Got Inflammation? 5 Ways to Tell & 5 Things to Do About It

Inflammation is important to your survival. It is your body's way of protecting you. It works hard to heal wounds after an injury; defend you against foreign invaders like viruses and bacteria; and repair tissue damaged by stress or lifestyle choices.
Therefore, at any one time you probably have some form of inflammation actively fighting a cold, healing a cut finger or giving you reminders to take better care of your knee joint.
5 Ways to Tell:
The 5 obvious signs of inflammation are: 1. Skin redness 2. Pain 3. Heat 4. Swelling 5. Loss of function. Chronic (longer term) inflammation, however, can be silent, and happens inside the body without noticeable symptoms. Diabetes, heart disease, inner infections, arthritis and cancer may have this type of inflammation. The paradox is that inflammation not only fights chronic illnesses, it can also play a role in these illnesses because it works overtime. Take steps to ensure that it doesn’t take its job into overtime:
5 Things to Do About It:
1. Don’t wait to do something. Acute inflammation, meaning an injury or infection that is meant to be short-term, which isn’t resolved or is made worse by not-the-best lifestyle or habits can eventually turn into a chronic condition. If your body doesn’t get your attention with whispers, it will begin shouting at you!
2. Get checked. Find out if you have increased inflammation. Your body’s immune system has an “inflammatory response” which produces more white blood cells, immune cells and substances called cytokines. When doctors look for increased inflammation, they test “markers” or signs in the blood including levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), homocysteine, TNF alpha and IL-6.
3. Reduce stress. Chronic inflammation can happen when you have major life stressors: interpersonal conflict or health/family/financial worries. These “threat” experiences increase immune system cells involved in inflammation because ancient humans needed the immune system to be triggered for survival during threat situations. The problem is that inflammatory chemicals created during stress 1. increase symptoms of asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic pain, cardiovascular disease and obesity 2. create profound changes in your behaviour including depression, fatigue, anxiety and moodiness.
4. Eat anti-inflammatory foods. Many studies show that meals commonly prepared in Southern Europe are the most anti-inflammatory. This Mediterranean diet includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables (especially leafy greens, cruciferous veggies, berries), nuts (preferably raw), legumes (beans, lentils), whole unprocessed grains, fish, and healthy oils (avocado, extra virgin olive and coconut oils, organic unrefined pumpkin seed/flaxseed).
5. Bring in the big guns. To make sure your issues don’t get worse, try supplementing with inflammation fighters such as fish oil, curcumin, ginger, resveratrol and serrapeptase while also giving your body a fighting chance by reducing “antagonists.” There is no sense in taking supplements (or constantly taking pain medication) if you continue to drink excessive alcohol, caffeine or sodas/sugary beverages, and eat too much sugar, refined carbs (white bread/pasta), processed meats, processed/partially hydrogenated vegetable oils and saturated animal fat that all promote inflammation.


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