If you are actively following a celebrity doctor or certain related health websites, you’re probably already aware on what “inflammation” really is. You may also have heard about miracle treatments and cure for this medical condition, including a so-called “the anti-inflammatory diet.”
Many people think that inflammation is the external sign of a problem like bruising, swelling, and bloating. Though it’s not wrong, inflammation actually plays a role on every major disease recorded today. These illnesses include depression, arthritis, heart conditions, diabetes, cancer and dementia.
The reason why many researchers spend so much time studying and developing ways to counteract inflammation is because when it goes on for a long period of time, it may also trigger other diseases. Inflammation may be a natural immune response in the body, but it can also bring catastrophic effects.
Acute Inflammation Is Natural, Chronic Is Not
Inflammation, as mentioned above, is a natural immune response. It is your first line of defense against infections, injuries and other toxins.
When your cells become distressed due to the presence of pathogens or injuries, your body releases chemicals that alerts your immune system. As soon as the immune system receives such a message, it sends inflammatory cells to trap and fight the foreign invaders. After that, healing can begin. As this process happens, your blood vessels are leaking fluids to the injury site which causes the redness, pain and swelling. Though uncomfortable, these symptoms are important for the healing process.
Inflammation is a good thing, but too much of it can cause another kind of damage in your body called “chronic inflammation”. In this state, your body is always on high alert on sending fighting cells that can damage the good cells and tissues in your body.
This kind of lasting damage can lead to severe damage in your major organs including the heart. For example, when inflammatory cells are situated on your blood vessels far too long, plaque buildup can occur. Plaque is considered a foreign object in your body, and even a tiny buildup of it can flare up inflammation even more. As the plaque continues to build up, it can thicken and harden your blood vessels making you a possible victim of a stroke or heart attack.
Inflammation has a similar role on the blood circulation in the brain. It was long believed that inflammatory cells can’t pass through the blood brain barrier. But according to recent findings, these destructive cells do have the ability to infiltrate the barrier at times, especially when your body is somehow distressed.
You Should Address It Immediately
The reason why researchers and scientists find chronic inflammation to be a hot topic is because it has been correlated to almost all major disease processes, and understanding exactly how it causes the disease will pioneer better treatments and interventions on diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease.
What Can Be Done Now
Occasional inflammation will still occur as we are susceptible to other minor infections, injuries and allergies. Every little bruise or cut will lead to some level of inflammation, but it doesn’t mean we need to treat it with inflammatory medications all the time.
As treatments like curcumin and piperine and other forms of health interventions are still being researched, what we all can do now to prevent chronic inflammation is change our lifestyle. A lot of unhealthy lifestyle factors have played a role in cellular inflammation. This includes drinking, smoking, gaining too much weight, physical and mental stress. These factors can be reduced if we dedicate our time to it.
If you need a nutritionist or a doctor’s help, you can always find one that’s available.Smokers can consult physicians on smoking cessation plans. Overweight and obese individuals can get advice from professionals such as a nutritionist to help out with a proper diet, or a surgeon to start discussing options like weight loss surgery.
Stress management should also be taken into consideration. There are techniques that you can do at home to alleviate stress – yoga can help de-stress the mind and body for instance.
Every day, researchers are learning more about chronic inflammation and the physiological culprits behind it. Their target now is to find the missing links between major diseases and inflammation. But until there is a definite answer or solution to this problem, our best line of defense against it is controlling our diet and lifestyle.