All About Inflammation
To discuss inflammation and ways to treat it, we first have to define it.
There are two types of inflammation: acute and chronic. Acute inflammation occurs over seconds, minutes, hours, and days, and chronic inflammation occurs over longer times.
Acute inflammation begins within seconds to minutes following the injury of tissues. The damage may be purely physical, or it may involve the activation of an immune response. Three main processes occur:
- Increased blood flow due to dilation of blood vessels (arterioles) supplying the region
- Increased permeability of the capillaries, allowing fluid and blood proteins to move into the interstitial spaces
- Migration of neutrophils (and perhaps a few macrophages) out of the capillaries and venules and into interstitial spaces
What is silent inflammation?
Silent inflammation is chronic inflammation. Three of the biggest risk factors for cardiovascular disease are also SIGNS of silent inflammation; High Cholesterol, High Blood Pressure and High Blood Sugar.
This type of inflammation can wreak havoc on your bodily systems. It’s called ‘silent’ because symptoms don’t show up until serious problems have already developed.
Researchers believe silent Inflammation is associated with many health conditions. Many scientific studies suggest a link between chronic inflammation and health conditions such as: arthritis, allergies, bronchitis, Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative colitis and kidney disorders.
How Can You Tell How Much Silent Inflammation You Have?
The only way to know how much silent inflammation you have is to take a blood test that measures the amounts of both arachidonic acid (AA) and eicosapentaenoic (EPA) in your body. AA is a specific type of omega-6, and EPA is just a specific type of omega-3.
Top Inflammation Triggers
Carrying excess weight
It makes sense that when you pack on a few too many pounds, your fat cells begin to bulge. These cells then cry for help to your immune system. Certain white blood cells respond to the alarm and inflame the cells that called for help. Over time that inflammation can make healthy cells resistant to insulin (the hormone that regulates blood sugar), which in turn can lead to diabetes. What's more, those unneeded white blood cells can start to leak into the bloodstream, eventually aggravating your liver. When you eat a lot of saturated and trans fats, what you're essentially doing is upping your inflammation risk.
Experiencing high anxiety
Sudden bouts of anxiety can lead to heightened levels of inflammation. That's because the parts of your brain involved in sensing pain are also activated by social stress. Other recent studies show that some people who suffer from long-term anxiety or depression also experience regular spikes in inflammation.
Breathing bad air
Smog and living near a congested traffic area can wreak havoc on your immune system. But much is a cigarette habit; tobacco smoke is such an assault on the lungs that the immune system rushes in to fix the damage. Often, though, it overcompensates and, rather than healing, the white blood cells end up on an offensive that can eventually lead to lung disease.
Top Inflammation Fighters
Whether you have been diagnosed with a condition linked to inflammation or simply want to decrease your risk of developing an inflammatory condition, you can lower inflammation levels through:
Eating omega-3 fatty acids.
Munching on fruits and vegetables.
Boosting your mood.