I had chronic medical conditions (fibromyalgia/heart arrhythmia) lurking in my body long before I was aware of them. Just recently I went for an adrenal check-up wondering if that was part of my chronic fatigue. The doctor said my adrenals were fine – I breathed a sigh of relief. He went on to announce that I had Hashimoto’s Disease. I was floored to learn my immune system was destroying my thyroid gland without even telling me.
What do heart disease, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, gout, asthma, and other chronic conditions have in common? Inflammation!
Get the facts about inflammation and what it’s doing to your health BEFORE it kicks you where it hurts.
The Dangers of Inflammation*
There are two kinds of inflammation—acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term). While acute inflammation is an essential part of the healing process, chronic inflammation can lead to many of the health conditions plaguing people today.
Linked to chronic disease. It turns out inflammation is a key player in a wide range of chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, psoriasis, and inflammatory bowel disease.
Allergies can lead to inflammation. Sometimes the immune system becomes hypersensitive to allergens like dust and pollen. Repeated exposure to these allergens can lead to inflammation, which, left unchecked, can cause tissue damage.
Inflammation and your joints . In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, the body’s immune system attacks itself, leading to inflammation that can damage tissues. The inflammation associated with gout can, over the long-term, cause joint damage and a loss of mobility.
The effect of inflammation on the brain. Even your brain is susceptible to inflammation. inflammation can alter blood flow to the brain, leading to tissue damage and cognitive decline. Inflammation can also lead to the creation of damaging proteins linked to Alzheimer’s.
Besides medicines, there are powerful anti-inflammatory “influencers”—such as eating fruits, vegetables, and nuts, minimizing stress, getting more sleep, and quitting smoking—which can help you take charge of chronic inflammation and prevent or reduce its damaging effects.
*Understanding Inflammation. guide from the experts at Harvard Medical School