There is no question that chronic inflammation is fuelling chronic diseases today. Nearly HALF of ALL adults, 50% of adults have AT LEAST 1 chronic disease. Up to 40% have 2 or more chronic diseases. I will let you take a minute to let that sink in. This is A LOT!
Chronic inflammation can lead to several chronic diseases that collectively represent the leading causes of disability and mortality worldwide, such as stroke, cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative disorders, cancer, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and fibromyalgia.
What is Inflammation?
A normal type of inflammation we experience is called “acute inflammation”. This is when our body may experience an injury or trauma and as a safety mechanism it signals an immune response to help the body recover. With the white blood cells flooding the area of injury, you may experience redness, swelling, aching/pain.
However, chronic inflammation sneaks in when the body doesn’t shut off this response, when the white blood cells continue to flood your system. Chronic inflammation is when there is a sub-inflammation going on in our bodies 24/7. The white blood cells can actually then turn on and start attacking healthy tissue at a cellular, organ or systematic level.
This creates a decreased immune response. The immune system will not be able to function at its highest level.
You may develop sickness behaviours which are designed to conserve energy; fatigue, increased blood pressure, insulin resistance, decreased food intake, decreased libido, sadness, social-behaviour withdrawal.
GOOD NEWS: Chronic inflammation can be reversed and prevented!
The primary factors involved in chronic inflammation are lifestyle factors! We also call these “modifiable risk factors”. Why? Because they can be modified by us! We can change how much inflammation is present in our body.
Common lifestyle or modifiable risk factors include movement/exercise, what we are feeding our body, nutrition, sleep, social isolation, stress and exposure to xenobiotics such as air pollutants, hazardous waste products, industrial chemicals and smoking/tobacco.
If we have low-none physical activity, a poor diet, lack of sleep, social isolation, increased stress and exposure to xenobiotics the most common consequences are metabolic syndrome, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer, depression, autoimmune disease, neurodegenerative diseases, sarcopenia and osteoporosis.
What are 3 simple things we can try to improve in our daily lives to reverse/prevent chronic inflammation? I’m glad you asked!
MOVE, EAT WELL AND SLEEP better!
Move every single day. Stay as active as possible. If you can’t move without pain, see your local chiropractor (AKA movement specialist)! All of this begins with movement!
Eat right – what you put into your body really matters! Focus on fruits, vegetable, antioxidants, foods with low sugar content, less processed foods and ANTI-inflammatory foods.
When you sleep, this is the time your body rests and recovers. Try to gain 7-8 hours of sleep recovery each night.
By adding these three lifestyle changes into your daily routine you will be less prone to getting sick, you will feel better, have more energy and you will overall be more healthy!
To recap, chronic inflammation is something that can be reversed and PREVENTED. Let us switch the mindset of “let’s try to fix it when it’s broken” to “let’s prevent this from even happening!”. As an evidence-based chiropractor, please let me know how I can support you in this new model of preventative health care.