Knowing Inflammation: Creating an Anti-Inflammation Lifestyle

October 6, 2010

Inflammation is a naturally occurring (and necessary) process of your body. When cells become damaged, or if a pathogen enters into the body, your immune system responds be beginning the process of inflammation and getting rid of any damaged cells.

Normally, the body carefully regulates the amount and duration of inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids “turn off” inflammation by competing with inflammation triggers (Omega-6 fatty acids) for a place in the “switch”. Antioxidants clean up free radicals that are created by inflammation to get rid of damaged cells so that healthy cells are unaffected.


Unfortunately, there are a number of modern causes of inflammation that can lead to chronic inflammation by upsetting this balance:

  • A chronic pathogen can lead to the body constantly creating inflammation to fight it off.
    • Look around the home for sources of pathogens, such as mold, pet dander, or chemicals that may be causing inflammation.
    • If you’re chronically getting injured (however minor), consider taking extra safety precautions and using natural antibiotics on the wound to prevent infection.
  • Consider your diet: try eliminating different foods to see if something you are eating is causing chronic inflammation.
    • Your gastrointestinal tract is a huge part of your immune system, make sure to support it by replenishing your natural flora (with yogurt or a probiotic supplement) and taking care of its different components, like the liver, pancreas, colon, etc.
  • Make sure your diet is balanced: Americans eat far too many Omega-6 fatty acids, which can trigger inflammation, while not getting enough Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish, nuts, and other healthy sources.
    • Increase your ratio of anti-inflammation foods such as berries, nuts, and certain herbs (like evening primrose oil) to that of foods that come from animals.
    • Make sure you’re getting balanced nutrition: vitamins aren’t only antioxidants, but certain nutrient deficiencies can cause inflammation.
      • Antioxidants help to rid your body of free radicals caused by inflammation.

Symptoms of Inflammation include:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • A hot sensation
  • Pain

Possible Side-Effects of Chronic Inflammation

  • Infection (inflammation at the site of a wound indicates risk)
  • Premature Aging
  • Allergies, Allergy induced Asthma
  • Diabetes
  • Inflammation of the Joints (Rheumatoid Arthritis)
  • Inflammation of the Heart
  • Cancer
  • Immune System Disorders

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