think and feel.
- If you’re a man, you have erectile dysfunction.
Chronic inflammatory signs may be a cause of this problem.
How to heal this chronic condition:
If you have any of these signs pointing to chronic inflammation, here’s the good news: You can start taking control by changing your lifestyle.
Begin by cutting out highly inflammatory foods like sugar and grains out of your diet and eating more lean protein, vegetables, and healthy fats. Exercise daily, get enough sleep, and de-stress yourself with mindfulness meditation. This is a problem you can start solving right now with a simple prescription: a smarter, healthier lifestyle.
The truth of the situation is that FOOD Does MATTER.
Studies have shown that 1 in 12 women and 1 in 24 men are dealing with full-blown autoimmune mediated swelling. The number of n-diagnosed people is going to be much higher. People with inflammation in the early phases of autoimmune will often claim no dietary involvement. This is an inaccurate assumption however because the autoimmune is often triggered by factors not strictly related to diet and the diet can become a secondary trigger later in the development of the condition.
- Lifestyle: Remove adverse mechanisms (Stress, Over-exercising, Poor Sleep, Blood Sugar that is poorly modulated, Social Behaviors.) Lifestyle factors are huge
- Lifestyle: Restore beneficial mechanisms: Create conditions of love & appreciation, keep positive attitudes, maintain proper exercise (training to a maximum heart range; i.e. Peak Fitness exercises), have adequate sleep, restore blood sugar balance, and facilitate healthy social interactions.
- Dietary Support: Stabilize blood sugar, remove food Autoimmune triggers, and promote intestinal integrity with proper flora and nitric oxide and glutathione pathways. Include fermented foods and supplement appropriately as may be needed.
Remember, a wide array of health problems, including but not limited to chronic pain, obesity, ADD/ADHD, peripheral neuropathy, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, migraines, thyroid issues, dental issues, and cancer are all rooted in inflammation, which must be properly addressed if you wish to be healed.
It can harm your gut
Many of the body’s immune cells cluster around the intestines, says Denning. Most of the time, those immune cells ignore the trillions of healthy bacteria that live in the gut. “But for some people, that tolerance seems to be broken,” says Denning, “and their immune cells begin to react to the bacteria, creating a chronic condition.
It can harm your joints
When inflammation occurs in the joints, it’s can cause serious damage. One joint-damaging condition is rheumatoid arthritis (RA)—another example of an autoimmune disorder that appears to have a genetic component, but is also linked to smoking, a lack of vitamin D, and other risk factors.
It’s linked to heart disease
Any part of your body that’s been injured or damaged can trigger the inflammatory process, even the insides of blood vessels. The formation of fatty plaque in the arteries can become chronic.
It’s linked to a higher risk of cancer
The chronic condition has been linked to cancers of the lung, esophagus, cervix, and digestive tract, among others. A 2014 Harvard University study found that obese teenagers with high levels of inflammation had a 63% increased risk of developing colorectal cancer during adulthood.
It may sabotage your sleep
In a 2009 study from Case Western Reserve University, people who reported sleeping more or less than average had higher levels of inflammation-related proteins in their blood than those who said they slept about 7.6 hours a night.
This research only established a correlation between the two (and not a cause-and-effect), so the study authors say they can’t be sure whether it triggers long and short sleep duration or whether it happens during sleep. It’s also possible that a different underlying issue, like chronic stress or disease, causes both. Shift work has also been found to increase the symptoms in the body.
It’s bad for your lungs
When inflammation occurs in the lungs, it can cause fluid accumulation and narrowing of the airways, making it difficult to breathe. Infections, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, are all characterized by the inflammatory processes in the lungs.
It makes weight loss more difficult
Obesity is another major cause and losing weight is one of the most effective ways to fight it. But that’s sometimes easier said than done, because elevated levels of proteins can also make-weight loss more difficult than it should be. For starters, this chronic condition can influence hunger signals and slow down metabolism, so you eat more and burn fewer calories
It damages bones
Inflammation throughout the body can interfere with bone growth and even promote increased bone loss, according to a 2009 review study published in the Journal of Endocrinology. This can be seen in relation to rheumatoid arthritis, can also have implications because it limits people’s physical activity and can keep them from performing weight-bearing, bone-strengthening exercises.
How to Evaluate Inflammatory Diseases
Since inflammation is commonly mediated by the gut it is a logical starting point in the evaluation process of any patient.
There are seven common areas that should be considered when looking at causative factors for gastrointestinal dysfunction that create the environment for chronic inflammation.
They are listed below along with key triggers within the category of evaluation:
- Diet: Alcohol, Gluten, Processed Foods, Sugar, Fast Food
- Medications: Corticosteroids, Antibiotics, Antacids,
- Infections: Such as, Yeast or Bacterial, Viral or Parasite Infection
- Hormonal: Thyroid, Progesterone, Estradiol, Testosterone
- Neurological: Brain Trauma, Stroke,
- Metabolic: Glycosylated End Products (inflammatory end products of sugar metabolism), Intestinal Inflammation, Autoimmune