You’ve probably read articles about the dangers of chronic inflammation. If not, this comment by Russell Tracy, Professor of Pathology and Biochemistry, at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, sums up the medical consensus:
“Inflammatory factors predict virtually all bad outcomes in humans … having heart attacks, having heart failure, becoming diabetic … becoming fragile in old age … cognitive function decline, even cancer to a certain extent.”
The problem is that chronic inflammation is internal – as opposed to the external inflammation that’s triggered by a cut or insect sting. It is an insidious and dangerous threat because it builds up slowly in body tissues over years.
Doctors call it ‘sub-clinical’ – meaning that is undetectable without tests like C-reactive protein (CRP) or Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR).
How to tell whether you have chronic inflammation
So how, without a medical test, or waiting until a serious problem like heart failure or even Alzheimer’s develops, can you know if chronic inflammation is a risk factor for you?
Some signs of chronic inflammation are:
- Chronic fatigue and low energy
- Muscle and joint pain or swelling and redness
- Mood issues including anxiety and depression
- Memory problems and difficulty in focusing
- Weight gain
- Frequent diarrhoea, pain in your abdomen or Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Difficulty falling asleep, waking up in the middle of the night, or restless sleep
- Chronic allergies and asthma that require frequent medications
- Chronic skin issues like acne, eczema, reddening skin, or hives
If symptoms like any of these are persistent but ignored, and the smouldering inflammation is allowed to continue unchecked, it can eventually become overt in the form of a heart attack, stroke, cancer, arthritis or Alzheimer’s disease. Chronic brain inflammation is often seen in people with this type of dementia.
Another ‘test’ is age. Most people over the age of about 50 have some degree of inflammation.
Prevention is (much) better than cure
Fortunately there is an answer. That is to adopt an anti-inflammatory diet that counteracts and can reverse inflammation. This free e-book gives you the plan. It’s written by Dr Paul Clayton, former Chair of the Forum on Health at the Royal Society of Medicine.
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