Inflammation is often associated with a red, swollen and painful bruise or cut which we get in freak accidents. But do you know that inflammation doesn’t just happen on areas where we can see them?
In fact, every disease and every pain that we suffer can be traced to inflammation. And you may even be suffering from chronic inflammation now without realizing.
What IS inflammation?
Inflammation is part of our body’s defense system. It protects us from foreign organisms such as viruses, fungi and bacteria by producing pro-inflammatory chemicals that kill off the invaders. Once the invaders have been eliminated, inflammation stops and healing kicks in.
The entire process, called acute inflammation, is essential to keep us alive and help us recover from injuries and illnesses.
However, when the inflammation process goes awry and continues to simmer in our body for a prolonged period, it starts to become detrimental. Known as chronic inflammation, this type of low-grade inflammation is believed to be the root cause of many devastating diseases such as heart diseases, Alzheimer’s and many types of cancer.
What causes chronic inflammation?
What causes acute inflammation to turn chronic? It turns out that many factors are at play.
Inflammation is affected by the…
- foods we eat,
- the level of activity we get,
- the environment we live in,
- the hours of sleep we clock,
- the amount of stress we experience,
- the way we manage our emotions,
- the types of genes we have, our age,
- how much we weigh
- and even how well we get along with others.
Below is a short quiz to help you figure out whether your current lifestyle is promoting chronic inflammation and making you a likely candidate for chronic diseases.
Are you suffering from chronic inflammation? Take the quiz…
For each one you answer yes to place a check in the box.
If you answered ‘yes’ to one or more of the questions, then the way you live may be leaving you more vulnerable to chronic inflammation. Unfortunately, chronic inflammation has no obvious symptoms and it usually goes undetected for years before manifesting into one of the dreaded diseases that plague our society.
But the good news is, you can do something to stop chronic inflammation before it boils over. Although you can’t do anything about your genes and age, you can definitely do something about the other influencing factors.
What to do about chronic inflammation
Begin by including more anti-inflammatory foods in your diet, balance your omega-3 and omega-6 fats intake, avoid highly processed, refined and sugary foods and drinks, and start a three-times-a-week exercise regime. Together, they will help you to maintain a healthy weight and improve your quality of sleep.
It’s also important to manage stress and emotions well by opening your heart and mind, and reach out to others sincerely without expecting any returns. These will help to widen your perspective and increase your satisfaction in life.
If your work constantly exposes you to harmful contaminants, talk to your company to see if anything can be done to cut down the exposure. For the sake of your health, you may even want to consider changing to a less risky job.
The preventive measures to halt chronic inflammation may seem like a lot of work. But the payoffs are definitely worth the efforts. By paying more attention to the way we live, not only do we prevent ourselves from getting a host of debilitating diseases that have claimed many victims, we will also improve our ability to enjoy life more fully and passionately.
Wee Peng Ho used to be sick and tired most of the time despite his best efforts in following conventional health wisdom. After learning how to meditate as a beginner, he realized that an unconscious mind is the root cause of an unhappy and unhealthy life. So he decided to go back to basics, simplify his life and do things that will bring joy to his heart. That's how The Conscious Life is born.
Now, he writes articles to inspire his readers to improve their lives by thinking out of their conditioned mind. He also writes frequently about health topics such as how to reduce inflammation with natural anti inflammatory foods, as well as natural ways to reduce stress, enhance health and restore inner balance. He looks forward to exchanging views on health, consciousness and more with you on his website.
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- Is hidden chronic inflammation making you sick? Take the quiz… - January 12, 2010