What is inflammation?
We hear that word on a regular basis especially in the health care profession but what does it actually mean and is it a good thing or a bad thing?
How inflammation works when an injury occurs!
By definition inflammation is a natural response by your body when it feels as though a threat has been made that may harm or impact the bodies homeostasis or natural state. This process is in place to protect our bodies from threats such as viruses, bacteria, toxins, injuries among other things. The most common signs and symptoms of inflammation include swelling, redness, warmth and or bruising. In the grand scheme of things inflammation is a good thing as it protects the body from foreign invaders and harmful substances. Inflammation becomes harmful when it persists even when the threat or harmful substance has been removed from the body, this is known as chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation plays a big role in certain diseases and conditions such as diabetes, heart conditions, arthritis, cancer and Alzheimer's but it can be controlled and managed.
How is chronic inflammation controlled or managed?
There are multiple ways in which chronic inflammation can be controlled and managed. Dietary changes can be made, foods that fight inflammation include: green tea, nuts and seeds, fatty fish, leafy greens among other things. Important changes to your lifestyle such as quitting smoking, decreasing alcohol consumption, and managing stress effectively also plays a huge role in how inflammation affects the body.
To answer the question inflammation can be both a good and bad thing. The body is amazing in what it can do and accomplish when it is working properly. It can convert food into energy, sunshine into vitamins and has the ability to heal itself via the inflammatory response. Acute inflammation is a positive thing! When inflammation persists and becomes chronic that is when it can have a negative impact and harm the body. As mentioned above there are many ways in which inflammation can be controlled and managed. Maintaining a diet that consists of olive oils, fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains can act as a natural anti-inflammatory. Drinking enough water and ensuring that you are limiting toxic substances such as alcohol and smoking can help greatly with keeping inflammation controlled. Exercising on a regular basis helps decrease inflammation and is shown to help the body heal at a faster and more effective rate, it is also important to get enough sleep and make sure you are well rested.
Chronic inflammation can be controlled, don't let it persist, take control while you can!