One of the most dangerous but natural aspects of life is systemic inflammation. In small doses, inflammation is how the body heals itself. However, when chronic and unchecked, it can shorten our lifespans. As such, it’s something we all should be aware of.
What Is Systemic Inflammation?
Sometimes called chronic inflammation, systemic inflammation is where the body is slightly swollen for an extended period of time. Usually, the body swells in response to an injury, flooding the area with white blood cells to fight off infection. However, systemic inflammation affects the entire body, without signs of a visible injury, and does not reduce. If left unaddressed, systemic inflammation can cause the body to attack itself. Given this, it’s important to look out for symptoms of this chronic condition, such as frequent tiredness, aching, being sick often, regular stomach problems, depression, or weight gain you cannot shake.
The Dangers of Inflammation
As Healthline explains, systemic inflammation is incredibly dangerous. Over time, it damages the body, causing the white blood cells to attack healthy organs and tissue. This can lead to issues such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, obesity, arthritis, asthma, and age-related degeneration like Alzheimer’s. At a cellular level, it also increases the body’s toxicity and can be a contributing factor to premature and avoidable illness.
The Causes of Inflammation
Knowing the causes of inflammation can be the first step to fighting it. Sometimes, it’s beyond our control since a renegade protein might lead to inflammation, as can your body’s response to a prolonged illness of sickness. In fact, the state of our gut health — and even breathing in air pollution regularly — can be factors. Yet, other causes, like obesity, lack of exercise, stress, and smoking are within our control. Luckily, regardless of the reasons, there are steps you can take to overcome the risks of this systemic condition.
Improve Your Gut
One of the best ways to stop swelling is to look after your gut microbiome, as it does more than just digest food. Indeed, the microbiome consists of helpful bacteria in your digestive tract, often called the body’s second brain. These bacteria impact your emotional wellness as well as your overall health, including your immune system, and, thereby, levels of inflammation. Fortunately, one approach to get your gut back on track is to add prebiotics and probiotics to your diet. A prebiotic is a nondigestible fiber that helps to clean your gut while probiotics are live cultures that we consume to nourish the healthy bacteria in our microbiome. By adding these supplements, we can decrease the extent of our inflammation.
Another tactic you can use to tackle this issue is to practice moderate exercise. Even just quick walking for 20 minutes a day can be the physical boost you need to get yourself back in gear. Best of all, when you regularly commit to being active, your body triggers a process that suppresses the creation of white blood cells, which limits your exposure to chronic inflammation.
Cut Down Stress
While stress can serve a purpose by getting us through rough times, prolonged anxiety can dramatically increase inflammation. To tone down your stress, you need to engage in activities that bring you peace and relaxation. For instance, you could meditate daily, sleep more, talk to your loved ones weekly, take work breaks, or even pick up a hobby. Moreover, you could try something calming, such as tinkering in the garden or making art. So, add fun into your life to positively impact it in many ways, none the least of which is decreasing inflammation.
Don’t let systemic inflammation ruin your well-being. With a few changes, you can refocus and increase your wellness. Inside and out, you deserve to have a fulfilling and healthy existence.
Image via Pexels