What causes chronic inflammation?
How to help prevent and discover the causes of chronic Inflammation?
Inflammation is a response to foreign objects, pathogens, or damage to the cells in our body. It’s a sign of a healthy, robust immune system and it can protect us from many illnesses and sickness.
Inflammation almost always occurs whenever there is an injury such as breaks, cuts and sprains. It triggers increased blood flow on to the site of the injury and helps to protect it from infections setting in.
Burns involve some level of cell damage, which can also lead to infections. The inflammatory response to burns can appear so much more marked because the cellular damage to the skin does more damage on skin functions than some other injuries. Colds, flu, bronchitis, and other common illnesses also incite the inflammatory and immune response.
Sometimes the immune system responds with inflammation at the wrong times or to ‘less threatening invaders’ such as allergens, which can be found in foods, chemicals, or other substances that the body considers foreign. This overreaction results in an allergy attack.
Lifestyle and poor diet causes chronic inflammation
Poor diet and other lifestyle factors may also cause inflammation. Certain food can irritate the digestive system, and a poor diet can incite the inflammatory response. These factors include stress, lack of exercise (or too much), tobacco, drugs, medicines, gluten, fruits, sugars, processed foods, coffee, alcohol, inflammatory fats, refined flours, grains, and dairy.
Alcohol, drugs and toxic substances cause inflammation
Toxic substances such as drugs or alcohol can produce a harmful immune response from the body. Inflammation of the liver can result, which can then also trigger and influence the rest of the body’s immune processes in a very damaging way.
Overusing muscles can cause inflammation
Something as simple as overexertion of certain muscles can cause a state of inflammation. Overexertion occurs when the muscles become overworked, leading to damage. Extra blood is then pumped to the site of the over-worked muscle to reconstruct anything that has become damaged due to overuse. Of course, this same inflammatory response can be helpful against potential muscular infection as well.
Poorly functioning immune system causes chronic inflammation
If the immune system is not functioning correctly, then inflammation will probably manifest as something out of control or harmful. Immune system issues can be provoked by too much exposure to allergens, stress or poor diet.
HIV/AIDS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Lupus are some examples of illnesses or disorders that are associated with a problematic immune system.
Even if nothing is invading or threatening the body physically, stress primes our immune systems to release agents in our blood which are ready to attack at the smallest inconvenience. It’s through these immune changes that chronic inflammation can begin, and start doing its damage.
Other triggers that cause chronic inflammation include:
- Stress, hidden or chronic infections with viruses, bacteria, yeasts
- Hidden allergies from food
- Pesticides, heavy metals, mold toxins
- Also, toxic health and body care products are strongly associated with the ‘western unhealthy lifestyle’ that is causing an epidemic of critical and chronic inflammation.
It’s important to find out what is triggering the inflammation and to try to rebalance the body through diet, detox, bodywork, etc. In more serious cases inflammation may develop autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, colitis, reflux, asthmas, cancer, depression, Alzheimer’s, obesity, autism, metabolic disorders, hypothyroidism (and other thyroid diseases) amongst others.
This is by no means a complete list but the theory is that inflammation in the body causes the onset of many diseases (including certain types of hair loss).
Chronic Inflammation can affect our entire body
- If you’re guilty of following a poor diet, then inflammation can affect your digestive system. Other factors such as stress, food allergens, and immune function can play a part in inflammation of the digestive system, making it even worse. Why is this so serious?
- Because an inflamed digestive system can interfere with the proper absorption of essential vitamins and minerals.
- Some of the leading diseases or causes of illness in the developing world — heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer — are a result of chronic inflammation getting out of hand. The worst consequence of an inflamed vascular system can lead to heart attacks, bodily damage due to poor circulation, and even cancer; this makes minimizing inflammation of the heart and blood vessels an integral health priority.
- Most inflammations of the respiratory system are signs of acute inflammations healing themselves in time. Still, symptoms like coughing, hacking, wheezing, and excessive phlegm can be signs of inflammation and even some immune disorder — a warning of something more major.
- Inflammation can affect the urinary system, which can be recognized by spots of blood that leak into the urine. The blood flushes out a lot of helpful antibodies and immune agents from the body.
- Inflammatory diseases that afflict the bones include osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, both of which are triggered by depletion or dysfunction of cartilage and joint lubrication.
- Muscular inflammation could be the result of an isolated injury, and with some medical intervention, can be resolved. However, inflammation in the muscle could also be a sign of chronic inflammation somewhere else in the body.
- Inflammation, both chronic and acute, can affect the brain and nerves. Recent studies showed that low-grade inflammation of the brain could be a trigger for depression, or even that depression and stress itself can lead to inflammation.
- Although inflammation is a function of the immune system, that doesn’t mean it cannot become inflamed. This is usually how autoimmune diseases manifest. The immune system becomes ‘overstimulated’ and begins to attack completely harmless and healthy areas of the body.
“What we’re not adapted for, however, is the chronic, unrelenting stress that has become so common in modern life. This type of stress provokes feelings of hopelessness and helplessness — what psychologists call a “defeat response”. And it’s the defeat response that leads to increased fat storage, abdominal obesity, tissue breakdown, suppression of the immune system, and all of the other effects I listed above that directly cause obesity and diabetes.“
– Chris Kresser from chriskresser.com
Minor illnesses caused by inflammation
- There are so many minor health problems that can be associated with inflammation such as acne, eczema and infections
- Acne occurs when hair follicles in the skin become blocked by dead skin or bacteria, resulting in Psoriasis is irregular inflammation of the skin, involving an abnormal immune response to healthy human skin cells. Inflammation of the skin can either be chronic (eczema) or acute (contact dermatitis).
- Mucus membranes in the nasal passages become inflamed by foreign objects — puffy eyes and a runny nose is the body’s response, which directly reflects the immune system’s reaction to that.
- Bladder infections, also known as UTI, is caused by inflammation of the bladder, this condition tends to be worsened by stress and is triggered by an infection
- A moderate immune reaction to certain foods can create inflammation and irritation of the digestive tract. Stomach inflammation involves inflammation of the stomach lining, caused by either stress, food, or immune issues.
- Joint inflammation is caused by a high build-up of uric acid — a protein byproduct. Overexertion/overuse cause muscular
- Pneumonia involves infection and inflammation of the lungs — but with fluid that fills the lungs, thus making this illness require special attention and
Major illnesses caused by inflammation
The full list of chronic inflammation is exhaustive, but to name a few:
- Chronic fatigue is a complex multi-systemic condition involving chronic inflammation all throughout the body, due to an overwhelmed and stressed out immune system
- Alzheimer’s, a brain disease, resulting in memory loss and dementia, is under intense study nowadays with evidence showing that chronic inflammation could be one of its primary precursors
- Studies also reveal a connection between depression and inflammation. Low-grade inflammation can lead to this illness, or vice versa, with inflammation occurring in and around the brain. Remember how I said before that certain foods make me feel depressed, angry and sometimes even suicidal?
- Arthritis is a painful and debilitating illness that involves inflammation of the joints
- Asthma is a chronic inflammatory response that can shut down and obstruct airways, which can be life-threatening
- Cancer development has been connected to inflammation
- Celiac disease is a severe, genetic, autoimmune and inflammatory response to wheat, rye, and other grains containing gluten, which occurs in the intestines
- Chron’s disease is an autoimmune, inflammatory disorder of the intestines, which often creates symptoms similar to IBS/IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Diseases).
- Diabetes has also been shown through recent research to have a huge role in inflammation.
- More intense than food hypersensitivities, food allergies (i.e. peanut, nightshade) involve a more intense immune response, which can even involve anaphylaxis and sometimes, death.
- Arterial build up, due to poor diet or inflammatory foods, can lead to serious heart complications. Inflammation of the arteries is often a marker of possible heart disease, which can result in heart attack and even death.
- Lupus is a group of severe autoimmune, inflammatory diseases that can afflict the kidneys, liver, skin, heart, and lungs through over-stimulated, damaging chronic inflammation.
- Multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory disease where the nerve endings, spinal cord, and brain are damaged by progressive destruction of the immune system
- More and more research shows that obesity and overweight are also linked to chronic inflammation.
Healthy kisses #sandrabloom xxx