Facts About Inflammation – HealthyWomen

Inflammation. It has a bad reputation, but you may be surprised to know that not everything is bad, but there can be too much of it. It’s like the ice cream of natural responses (sugar can cause inflammation, but more on that later). The obsession with anti-inflammatory diets has grown in recent years. You may remember when the conversation became more inflammatory after the actress Gwyneth Paltrow He said he takes bone broth, and not much else, as part of his diet to reduce inflammation.

Yes, inflammation can be linked to serious health conditions that can seriously hurt you or even kill you, but it also helps you when you get a paper cut.

This may not seem like a win-win, but let us explain. Here’s more information on what you need to know about inflammation.

What is inflammation in the body and how does it affect you?

Inflammation is your body’s natural response to an infection, injury, allergy, or virus; actually, anything that can cause harm. Your immune system creates inflammation to help protect and heal injury or illness.

In some cases, the inflammation is exactly what you picture in your mind: swelling around a splinter in your finger or redness when you have a sore throat. But you can’t always see the inflammation.

There is two main types of inflammation:

  • Acute inflammation: Inflammation that occurs after a sudden illness or injury. It lasts a short period of time and your body returns to the way it was before the inflammation. This is the inflammation you probably imagined above.

He five signs of acute inflammation are:

      • Pain
      • Redness
      • Swelling
      • Heat
      • Reduced or limited function (e.g., difficulty breathing when you have a chest cold)
  • Chronic inflammation: slow, prolonged inflammation that lasts many months or years. It can travel throughout the body and contribute to various health problems.

signs of Chronic inflamation may include:

      • Body ache
      • Constipation
      • Diarrhea
      • Depression and/or anxiety
      • Fatigue
      • Fever
      • Frequent infections
      • Mood disorders
      • Weight gain or loss

When is inflammation bad for you?

As we said, inflammation can help you heal. But, like almost everything good, it can also hurt you. Chronic inflammation over time can cause damage to organs, tissues and joints, among other problems. For example, investigation shows that inflammation causes plaque to grow and loosen in the arteries, which can cause blood clots and lead to a heart attack or stroke.

This can be especially harmful for women and people assigned female at birth because cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among women living in the US.

Read: Why don’t women receive the same treatment as men for heart disease? >>

Research shows that chronic inflammation is linked to many serious health conditions, including:

In some cases, chronic inflammation occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells. These are called autoimmune diseases. For example, people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) You have painful joint swelling caused by tissue damage due to inflammation. The damage causes chronic pain and a variety of symptoms including stiffness and red, swollen joints.

Why is it important to lower inflammation in the body?

Inflammation can worsen existing symptoms and health conditions.

Investigation shows that people with chronic diseases are less likely to have severe symptoms and symptoms when inflammation levels are under control. Healthy levels of inflammation mean better overall health and a greater chance of fighting off infections as we age.

You can reduce inflammation through lifestyle changes. These may include:

  • Give up smoking
  • keep a healthy weight
  • Exercise at least 20 minutes a day.
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet

Read: What is a heart-healthy diet? >>

What foods reduce inflammation?

What you eat can have a great effect on your inflammation levels, For better or worse. Many delicious foods have excellent anti-inflammatory properties, including some spices such as turmeric and garlic. Other anti-inflammatory options include:

Studies show that people who follow the Mediterranean diet have reduced levels of inflammation. He diet boardPlant-based diets or some combination thereof are also good for helping keep inflammation under control.

What foods cause inflammation?

You may have already guessed it, but it doesn’t look good for burger lovers. Red meat is on the inflammatory list. So are most processed foods (salty, crunchy, and delicious), like potato chips. We’re not saying you can never eat these delicious snacks, but moderation is key.

As a general rule, check the label for the following ingredients in Foods that are bad for inflammation.:

  • added sugar
  • Saturated fats
  • Trans fat
  • omega-6 fatty acids
  • refined carbohydrates
  • Processed meats

Does alcohol cause inflammation?

Another whop, whop. Studies show drinking alcohol, even red wine once thought to have anti-inflammatory properties, may increase inflammation in the body. In fact, last year, the World Heart Federation released a report saying that any amount of alcohol can be bad for your health. Now, we know that for most people it’s not realistic to cut out alcohol completely, but no matter how much you drink, cutting back can always help.

Read: How Much Alcohol is Too Much for Heart Health? >>

It takes work, but harmful inflammation can be reduced through lifestyle and food choices. If you think you may have chronic inflammation, talk to your healthcare provider. Most people are not tested for inflammation, but you can have a blood test to check your levels.

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