Inflammation is a response in the body often caused by infection or injury. Once inflammation occurs, the immune system understands that it must protect the body from dangers such as bacteria and viruses. It will also know to repair and heal any tissue that has been damaged. Chronic inflammation is a more serious type of inflammation that can lead to far more serious health situations, such as lupus, arthritis, certain types of cancer, heart disease, stroke or autoimmune disorders. Acute inflammation is the far less serious version of inflammation. This type of inflammation leads to swelling, redness and moderate pain.
Sources and signs of inflammation can be obvious or less so. It might be as simple as a result of a sports-related injury, or it could be more complicated, such as a sinus infection. Other reasons one might experience inflammation, acute or chronic, include a cut on the skin, bronchitis, dermatitis, meningitis, asthma, Crohn's disease, hepatitis, ulcer or tuberculosis. If inflammation goes untreated, more serious complications can occur. It is also possible that one’s immune system can over treat inflammation or treat areas of the body for inflammation that do not exist and cause more harm. If the body is already in a state of inflammation, it is important to avoid foods that trigger inflammation or make inflammation worse.
Some people are unable to avoid inflammation issues as it is the body’s natural way to repair itself. It is important to note that diet has a significant impact on the negative effects of inflammation on the body, and the right foods can help prevent and heal inflammation much more quickly. Any person prone to negative side effects of inflammation should begin by eliminating certain foods from their diet, such as sugar, vegetable oil, fried foods, refined flour, dairy, artificial sugar, artificial additives, grain-fed meat, sugary drinks, processed meat, saturated fat, moderate alcohol consumption, gluten in mass-produced bread, trans fat and fast food. On the other hand, some foods can help to heal and prevent inflammation, such as a diet filled with foods from a traditional Mediterranean diet. These foods might include fish, vegetables, fruit, omega-3 foods, very little red meat, moderate red wine, nuts, olive oil, ginger and turmeric. The greatest benefits of these foods, in addition to reduced swelling and redness, is that the risk of developing disease and illnesses associated with chronic inflammation will also reduce. If a shift in one’s diet does not work for any reason, it is important to speak with a medical professional about supplements and medications. It is possible to use over-the-counter pain relievers that are also anti-inflammatory medications. Some dietary supplements have been known to contain anti-inflammatory properties, as well. It is also possible to seek prescription medication from a doctor in more severe cases. Remember that if inflammation is left untreated, it can lead to dangerous situations, such as disability, severe pain and heart attack-inducing clogged arteries.
All of this inflammation information can seem a bit overwhelming. Below are a few common questions pertaining to inflammation with some more manageable responses.
Q: Does being active cause inflammation?
A: If you do not exercise regularly, acute inflammation can occur. However, exercise also prevents chronic inflammation at the same time.
Q: Are older people more prone to inflammation?
A: Older people are more prone to inflammation due to long-term buildup.
Q: Does inflammation cause cancer?
A: Chronic inflammation can lead to certain cancers, such as colon cancer.
Q: If one eats right can inflammation be eliminated entirely?
A: Inflammation cannot, and should not, be eliminated entirely as it is the body’s natural response to health and repair.
Q: What are common sources of inflammation?
A: Some common inflammation results from arthritis, sinuses and asthma.
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