Inflammation is a result of the body’s natural defence mechanism, which helps in recovery. However, inflammation doesn’t occur only in response to illness or injury.
The body may also experience an inflammatory reaction when the immune system is triggered, even when there isn’t a wound or illness. Since nothing can be repaired, the immune system cells that normally defend us start to kill healthy blood vessels, organs and joints.
The body reacts by causing inflammation when we don’t eat healthy foods, don’t exercise adequately, or experience too much stress. Long-term damage from chronic inflammation is also possible.
Therefore, diet, sleep hygiene, and level of activity have a significant role in reducing inflammation. Since bad inflammation affects the entire body, minimising it can be one of the best health benefits.
What is inflammation?
Inflammation is the body’s natural defence and healing process. The immune system uses this method to identify and eliminate harmful stimuli and start healing.
The following are two forms of inflammation.
Acute inflammation is the quick immune-system defence reaction that results in swelling and redness around a cut. Acute inflammation rarely lasts longer than two weeks. This helps detect and eliminate harmful bacteria, viruses, or toxins.
Chronic inflammation develops when the body releases inflammatory cells and chemicals, even in the absence of an infection or injury. Since this occurs internally, the symptoms of chronic inflammation are less prominent and might develop gradually over time.
What is low-grade systemic inflammation?
Low-grade systemic inflammation is referred to as bad inflammation. The biological response is similar to acute inflammation but lacks a distinct start, middle, and end. It never ends and persists in our bodies. Things start to get severe at this time.
Low-grade systemic inflammation essentially acts as a gateway to disease. Chronic inflammation is associated with an elevated risk of diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, depression, bipolar disorder and more.
Why should the body fight inflammation?
Many people don’t realise they have a chronic inflammation until they are given a severe illness diagnosis since the symptoms are less prominent.
Since it’s a gradual change that happens over weeks, months, and even years, the person may be unaware of possessing an inflammatory condition. So, the condition only grows worse with time.
Chronic inflammation can harm healthy cells, tissues, and organs if it is not treated. It can also result in internal scarring, tissue death, and damage to the DNA of healthy cells. As a result, conditions like cancer or Type-2 Diabetes may eventually arise.
The need for fighting the inflammation arises to prevent the development of chronic disease conditions.
Ways to prevent inflammation
Consume a healthy anti-inflammatory diet
Food choices are important to general health as any medications or supplements since they can reduce inflammation.
Making wise dietary decisions, such as including fresh produce, like vegetables and fruits and cutting back on processed sugar can have a significant impact.
- Increase the consumption of fruits, vegetables, and foods with omega-3 fatty acids. Cold water fish, such as tuna and salmon, as well as tofu, flax seeds, walnuts and soybeans, are some of the richest sources of omega-3s.
- Other anti-inflammatory foods include grapes, celery, blueberries, garlic, olive oil, tea, and several spices (ginger, rosemary, and turmeric).
- Concentrate on plant-based proteins like beans, nuts, seeds, legumes, and tofu because they are naturally low in fat and high in micronutrients, which may help to lower the impact of inflammatory foods like red meat.
- Given that the type of fat is far more significant than the amount of fat, it is not necessary to stay away from foods that are high in fat. Choose foods high in fat but high in anti-inflammatory fatty acids, including fish, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and hemp seeds.
- Stay away from highly processed foods and added sweeteners. Several inflammatory reactions in the body are linked to excess sugar in the diet. These are most commonly from added or artificial sugars as opposed to natural sugars present organically in foods.
- Instead of eating sweets and sugary packaged foods, focus on healthy foods like cruciferous vegetables. These contain bioactive substances generated from glucosinate, like sulforaphane, that trigger the body’s detoxification systems and anti-inflammatory reactions.
- Increase fibre intake – Consuming high-fibre foods is beneficial as it helps keep people regular and aids in trapping and removing pro-inflammatory substances like excess fat, cholesterol, and sugar from the body.
Get adequate sleep
The body heals itself during sleep by controlling and eliminating low-grade inflammation. For instance, the stomach may feel bloated after a heavy dinner before bed, but it tends to feel normal again after waking up. The inflammatory reaction to the food was controlled overnight by the body.
Genes that are linked to chronic inflammation are raised when our sleep gets restricted due to regular sleep loss. Aim to get at least seven hours of sleep every night for the best possible rejuvenation.
Drink green tea
Green tea has anti-inflammatory properties, which are soothing and good for the heart.
According to studies, drinking green tea can help prevent inflammatory disorders. C-reactive protein levels have been demonstrated to be reduced by green tea.
Take omega-3 fatty acids.
Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (naturally present in foods like fish oil and flaxseed oil) and low in some omega-6 fatty acids, which are present in foods like red meat and dairy products, may help reduce inflammation and protect against diseases like breast cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, and asthma.
Omega-3 fatty acids help prevent the development of pro-inflammatory chemicals. They are also offered as supplements.
Exercising regularly is the most important lifestyle change to reduce chronic inflammation, next to dietary modifications. Regular exercise has been demonstrated to lower C-reactive protein (CRP), a biomarker linked to inflammatory issues in our bodies.
Ensure to get the prescribed 150–300 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75–150 minutes of intensive exercise per week.
People who exercise excessively stress their bodies, which can increase inflammation.
Chronic inflammation is a result of frequently released stress chemicals. The nervous system can be calmed by practising yoga, deep breathing, mindfulness, and other relaxation techniques. Yoga, mindfulness meditation, and writing are a few alternatives.
The first step in lowering inflammation should be making healthy lifestyle changes.
The following methods could reduce inflammation.
- Managing stress
- Refraining from smoking
- Limiting alcohol consumption
- Exercising regularly
- Getting adequate sleep.
Prevent inflammatory conditions
- Infections – Try to avoid circumstances that can cause inflammation, such as infections. Take precautions to avoid infections that can result in chronic inflammation. Examples are COVID-19, HIV, and hepatitis C.
Effective preventive strategies include safer sexual practices, not sharing needles and periodic vaccines.
- Allergies – We can reduce the amount of inflammation in our body by avoiding things that cause asthma, eczema or allergic reactions.
- Cancer – Follow the doctor’s advice and go for regular cancer screenings.
How to treat inflammation?
Inflammatory conditions can benefit from the use of anti-inflammatory medications.
Many FDA-approved choices are readily accessible. Additionally, these medications have been in use for many years.
- The gold standard is corticosteroids, such as prednisone. These strong anti-inflammatory drugs can save lives in several diseases, from allergic reactions to asthma.
- For inflammatory diseases, other anti-inflammatory drugs can also be quite beneficial. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) are available as pills, tablets, oral liquids, treatments applied to the skin, injections, and even suppositories. These include ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin.
However, it is frequently not the best option to treat chronic inflammation only with anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Supplements, including fish oil, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin D, and other nutrients, are helpful.
Turmeric has been known for ages to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Garlic is also excellent for reducing inflammation.
Capsaicin, a compound found in cayenne, can be applied topically to joints to ease pain and inflammation.
Risks to one’s health have been linked to long-term usage of NSAIDS and corticosteroids. So, before taking these or any other medications or dietary supplements, consult a doctor first.
Inflammation is related to several chronic diseases. But, the best course of action isn’t always to reduce inflammation.
We can use methods to combat bad inflammation or prevent it. Always consult a doctor or healthcare professional before using any type of alternative ways, including food, supplements, or dietary changes, to treat inflammation.
Self-medicating for any disease and postponing routine care run the risk of having negative outcomes. So, diagnose or consult a doctor when mild symptoms become apparent and avoid complications.
What are the 5 classic signs of inflammation?
The five cardinal indications of inflammation are
Loss of function.
How do you fight inflammation naturally?
These foods should be a part of an anti-inflammatory diet.
Nuts such as walnuts and almonds.
Green leafy greens like collards, spinach, and kale.
Fatty fish such as sardines, tuna, mackerel and salmon.
Fruits like oranges, cherries, blueberries and strawberries.
What is the fastest way to get rid of inflammation in the body?
Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. This is the easiest way to reduce inflammation. Adequate water will help move the joints more freely, reducing pain.
How do you treat inflammation yourself?
To reduce inflammation in the body,
Eat a lot of foods that reduce inflammation.
Reduce or stop eating foods that cause inflammation.
Manage blood sugar.
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