Inflammation is a complex immune response. Chronic inflammation was my research specialty. It occurs when the inflammatory state becomes persistent. Sometimes, it is barely detectable for years. Then, symptoms occur, disease is present and we are left wondering how to calm the inflammatory fires raging in our body.
It is accepted among scientists that chronic inflammation is the root cause of most disease. Reducing inflammation in the body is the number one preventative for conditions such as cardiac disease, diabetes and cancer.
So, how do you know if you have chronic inflammation? These five common signs are a good place to start self evaluation.
5 Signs of Chronic Inflammation
1 – Pain
Chronic inflammation also causes chronic pain. From low-grade and sporadic episodes of pain to severe and constant pain, inflammation in the body can cause aching in joints and muscles throughout the body.
2 – Stress
When the body is inflamed, every body system is exposed to stress. This is true even if you do not realize you have inflammation. Chemicals produced during the inflammatory response keep the body in a stress state. This prolonged state of stress manifests over time as disease.
3 – Fatigue
Aching joints and muscles plus a weakened immune system cause you to feel tired and lack energy. If you wake up feeling like you just can’t (or don’t want to) get out of bed, you’re probably suffering from low-grade inflammation.
4 – Gastrointestinal Issues
Because our immune system is housed primarily in the gut, and because the foods we eat travel through the digestive tract, it’s no surprise eating inflammatory foods and living in a persistent state of inflammation wreaks havoc on the GI tract. Symptoms of diseases like celiac disease and irritable bowel syndrome are the body’s cry for help in reducing inflammation.
5 – Abdominal Fat
Your doughy spare tire is more than an unsightly burden under winter sweaters and an obstacle in bikini season. Fat cells are not dormant cells. They produce inflammatory chemicals that travel throughout the body. Those chemicals target the cardiovascular system. Science shows belly fat is the worst type of fat to keep on the body due to its active role in inflammatory disease proliferation.
Diet is Key to Modulating Inflammation
When it comes to inflammation and diet, it can go either way. Some foods cause inflammation (we call those pro-inflammatory foods) and others reduce inflammation (anti-inflammatory).
Knowing what to avoid is a good first step. Next, we want to discover natural foods that help us combat inflammation in our body, and in turn, reduce our risk of certain diseases.
As an easy reference for pro-inflammatory foods as well as naturally anti-inflammatory foods (including WHY they work in our body), I created two valuable resources:
You can find a comprehensive summary of what each of these books includes here and here. It is my hope that these resources will be useful to you in achieving your health goals. I know it has worked for me for more than a decade!
Here’s what readers are saying:
“I didn’t know several of the everyday things people do that promote inflammation. Even just not getting enough sleep! I did not realize that dairy was a big contributor, and it explains a lot for me personally, as we are a family who eats a lot of dairy.” ~ NB
“Loved the book. It is simply stated, well organized, easy to understand, and more importantly, and what many authors are not able to do, written with unconditional love. None of that ‘whatcha gotta do’ advice. How refreshing.” ~ LR