Inflammation is a bit of a big term. It is often blamed as the culprit or a contributor to many modern ailments. Inflammation is a reactionary component of the immune system that the body employs to protect itself. There are many things we consume and/or do to our bodies that signal this immune reaction.
For example, consider an acute (recent) injury like banging your elbow on a sharp corner. You will likely experience a localized inflammatory reaction. The signs of this reaction are redness, swelling, heat, and pain. In this acute setting, your body is activating the immune response and drawing internal attention to this injury to protect you from further injury. This kind of inflammation is easy to identify.
Similar to obvious injury, inflammation reactions can happen inside our body in areas that we can’t see or always feel happening, like in our hearts, our blood vessels, or our digestive tracts. Sometimes we are so used to feeling a certain way that we may not even notice that some of the choices we make are causing a low level inflammatory reaction. The human body is always trying to maintain equilibrium, so it will do it’s best to adapt for as long as it can. However, it will often get to a point that is no longer sustainable and our health begins to suffer.
Inflammation is a much larger topic, but unchecked and ongoing inflammation can lead to cancer, heart disease, and mental health disorders to name a few. This is why you may often hear health experts talking about reducing inflammation. We are familiar with over the counter medications called NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) being effective at pain relief by altering the inflammatory process. Interestingly enough, there is a recent clinical trial studying the effects that anti-inflammatory medications have on treating depression. See:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/09/08/depression-physical-illness-could-treated-anti-inflammatory/
If you are interested in reducing inflammation without pharmaceutical medications, you may try the following:
- Eating an anti-inflammatory diet, focusing on whole unprocessed foods
- Adequate rest/sleep
- Practicing mindfulness meditation
If you are interested in how inflammation may be influencing your health; evaluating labs that can determine your current levels of inflammation and /or potential causes of inflammation; we at Amber Wellness Group would love to help you with an individualized plan to reduce your inflammation and improve your overall health.