If we think of Acute inflammation as the 'goodies', and Chronic inflammation as the 'baddies' it makes it simple.
The body NEEDS acute inflammation to help it recover from accidents, viruses etc. It works to protect us from foreign invaders and make sure that we are able to heal naturally. If we bang our head and a bump forms, it is protecting us and a sign of acute inflammation. The bump will go down and things back to normal with time and little assistance.
Chronic inflammation however, is not necessary. In fact, it leads to all sorts of ailments and chronic diseases which can be fatal further down the line (as well as worsen pre-diagnosed conditions already present in the body).
The good news though, is that one can control levels of inflammation in the body, by simply changing their lifestyle.
Food, movement, sleep, hydration + stress levels all have a major role to play in the level of inflammation present in the body... if we become conscious as to how these things affect it for better/worse - then we can learn to control them too.
"The reason inflammation is so critical is that it has been found to be a player in almost every chronic disease, which affect approximately 133 million Americans, representing more than 40% of the total population of the United States." Lilli Link MD
This figure should worry you, but the good news is that we are able to reduce chronic inflammation through our lifestyle choices and is available to everyone.
How to spot whether you have chronic inflammation?
- painful, stiff joints
- bloodshot eyes
- water retention
- puffy, swollen face
- excess mucus
- chronic fatigue
- anxiety, depression or low mood
- skin rashes
- poor digestion or bloating
- low energy
How to reduce chronic inflammation?
- Keep hydrated (average - 2 litres per day but this depends on your height and weight)
- Avoid High Intensity exercise because this produces cortisol (the stress hormone) and increases inflammation in the body
-Increase Low Intensity exercise (walking + gentle pilates/yoga as this helps to reduce inflammation).
- Avoid processed foods, sugar, grains and dairy/lactose products
- Avoid caffeine, carbonated drinks and alcohol
- Increase protein portions
- Meditate & practice gratitude to reduce stress and calm the nervous system
-Sleep between 7-9 hours per night
If you are looking for further support and guidance to reduce inflammation, you can get in touch to sign up to a 6-week-plan here.