Inflammation is in the news a lot these days. It is a buzz word that you hear a lot about in health and wellness circles. While most people have heard or read about inflammation they may not know what it is.
The Definition of Inflammation is a localized physical condition in which a part of the body becomes reddened, swollen, hot, and often painful, especially as a reaction to injury or infection.
To make it simpler, when you get an injury (bruise, break or bump) or infection your body responds with inflammation. Inflammation is an immune response to protect your body from further injury. inflammation is characterized by swelling, redness, heat, stiffness, pain & loss of function. When the injury/infection occurs, the body increases blood flow to the area. When there is more blood in an area, the area gets warm and looks red. Because there is more blood in the area, it larger and is “swollen”. More fluid in the area creates more pressure. The increased pressure pushes on the nerves and causes pain. The swelling can inhibit movement and cause decreased function.
Inflammation is a normal response in the body. It is a healthy reaction by the body in an attempt to heal and preserve itself. Inflammation is our body’s immune response to irritation, infection or injury. Inflammation in its early stages (called acute) is designed to help speed up the healing process.
The problem occurs when regular healthy inflammation becomes chronic (which means it continues for a long time and occurs all the time). Chronic Inflammation is when the normal cycle of inflammation does not turn off. During Chronic Inflammation, more inflammation is being created even though it is no longer beneficial to the body. Chronic inflammation can have dire consequences if it is not treated. Chronic inflammation is not normal, and it is often linked to disease.
Causes of chronic inflammation
Chronic inflammation is caused by an imbalance in the immune system. Your immune system becomes stimulated and cannot “shut off” the inflammation response.
Preventable Causes of inflammation include
- Processed Foods
- Lifestyle factors (Smoking & Drugs)
- Not getting enough rest
- Too much stress
- Poor bio-mechanics
- Lack of exercise
Often people don’t know they have chronic unhealthy inflammation until it is too late. They find out about Chronic Inflammation when they are diagnosed with a disease like Rheumatoid
Arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, or Multiple Sclerosis. Warning signs that you may be suffering from Chronic Inflammation include:
- Allergies and asthma
- High Blood Pressure
- Lethargic or fatigue
- Digestive problems
- Joint Pain
- Frequent infections
- Shortness of Breath
- Weight gain
The good news is you do not need to wait until you’ve been diagnosed with a life changing illness to treat inflammation.
Tips for Reducing Inflammation
- Diet – This will involve some lifestyle changes to adapt to an anti-inflammatory diet. When we eat inflammatory foods (processed foods, processed meats, etc.) in an over-stressed state, we give toxins, bacteria and undigested foods an invitation to pass through the intestinal wall into the blood stream and force our immune system to work harder. With the immune system constantly working, it becomes overused, and the body responds with more inflammation to help with the fight. This creates a cycle that can result in achy joints, fatigue, organ damage, and any number of other serious conditions. To avoid this, your diet should be made up of nutrient-rich, low calorie foods like fruits and vegetables. If you eat meat make sure it was raised with no hormones. Choose to eat high quality organically raised lean meats, chicken and fish. Avoid anything made with white flour (breads & pastas). Keep sugar and dairy to a minimum in your diet. If you don’t eat meat, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, and seeds are valuable sources of protein.
2.Exercise – Physical Activity keeps your body moving, and your joints lubricated. Exercise keeps your muscles tone and your energy levels up. Proper exercise helps the body heal faster, and decrease inflammation.
3.Rest – Not getting enough Sleep can cause big problems. Getting enough rest is crucial in dealing with inflammation
4.Drink Water – In fact, there are many benefits associated with drinking water aside from the basic need to stay hydrated. Water is essential in maintaining your body’s basic functions. Water nourishes your cells, keep the discs of the spine hydrated and removes waste products from the body.
5. Stop Smoking – In addition to the toxicity that cigarettes put into the body, there is an increased cancer risk. Smoking also triggers an immune system response that increases the level of inflammation in the body.
Chronic Inflammation is a serious condition that causes pain and leads to serious consequences if left untreated. Our office addresses inflammation by searching for the cause of the problem. Whether the problem comes from abnormal bio-mechanics, injury or lifestyle factors it is never too late to work to control the inflammation in your body. Exercise, proper nutrition, and regular Chiropractic Care in Maui have been found to be very effective in fighting inflammation. If you are experiencing inflammation in your body, it’s time for a change. Ho’ala Natural Pain Relief can help to get out of pain, and enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Our office specializes in helping patients remove inflammation from their bodies. We can set you up with a specialized plan of Chiropractic Care, nutritional support, exercises, and Cold Laser Therapy to help you get out of pain and to get the most out of life.