What Is Chronic Inflammation & How Do You Treat It?
Chronic inflammation is the result of an overactive immune system. When your body experiences an injury, it releases inflammatory cells to repair damaged tissue and eliminate any potential threats.
This process is crucial to survival but can become a problem if the inflammatory response becomes chronic. That's because chronic inflammation can cause pain, fatigue and other health problems if left unchecked.
But what exactly causes chronic inflammation? And how do you know if you have it? In this article, we'll answer all those questions and more.
What is chronic inflammation in the body?
Chronic inflammation is a long-term immune response of the body to an infection or injury. It can be caused by a number of things; for example, food allergies and gut health issues can trigger chronic inflammation in some people.
In other cases, chronic infections such as bacterial vaginosis (BV) and candida overgrowth contribute to prolonged periods of low-level inflammation that may cause symptoms like vaginal itching or discharge.
Regardless of its source, chronic inflammation has been linked to several health conditions including arthritis, heart disease and diabetes—and that’s just scratching the surface!
How to treat chronic inflammation.
There are a number of ways to treat chronic inflammation, including:
Taking supplements can help reduce inflammation and improve your health in general. Omega-3 fatty acids, for example, are known to reduce inflammation in the body. Vitamin D is also helpful because it helps keep your immune system healthy.
2) Herbal treatments
Herbal remedies may be used to manage the symptoms of chronic inflammation or to prevent flare-ups from occurring at all. Turmeric, ginger root, and garlic are just some of the herbs that have anti-inflammatory properties.
3) Diet changes
Many people with chronic inflammation have poor diets that include too many inflammatory foods (such as sugar) and not enough anti-inflammatory foods (such as omega-3 fatty acids).
One study found that simply eating more fish can lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), an indicator linked to inflammatory conditions such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
4) Get rid of gut issues
Gut health is one of the biggest factors in controlling inflammation. An unhealthy gut can lead to an imbalance in gut bacteria and create a leaky gut, both of which can cause irritation and inflammation throughout the body.
Try eating a healthy diet full of whole foods like fruits and vegetables; lean meats; nuts/seeds; legumes like lentils or beans; whole grains like brown rice or quinoa instead of refined ones like white bread made from bleached flour that lack essential nutrients such as fiber, which helps to promote good digestion by keeping us regular.
5) Eat more anti-inflammatory foods
If you're suffering from chronic inflammation, it's important to eat more anti-inflammatory foods. That means eating more vegetables, avoiding processed foods and foods with a high glycemic index (the higher the GI number, the faster your body breaks down the sugar in that food), eating more fish and olive oil, nuts and seeds, and drinking green tea (it has catechins that have anti-inflammatory effects).
6) Reduce long-term stress
One of the best ways to reduce your levels of long-term stress is by doing things that relax you. Try getting a massage, going on vacation, or playing with your pet. Or if you can't do any of those (like me), just take some time to sit down and listen to music, watch TV or read a book.
Think about what causes your stress and try to avoid those situations as much as possible—for example, if it's work-related, talk to your boss about changing hours or tasks so that they're more manageable for you.
7) Get more sleep and rest
When you're trying to recover from a chronic illness, getting enough sleep and rest is vital. Sleep improves your immune system and helps the body recover from injury or inflammation.
When you're short on sleep, your body doesn't have time to repair itself and recover; instead, it's working overtime trying to keep up with all the demands being placed on it—which just makes things worse.
The same goes for rest: when we're stressed out or overworked, our bodies can't heal properly because they aren't able to focus their energy on healing.
A healthy diet, the right supplements, and the use of herbal treatments can help reduce inflammation in your body
The best way to treat chronic inflammation is to focus on your diet and get the right supplements.
Chronic inflammation can be caused by a number of factors, but one is probably the biggest: diet. If you eat a lot of processed foods (which are usually fried) or eat a lot of sugar-packed snacks, that's going to cause your body some serious issues long term.
You should also avoid alcohol—not only does it contain high levels of calories that contribute to weight gain, but it may also trigger chronic inflammation as well.