What is Inflammation?
As alarming as it may sound, inflammation isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, it’s a natural, protective response your body uses when an injury or infection has occurred. For example, when you cut yourself, the immune system signals for a release of cells that attack bacteria and begin to heal the wound. This is referred to as “acute” inflammation because it happens in response to a specific insult to the body and lasts for only a brief period of time.
On the other hand, inflammation becomes problematic when it’s chronic and doesn’t ease up. The body’s immune response remains constantly activated, but it doesn’t have a specific sickness or injury to repair. Over time, the body’s organs and tissues can become damaged, possibly leading to a higher risk for arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Lifestyle habits that are tied to chronic inflammation include stress, poor eating habits, a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption. The good news is that all of these habits can be controlled, calming the burn of inflammation.