The human body is designed to cope with short-term inflammation. For example, when we sprain an ankle or cut a finger, the affected area turns red, swells and becomes hot & sore. This inflammatory reaction is our immune response in overdrive, attempting to fight off infection and creating a protective cushion around the injury while it heals.
Imagine if you kept injuring yourself in the same part of your body repetitively. The result would be unresolved chronic inflammation. Some inflammation in our bodies is invisible, eg. in the gut. We may experience signs & symptoms like diarrhoea, constipation, excess wind, bloat, etc, but we don’t see the inflammatory reaction. An inflammatory ‘snowball effect’ may be occurring internally and the longer it remains unresolved, the more inflammation can interfere with normal functions in the body.
The snowball effect or ‘inflammatory fire’ needs to be put out. The main reason for reducing inflammation is to reduce the associated pain. Niggling issues, such as gut or joint discomfort, can be treated to avoid the snowball effect occurring.
You can also modify or avoid some dietary & lifestyle factors, that contribute to the inflammatory load including:
- Being an unhealthy weight
- Consuming a diet high in refined, processed carbs
- Consuming trans fats (eg. fried or fast foods, packaged baked goods, some margarines)
- Being sleep deprived
- Regularly consuming excess alcohol, caffeine, sugar &/or salt
- Experiencing ongoing digestive issues
- Ongoing psychological stress
- Sitting for lengthy periods of time (eg. at a computer at work, in front of the TV)