Inflammation is one of those buzzwords that gets thrown around left and right - but what does it actually mean? Inflammation is essentially our bodies' response to threats from things like stress, injury, infection, and toxins. When the immune system senses one of these threats, it responds by releasing chemical messengers into the body that promote inflammation and are meant to protect us. (1)
Acute inflammation is a healthy and essential process for our bodies. This type of inflammation is generally short-lived, and helps us to heal and fight infection. Classic signs of acute inflammation might be pain, swelling and burning after falling down and scraping your knee or cutting your finger. (1,2)
Chronic inflammation occurs when the immune system is permanently turned “on” and is constantly releasing pro-inflammatory messengers into the body that can be damaging in the long term. Chronic inflammation is associated with an increased risk for arthritis, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, digestive issues, autoimmune disease, skin issues, depression and mood disorders, sleep disorders, excess weight gain, allergies, chronic fatigue and more! (1,2)
Chronic inflammation can be caused by a number of dietary and environmental factors. It would be impossible to eliminate ALL triggers of inflammation, but there are things we can do on a daily basis to minimize the risk for chronic inflammation and promote a better balance for the immune system. Below are my Top Ten Diet and Lifestyle Tips for Reducing Chronic Inflammation.