You’ve heard it before: Too much of a good thing can become a problem. This week, we’re diving into a natural healing mechanism that can quickly spiral out of control: inflammation. Technically, inflammation is a good thing – it’s a biological process that protects your body from bacteria and viruses. However, too much inflammation can quickly become a problem if the body tries to attack its own healthy tissues. When this happens, it can lead to autoimmune disease, cancer and other complications. Excessive inflammation is extremely common, but it can also be sneaky. Read on to learn more about the symptoms and treatment of sneaky inflammation through functional medicine in Springfield Missouri.
What Is Inflammation?
As mentioned above, inflammation is part of your body’s natural immune response. It’s useful in healing and fighting infection, but it can also become a problem over time. There are two different types of inflammation:
- Acute inflammation is your body’s response to injury (cuts, scrapes and other strains), illness or high-intensity activity like weight lifting. The body responds by increasing blood flow to the affected region to speed up healing. Acute inflammation typically lasts a few days to a few weeks depending on the severity of the condition.
- Chronic inflammation occurs when the body fails to address the source of acute inflammation. This can also occur when the body’s immune responses are in overdrive, which takes place with autoimmune disorders, environmental hazards or chronic medical conditions like allergies or asthma.
Chronic Inflammation Symptoms
Unlike acute inflammation, chronic inflammation can have long-term, full-body effects. Many chronic inflammation sufferers have begun producing a steady level of inflammation throughout their bodies, which can play a major role in developing disease. While some inflammation symptoms like pain and swelling are obvious, other symptoms might not be as noticeable. There are a few sneaky inflammation symptoms to look out for:
- Digestions issues like bloating, diarrhea and abdominal pain
- Skin rashes like eczema or psoriasis
- Consistent aches and pains
Causes of Chronic Inflammation
You’ve noticed one or more symptoms of chronic inflammation. But what could possibly be causing it? There are several underlying causes that we see in patients with chronic inflammation:
- Pathogens that the body cannot break down
- Inflammation-causing foods
- Gluten: This grain protein is the most common cause of inflammation as a result of diet. In many people, gluten contributes to microscopic gut irritants – think of it as lots of tiny paper cuts within your gut lining.
- Dairy: Our bodies struggle to break down dairy proteins, leading to inflammation.
- Sugar: Sugar has been proven to increase the production of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), molecules that trigger inflammation.
- Soy: Soy contains phytic acid, which can bind to minerals and inhibit food absorption. Those unabsorbed food partials can inflame or infect the gut lining.
Treating Chronic Inflammation
Chronic inflammation can eventually cause several serious diseases and conditions including cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease to name a few. Fortunately, it’s possible to treat inflammation before it reaches that point. Start by addressing any known food allergies – consuming foods you’re allergic to will greatly increase your body’s overall inflammatory response. You can also work with a doctor to identify food unknown sensitivities, which can lead to poor intestinal permeability or Leaky Gut Syndrome.
Sneaky inflammation has serious side effects. Fortunately, it’s seriously treatable. If you’re concerned about chronic inflammation, reach out to Kare Health and Wellness at 417-881-4994. Our goal is twofold: to improve your immediate health and prevent future health issues through functional medicine in Springfield Missouri. Our patient-centered approach and innovative solutions – like personalized inflammation testing and treatment – will have you feeling better in no time.