What is inflammation? Think of it as the first responder for your body when you become ill or injured. Minor inflammation can be anything from a cut, sunburn, infection, or minor sprain. ‘Inflammation’ as you most commonly hear it called is likely referring to the chronic kind, where your body is in a constant state of stress. Prolonged inflammation causes damage to your tissues, arteries, and digestive lining.
Symptoms of inflammation can be deceiving, as they are often mistaken for other ailments or aging when they are actually warning signs from your body that a more serious health issue is developing. Here are some common symptoms to be mindful of:
Scientists believe that in some instances inflammation can actually trigger depression because of how it contributes to low dopamine levels in the brain, a hormone associated with happiness and pleasure. When your body is inflamed you can suffer from unhappiness due to a hormonal imbalance.
When your body is inflamed, your body isn’t digesting all the nutrients it needs to maintain healthy bones and muscles. Therefore if you seem to break bones easily or suffer from achy and painful muscles, it can be an indication of a chronic condition.
It’s one thing to feel tired once and a while, it’s another to feel exhausted all the time. If you’re chronically under slept, you’re putting yourself at a higher risk of inflammation-related illnesses. If you are getting enough sleep but still feel sluggish, it could be caused by an inflamed digestive tract.
Weight fluctuations have been shown to be directly correlated to chronic inflammation. This could be because inflammation in the brain can slow our metabolism while inflammation in the body can cause weight gain, insulin resistance, and suppress normal thyroid function.
Inflammation is associated with a broad spectrum of diseases, sometimes as a symptom and sometimes as a cause. If you are suffering from cancer, IBS, arthritis, lupus, or multiple sclerosis, it’s likely that your body is inflamed. The best thing you can do is to ask your health professional about your symptoms of inflammation and take steps to minimize the inflamed areas in your body.
A link between high blood pressure and inflammation has been suggested by a few studies and are sometimes used to predict an individual’s susceptibility to heart disease. Although it’s not totally understood how the two are related, it’s likely that they are.
Having chronic inflammation is more than just annoying and inconvenient, it can be life-threatening. It is linked to cancer, diabetes, lung disease, heart disease, and strokes. Often times symptoms of inflammation are just a precursor to a disease being detected in your body.
If you are suffering from any of the symptoms of inflammation mentioned above, contact your health care professional. If you aren’t currently suffering from any symptoms but want to take a preventative approach there are a few effective methods of fighting inflammation. Incorporating daily exercise and an anti-inflammatory diet proactive ways of reducing potentially inflamed areas of your body. Stress can aggravate it immensely, for this reason, prioritizing your mental health is essential (maybe even consider meditating!).
Want more information on achieving optimal health? Check out our article 10 Reasons You Should Be Lifting Weights.