WALKING A FINE LINE BETWEEN HEALING AND LONG-TERM HEALTH RISKS
Inflammation is so much more than being sore and swollen.
Inflammation is a term that we’re all too familiar with. Most of the time you can see it and feel it, as the body’s natural defense system springs into action after an injury or illness. You’ve probably had a splinter or a cut, and noticed the skin around it swell up and turn red, and this is a perfect example of what we all understand inflammation to be. The body senses that a wound or injury might leave us more vulnerable to infection, so tons of white blood cells are directed to the affected area to protect us, and to start the healing process. After a few days, the swelling goes down and the redness disappears, and as far as we can see and feel everything has gone back to normal. Unfortunately, not all inflammation can be seen or felt.
Cellular inflammation is a completely normal function of the body, and we need it to survive. As we go about our day to day lives, our bodies are constantly being bombarded with bacteria, or trauma, stress, or even toxins in our diets, so while we may not recognize it the same way that we would a when we get a cut, our bodies are constantly “on the mend” through the help of inflammation. This is where things start to get tricky.
We’ve Found a Missing Link
When cellular inflammation is triggered more often than the body is designed to handle, it can start to become chronic, less effective, even deadly. Cells that are constantly fighting off what life throws at us start to change. They stop being able to get rid of all of the waste that they need to get rid of, which can lead to plaque build up in our arteries. This build up is what we know can lead to heart disease, heart attacks or even strokes. Chronic inflammation can even trigger the body to produce abnormal cells that are designed to literally consume healthy tissue. Sound scary, right? It is scary, as these abnormal cells are what we know to be cancer cells. Alzheimer’s, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Diabetes and a long list of other chronic illnesses are starting to be traced back to cellular inflammation, which is changing the way we can start thinking about preventative health practices.
Reducing and Managing Cellular Inflammation
We want our bodies to continue to fight off infections and heal when we need to, without crossing over into the dangerous territory known as chronic inflammation. But what does that actually mean? Are we walking a tightrope with long term health on one side and a canyon of chronic illness on the other, or is there a wide pathway that we can walk before we fall off the edge? Doctors and scientists are learning more and more about this every day. We know that lowering cellular inflammation can help the body heal quicker and fight free radicals more effectively, as well as prevent plaque build up and help prevent the production of abnormal cells, all of which are great things. Though we may not be walking on a tightrope, it’s understandably better to keep to the healthier side of the path.
It may sound like a daunting task, but lowering cellular inflammation may be easier than you think. There are the tried and true activities like exercising, eating a healthier diet and reducing your stress levels which have a direct impact on your chronic inflammation levels. Fatty fish oils, dark greens, nuts, as well as a long list of fruits and vegetables contain a range of healthy nutrients that can help reduce cellular inflammation. There are also a range of supplements that are specifically designed with these nutrients which can help get cellular inflammation under control. When your body is only fighting off what it absolutely needs to, you’ll have more energy, more focus, less stress, better sleep and the list goes on and on.
Fight Back and Win!
To make a seemingly complex problem sound simple, overactive cellular inflammation can be a silent killer if it gets out of control, and we often don’t know that we’ve got chronic inflammation until it’s too late. If you take the steps to start lowering cellular inflammation sooner than later, your body will thank you for it.