You’ve probably heard the word ‘chronic inflammation’ tossed around in doctor’s offices and on health blogs – but what exactly does it mean?
WHAT IS CHRONIC INFLAMMATION?
Chronic inflammation left unchecked is a common root cause of health conditions. It has to been linked to many serious diseases like arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer’s. There are two very different types of inflammation. The first is acute, which we described above. In this situation, inflammation is a helpful defense mechanism to protect and heal your body. The other type can be a lot sneakier and affects more people than you might think.
Unlike acute inflammation (think of getting a cut and it instantly becoming inflamed), low grade inflammation occurs overtime and can exist without someone even knowing it’s there, until it suddenly rears its ugly head. When our immune system’s “on” button doesn’t turn off, it goes into overdrive. What happens next is the release of harmful chemicals into your bloodstream that affect your cells, causing inflammation, which overtime, can cause severe damage to your body.
THE 5 MOST COMMON SIGNS OF CHRONIC INFLAMMATION THAT WE SEE IN OUR PRACTICE
Chronic, low grade inflammation can show up in many different ways, but here are 5 of the most common signs we see in our practice:
SIGNS OF CHRONIC INFLAMMATION #1:
BODY ACHES AND PAINS
A common sign of low grade inflammation is general body aches and pains. These symptoms can be a sign that there’s something deeper going on in your body, so they are worth paying attention to. Long term inflammation can also cause damage to your joints over time and cause your tissues to “wear and tear”. If you’re experiencing any aches/pains/general discomfort, feel free to book a FIIX treatment with us any time!
SIGNS OF CHRONIC INFLAMMATION #2:
There are many studies that suggest inflammation can contribute to heavy, painful periods. As women, we have something called prostaglandins. When everything is in balance, they can be very helpful when it comes to things like damaged blood vessels and reproductive health. However, when we have too many, it can lead to inflammation and cause stronger, more painful menstrual contractions. Or better known as… cramps.
SIGNS OF CHRONIC INFLAMMATION #3:
When our gut gets inflamed, we can experience digestive systems like stomach pain, constipation, gas, bloating, food allergies and more. Inflammation in the gut can lead to things like dysbiosis (an imbalance of bacteria in the gut) and/or a permeable gut lining (aka leaky gut), which allows toxins, undigested food particles etc. to travel into our bloodstream, triggering an immune response and causing body-wide inflammatory conditions.
SIGNS OF CHRONIC INFLAMMATION #4:
When it comes to low mood, inflammation is a potential causing factor to consider. Inflammation can not only affect your gut, but also your brain chemistry, which can alter how you think, respond and feel. In many cases, because of the gut-brain axis, when our gut is permeable, our brain function is also affected. So, equally as important as making lifestyle changes to support our gut health, we can do things like implement stress management strategies to give our brain and nervous system a helping hand (yep, stress and inflammation are also linked!).
SIGNS OF CHRONIC INFLAMMATION #5:
Are you ever tired in the middle of the day “for no reason”, or wake up feeling foggy? When cells are inflamed, they can’t produce the same amount of energy you would need to feel refreshed and rejuvenated. As a result, you can experience things like fatigue, low, energy, headaches and brain fog.
HOW TO ADDRESS INFLAMMATION
Through advanced functional medicine testing, we can identify the source of the inflammation and create a plan of action to PUT OUT the fire – through things like targeted therapeutic supplementation, diet changes, stress management and so on. Here at TMB, we can address inflammation through a few different avenues, depending on the patient:
HOW TO ADDRESS INFLAMMATION #1:
Acupuncture at TMB is used to address the root cause of body dysfunction, including sources of pain, with personalized treatment plans. Did you know that acupuncture has powerful points that decrease inflammation? The insertion of needles in the correct places for that person can powerfully down-regulate chemicals involved in inflammation, while simultaneously promoting anti-inflammatory effects through certain neural pathways.
HOW TO ADDRESS INFLAMMATION #2:
FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE TESTING
Through advanced functional medicine testing, we can find the root cause of inflammation which can be anything from a stealth infection in the gut, lack of certain nutrients like amino acids (protein), excess free-radical damage, poor estrogen detox, excess cortisol and more. From here, we create a personalized plan of action to get you on a healthier path through diet, supplement and lifestyle changes.
COME VISIT US AT TMB
Want to learn more about how functional medicine can help upgrade your health, specifically related to chronic inflammation? Contact us today for a free consultation with our functional medicine practitioners.
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