Inflammation is necessary for your body to stay healthy because it is designed to protect you from harmful bacteria and viruses that attack the body. It is also triggered when tissues become injured to begin the healing response. Inflammatory acute episodes begin within seconds of the trauma or invading virus or bacteria entering the body and may cause heat, redness, swelling, loss of function, pain and can last up to a few days. If you are experiencing these symptoms for several months or years then it is considered chronic inflammation.
Unlike acute inflammation, chronic inflammation is harmful to you because the perceived threat causing the inflammatory response is unwarranted and the persistent inflammation can damage tissues in your body, replacing healthy cells with fibrous tissue. This can lead to and complicate a wide range of disease such as heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBS), Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and cancer to name a few. Not only can chronic inflammation lead to harmful life altering diseases, but, it can cause a significant number of symptoms such as chronic low back pain, neck pain, headaches, muscle tension, aching, soreness, and fatigue.
There are many things that you can do naturally to combat chronic inflammation:
- Eat a Healthy Foods: avoid foods that cause inflammation such as fried foods, processed foods, grains and sugar (high glycemic index foods). Consuming omega-3 fatty acids has been shown to help lower inflammation.
- Exercise: Studies have shown that regular exercise can lower inflammation in the body. Typically, people exercise regularly will also heal faster from injuries.
- Reduce Stress Levels: Being stressed out can release hormones that increase inflammation throughout the body. There are many ways that you can relieve stress levels from simple breathing techniques and removing stressful triggers to meditation. For more information on breathing techniques, take a look at this article: https://mindbodyspine.ca/breathe-relieve-stress/
- Stop Smoking: Smoking increases inflammation and can harden your arteries. However, within 10 years of quitting smoking, you may be able to reverse the effects of this harmful habit
- Sleep: Being sleep deprived can have many negative effects on the body including increasing inflammation levels. Make sure you are getting sufficient and restful sleep. For more information on sleeping check out this article on insufficient sleep and osteoporosis https://mindbodyspine.ca/getting-enough-sleep-study-shows-insufficient-sleep-lead-osteoporosis/
The suggestions and advice provided by Dr. Louie should not be relied upon in place of a chiropractic professional assessment.