Inflammation. Why do we need to talk about it? Now more then ever it is important to understand how inflammation affects our body. Why is COVID-19 affecting some people harder than others? Underlying health conditions are a key factor influencing the disease severity and body’s ability to recover. Inflammation is a part of the body’s immune response to injury and infection. Without it, our body cannot heal. When inflammation occurs, chemicals from the body’s white blood cells enter the blood or tissues, protecting the body and allowing the healing process to begin. However, when inflammation occurs over a prolonged period of time, the body remains in a constant state of stress. There are two types of inflammation that affect our body: acute and chronic.
Acute inflammation is a temporary response to an injury or illness. For example, a cut, bleeding occurs, a scar forms and new healthy skins grows. A sprained ankle, swelling, discoloration and redness occurs and overtime, gradually subsides. These are examples of good inflammation. Once the problem is resolved, so is the inflammation. Now, lets discuss chronic inflammation. This type of inflammation causes stress to our body and immune system. We all can relate. Here are a few examples: one bad night of sleep, causes fatigue the next day, but many sleepless nights causes chronic inflammation. One bag of M&M’s occasionally tastes good, but one bag of M&M’s 5 days per week causes chronic inflammation. Poor dietary choices on a daily basis, emotional unresolved issues on a personal or professional level are all contributing factors to chronic inflammation. Research has linked chronic inflammation to many health conditions such as allergies, depression, chronic fatigue, cardiovascular disease, cancer, type II diabetes, and obesity to list a few.
This is all good to know, but what do we do? Next week we will share tools to prevent and reverse chronic inflammation in our body. Until next week… for your good health.
Zimmerman, Mike. “Low-Grade Inflammation’s Role in Chronic Disease.” AARP, www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2019/lowering-inflammation-to-improve-health.html.