Inflammation || The Invisible Threat to Your Body
It is much easier to understand what is going on in your body, if you can see it.. When people have acne, they attribute it to excess sebum secretion, and so it can be managed. Also, weight gain can be gauged and so can be handled. But what do we do about things that are happening inside our bodies, that can be chronic and can be negatively affecting our health on the long run.
Inflammation is one of those issues, it happens on the inside, and its symptoms may be masked as something else, so we can’t really tell it’s happening. Inflammation is essentially a natural bodily process, it is the body’s way of healing. When we are injured or ill our body releases white blood cells that fight the threat, and allow us to heal. The issue is that inflammation is also sensitive to situations such as stress, lack of sleep and an unhealthy diet. So although the culprit is different the response is the same… White blood cells are released to fight… but fight what??? There is no injury or sickness, so the white blood cells end up attacking good and healthy cells instead.. This is inflammation and it can cause hair loss, weight gain, acne in the short term. In the long term it causes pain, heart disease and even Alzheimers. Inflammation that is caused due to injury is called inflammation, inflammation that is due to an unhealthy lifestyle is called chronic inflammation.
Again, you may be experiencing the results of inflammation, you just think it’s something else, so the root cause of inflammation is never addressed. The good news is that there is a simple blood test that can tell you how high your body’s inflammation is. The level of C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) is a marker for inflammation in the blood, so testing for this is helpful. Doctors also measure homocysteine levels to evaluate chronic inflammation. Physicians can also test for HbA1C, which is a measurement of blood sugar, which helps assess damage to red blood cells.
Chronic Inflammation can be addressed and even reversed. Once you know that you have it, even if you can’t tell the source.. Chronic inflammation is often the cause of a number of things; stress, unhealthy eating habits and also lack of exercise. Increasing your levels of activity, improving your diet to include more anti-inflammatory foods such as greens, fruits, nuts and seeds. Stress-reducing activities such as meditation, yoga and journaling are also helpful in reducing chronic inflammation.
It all starts with a trip to the doctor’s, and there isn’t a better time than the start of a new year, to address such health issues. New year, new you right?