Written By Caroline Groth
If you’re someone who values health and strives to live your life at above-average functioning levels, chances that you’ve heard about Chronic Inflammation and the damaging effects it can have on the body & mind if it’s persistently occurring on a longterm basis, are big.
So, what is inflammation really all about?
Your immune system activates when your body recognises anything that is foreign – such as bacterias (good or bad). This often triggers a process called inflammatory response. Intermittent bouts of inflammatory responses directed at threatening invaders is positive, because it protects your health – that’s what we have our immune system for.
However, sometimes the inflammatory response persists, day in and day out, even when you are not threatened by a foreign invader. That’s when inflammation becomes your enemy and turns into chronic inflammation. Many major diseases that are on the rise worldwide – including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression, and Alzheimer’s – have been linked to chronic inflammation, according to studies conducted by leading researchers. Not to mention the rise in chronic digestive, GI and gut-related diseases have exponentially risen in the last decade and chronic inflammation is part of this cycle.
To paint the picture clearer; imagine if you kept training an exact same injured muscle every single day without getting enough rest time to let your body repair between workouts. The inflammation would never go down, because you’d constantly be re-injuring yourself.
That’s exactly what happens if you keep irritating your gut lining (for example, with foods you’re sensitive to or that isn’t healthy for our bodies). The injury is constantly being repeated, three meals a day (or more) 365 days a year.
Acute inflammation isn’t a problem if the inflammatory response flares up and then dies down. But chronic inflammation can actually be a symptom that causes problems of its own.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell the cause from the effect: most chronic diseases come along with inflammation, but is it the inflammation that causes the disease, or the disease that causes the inflammation? But for at least a few, there’s some evidence that inflammation is actually the cause.