Inflammation affects every aspect of your health, but how often do we hear about it? Most of the time we put down our ailments to lack of sleep or low energy, but have you stopped and considered something else may be going on?
You may have chronic inflammation and not even know it.
Here’s what you need to know to improve your overall health.
What is inflammation?
Inflammation is our body’s response to injury, and we can usually tell a part of our body is inflamed when it is red, hot, swollen and we can’t move it properly. However inflammation can also occur inside our body in a much more insidious way, where we don’t even know it is happening. Fatigue and pain are the classic signs that there’s too much inflammation in your body.
But there’s more: your body could be giving you even more subtle signs that you should be paying attention to.
Symptoms of chronic inflammation
Aches and pains
Aches and pains in your muscles and joints are telltale signs of inflammation in your body. And while fibromyalgia and arthritis are symptoms of excess inflammation, generalised pain when getting out of bed in the morning is another symptom and should be addressed.
Are you often tired? Many people brush it aside as a symptom of stress or busyness but it’s also a typical sign of inflammation. Your body is working hard to fight what it thinks is an injury, in turn making you tired.
Inflamed, red skin
It seems obvious however many do not associate external redness as internal inflammation. These symptoms can be caused by allergies, autoimmune disease or be due to an unhealthy diet.
Science has proven the link between depression and chronic inflammation. Chemicals produced during inflammation, called cytokines, spark neurological symptoms that essentially mirror those of depression.
Fat cells are actually able to produce many of the same chemicals your immune cells make while your immune system is trying to battle with an infection. If you have a lot of fat on your body you’ll produce a lot more of these chemicals 24 hours a day. Unfortunately those inflammatory chemicals tend to create insulin resistance, which makes losing weight extremely difficult.
Your stomach hurts
Natural ways to reduce inflammation
Eat more whole foods
Refined sugar and flour and processed foods are no good for your body and cause inflammation. Instead, try adding a variety of plant-based whole foods to your diet. These foods will give your body the vitamins, minerals, cancer-fighting phytochemicals, antioxidants and fibre it needs to recover from chronic inflammation.
Identify and address food allergies
Try to identify potential food sensitivities and/or infections with your doctor. If your body is working to cope and fight these allergies everyday, you will have inflammation.
Gluten, soy, dairy, eggs and yeast are common food allergens, so determine how you feel when you eat, and talk to your doctor about an elimination diet.
Being overweight will result in a far greater production of inflammatory chemicals in your body. If you base your diet on the foods listed above, you’ll find it much easier to lose weight and also enjoy exercise!
There’s nothing like a good sleep to restore your body and help it to relax and repair. Loss of sleep negatively impairs your immune system in the long term. Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night and try to be in bed before 11pm. Here’s some sleep remedies that may help.