Learn More About Inflammation
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to damage or injury. When the body detects harm, from physical (sprain, cut), infectious (bacteria, virus) or environmental sources (pollutants, chemicals, unhealthy food), the immune system sends specialized cells to the damaged area(s) that promote pain, redness, and swelling.
Inflammation can sometimes be seen, like the swelling and redness that occurs when you sprain your ankle. This type of inflammation is usually short-term. Pain forces us to rest, while swelling and redness are signs that increased blood flow is bringing cells to heal the injury. In this instance, inflammation is necessary to heal the body.
Silent inflammation (also called chronic inflammation) occurs within the body and generally cannot be seen. It is much more harmful and its long-term damage leads to chronic disease, such as diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune disease, asthma, and inflammatory bowel conditions.
Imagine that an injury to your body is like a fire. Your immune system calls the fire department, and they arrive with their sirens and lights, block off the street, and use their tools to put out the fire. The firetrucks cause a necessary disruption to the neighbourhood (inflammation), but after the fire has been put out, they leave and the neighbourhood returns to normal.
This exactly how your immune system responds to harm. It sends white blood cells to the injured area, causing a short-term disruption to the cells around the site, but it’s a worthwhile trade-off to fight an infection or heal an injury.
However, imagine this fire has been burning for a long time and has gotten out of control. Neighbouring homes become damaged, smoke pollution impacts people for miles, and the neighbourhood struggles to continue its normal daily activities.
This is what happens when we experience chronic inflammation. Our bodies become like an uncontrolled fire that causes widespread damage and disease. To heal chronic inflammation, we need to do three things: stop feeding the fire, call in reinforcements to help put out the fire, and eventually we need to rebuild the neighbourhood.
- Stop Feeding The Fire: identify the root causes of inflammation and work toward reducing or eliminating them. Common sources include untreated injury, stressful lifestyle, and exposure to pollutants, unhealthy foods, or infection.
- Call In Reinforcements: INFLAMMA-MEND is a powerful tool for putting out the fire and reducing chronic inflammation. It helps stop inflammation at its source.
- Rebuild The Neighbourhood: Continued use of INFLAMMA-MEND, combined with maintaining a healthy lifestyle, allows your body to return to health.
People who are living with chronic health conditions, are experiencing pain, or have undergone long-term exposures to physical, infectious, or environmental damages will undoubtedly have high levels of chronic inflammation, but the signs can be easy to miss.
Clues that you may be living with chronic inflammation include fatigue, pain, depression, anxiety, digestive disorders, insomnia, frequent infections, high blood pressure, inflammatory bowel disease, or diagnosis of a chronic health condition. These symptoms are the body’s way of telling us that it is fighting chronic inflammation and could benefit from supplementation support.
Dr. Hilary’s Lifestyle Changes To Reduce Inflammation
- Minimize Stress: Chronic stress causes an increase in pro-inflammatory cells. While stress is an unavoidable aspect of life, we can work to control our response in stressful situations. Deep breathing, meditation, setting boundaries, and self-care are all important ways that we can reduce inflammation by minimizing stress.
- Improve Diet: Processed foods, sugar, and trans fats are all causes of chronic inflammation. Focus on eating a diet rich in lean protein, a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. If you keep to the outside edges of the grocery store and cook most of your own meals, you will be well on your way to a healthy diet.
- Prioritize Sleep: Getting fewer than six hours, more than eight hours, or having disturbed sleep are associated with increased levels of inflammation. Setting a bedtime, limiting electronic use before bed, and sleeping in a dark room can significantly improve sleep quality and quantity, which reduces inflammation.
- Stay Hydrated: Water helps flush out inflammatory debris, and dehydration acts as an added stressor on the body. Always keep a reusable water bottle with you, and set reminders on your phone, or drink herbal teas to help motivate you to stay hydrated.
- Maintain A Healthy Weight: Fat cells produce pro-inflammatory mediators, meaning they directly contribute to chronic inflammation. Regular exercise and a healthy diet are important to maintaining a healthy weight, which reduces chronic inflammation.
- Address The Root Cause: Treat the chronic infection, injury, or environmental exposure to target and eliminate the underlying reason for inflammation.
To summarize, it is possible to reduce inflammation to improve our overall health. First, we can limit our exposure to the main causes of inflammation, including physical, infectious and environmental factors. Second, we can make healthy lifestyle choices to reduce the burden of inflammation. This involves minimizing stress, improving diet, prioritizing sleep, maintaining a healthy weight, and treating illnesses. Third, we can provide the body additional nutritional support using INFLAMMA-MEND, which helps to reduce the symptoms of pain, swelling, and overall levels of inflammation.
By combining simple lifestyle changes and supplementation, we can greatly reduce the negative impact that this internal, silent inflammation has on our health.