A lot goes on inside your body of which you are not aware. You may notice symptoms and think that you are just getting old. But consider … is there a fire smoldering inside your body? Could that be the reason for your symptoms?
That smoldering fire refers to inflammation. Inflammation can be friend or foe.
What Is Inflammation?
Inflammation is part of the body’s inherent immune response. When it’s acute – meaning “severe and sudden onset” in medical terms – it’s the body’s natural defense and generally disappears in a few days. Without inflammation, wounds would just fester and infections could be deadly.
When inflammation flares up but does not recede it become chronic. This can happen when the infection is not treated, or the body is struggling with autoimmune activation, or exposure to irritants continues indefinitely.
What Does It Feel Like?
We all are familiar with the symptoms of acute inflammation. They typically include pain, redness, swelling, and often heat in the affected area.
When inflammation is occurring in an internal organ, only some of these signs may be noticeable. When not clearly identified, internal inflammation can continue unchecked and become chronic.
According to a scientific article published in 2012, “An increasing body of evidence shows that chronic inflammation causes and advances many common diseases.” Arthritis is inflammation of the joints. Heart disease is inflammation of the arteries. Asthma is inflammation of the bronchia, and the list goes on.
What are some signs of chronic inflammation? They would include fatigue, chest pain, abdominal pain, fever, rash, joint pain and even mouth sores. Have you noticed any of these personally?
What Foods Increase Inflammation?
Might you be contributing to chronic inflammation by your food choices or a sedentary lifestyle? Food can definitely fuel the fire, whether the ingredients in the food or your body’s immune response to the food in general. Some of the culprits include:
Refined carbohydrates or flour-based foods – breads, crackers, pasta, and cereal are high-glycemic foods that raise your blood sugar and trigger inflammation. Some are also sensitive to gluten in these foods.
Sugar – in whatever form (sucrose, fructose, dextrose, etc.) triggers inflammation more directly.
Partially-hydrogenated oils – are often included in processed foods with refined carbs and sugar.
High Omega 6 oils – such as corn, soy, peanut, vegetable, safflower or sunflower oils can trigger the body to produce pro-inflammatory chemicals.
Casein – some with inflammatory issues such as arthritis or asthma find improvement in their symptoms when they eliminate dairy products from their diet.
Aspartame – one of several artificial sweeteners which can prompt an inflammatory attack when your body views the chemical as a “foreign substance”. Sucralose is an artificial sweetener that damages the gut microbiome and can hinder proper function of the immune system.
Is there a fire smoldering inside you? Modern medicine focuses on treating symptoms rather than addressing the root cause of disease, which is often inflammation. If you suspect chronic inflammation may be at play in your body, you can start to address the root cause by eliminating these foods or ingredients from your diet.
In times like these, you need your immune system working for you, not against you. When it’s fighting on multiple fronts, it can’t effectively address new intruders on your behalf. A health coach trained in functional medicine can help you dig deeper to resolve inflammation and improve your immune system’s effectiveness.