Inflammation: Your Body’s First Line of Defense
Over the course of a single day, I may see a Joe, who recently had a heart attack, and Sue, a woman who is suffering from asthma, Sandy, with arthritis, and Fred, who has irritable bowel syndrome. All four of these patients have something in common: inflammation. It is the source of most of our common ailments. While it exists as a defense mechanism, it becomes a chronic condition for some. Many of us struggle with inflammation as a result of our lifestyles. Exposure to toxins in the form of food allergies, pesticides, processed foods, and negative thought-patterns can all cause a buildup of this once-beneficial healing process. In this series, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at inflammation. This will include the symptoms, causes, treatments, and dangers of living with this condition long-term.
When Inflammation Occurs
In times of injury or illness, inflammation is our ally. Think of the last time you bit your tongue. As soon as the injury occurs, the inflammatory response kicks in, and hormones trigger your white blood cells to release several chemical substances to flush out toxins, repair damaged cells, and begin the healing process. In normal cases, anti-inflammatory substances follow, sweeping away the following symptoms and completing the process.
Symptoms of Inflammation
You can suspect you’re experiencing an inflammatory response if you’ve noticed the following in the injured area:
• Hot to the touch
• Limited range of motion
Isn’t Inflammation Bad?
While it has gotten a lot of attention for its role in aging and autoimmune conditions, this process is a natural bodily function for fighting off disease, viruses, and infection. There are many cases where the inflammatory response persists for a sustained period, and can become problematic. I’ve spoken in the past about natural ways to regulate this response in your body, including diet and lifestyle change.
It is important to note when and where this occurs, as it is a significant message from your body regarding your immediate health. Whether it is a potential food allergy or a stubbed toe, the inflammatory response is a first responder, attempting to keep you from further harm.
In this series, we’ll take a closer look at what causes inflammation. We will also examine why it is a chronic problem for so many of us today. I’ll also recommend specific diet and lifestyle changes you can implement today to find relief from chronic symptoms!