The Complete Guide to Treating Inflammation Through Diet
Inflammation is our immune systems way of alerting our body to something wrong. While ‘Acute’ Inflammation – as a result of a cut, scrape and physical injury – is a normal part of the healing process, chronic inflammation, however, is a sign of a more serious underlying problem with potentially serious consequences.
While there is much discussion over whether chronic inflammation is a symptom or a cause in many of the health conditions it has been linked to – it should be taken as a warning sign that the immune response is not working as it should.
Understanding Chronic Inflammation
Unlike acute inflammation – chronic inflammation usually develops as a result of one or a combination of the following:
- Stress and environmental toxicity such as pollution of our air, land and water.
- Medicines and vaccines, such as antibiotics and proton pump inhibitors acid reflux drugs
- Poor lifestyle choices, e.g. lack of exercise, smoking, high alcohol consumption and poor oral hygiene.
- Diet – typically high in sugar, saturated fat, processed foods and lacking in fiber and diversity
It is usually linked with
- Dysbiosis, an imbalance of bacteria in your gut that causes your immune system to overreact.
- Autoimmune diseases, e.g. lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and inflammatory bowel disease.
Causes of Chronic Inflammation
Your immune system is programmed to protect your body from attacks by bacteria, viral agents, parasites, and other pathogens. Whenever it detects an intruder, it reacts to try and drive it from the body.
Inflammation – the most common form of defense to intruders – is when the tissue surrounding the affected part of the body heats up in an effort to drive out the intruder. However, the effect of the inflammation can be as uncomfortable for you as it is for the intruder, causing pain and swelling along with increased heat in the affected region.
Inflammation can also lead to secondary infections and even sepsis, and either of these can become serious threats to your health.
General low-grade food allergies and sensitivities can also trigger the development of intestinal inflammation, especially if you’re eating the wrong diet over an extended period of time.
Symptoms of Chronic Bowel Inflammation
So, how would you know if you’re suffering from gastrointestinal inflammation, and whether following an anti-inflammatory food diet has the potential to help? Common signs and symptoms include:
- Nausea or recurrent upset stomach.
- Reduced appetite and unexpected weight loss.
- Indications of blood in the diarrhea.
- Bloating and pain in the abdomen
- Indigestions and gastric reflux
- Hiccups or belching
- Loss of appetite with a burning or gnawing sensation in the stomach
- Fever and tiredness