You may have a general idea of what inflammation feels or looks like when you experience it. But do you understand why a given body part gets inflamed or swollen in the first place? Inflammation occurs as part of the body's response to harmful stimuli with the purpose of eliminating whatever is causing cell injury. If the condition causing acute inflammation does not get resolved, chronic inflammation may ensue, resulting in much physical discomfort for the suffering individual. When you understand the potential causes of chronic inflammation, you may be able to help prevent its onset.
Obesity is time and again linked with low-grade, chronic inflammation. When fat cells start to expand, you get fatter, leaving your body in a constantly swollen state. Your body doesn't like this extra stress, so white blood cells rush to help. Unfortunately, if you do not lose weight soon enough, healthy cells stop responding to the hormone that regulates blood sugar, and then the body may suffer from something a lot more dangerous than inflammation: diabetes. White blood cells that were there to help you now enter the bloodstream and start damaging your liver.
Sudden and unexpected unpleasant situations can cause stress and high anxiety. Emotional stress in the form of night sweats or a panic attack usually signals cortisol-prompted inflammation. Cortisol is a hormone that dilates the blood vessels when a threat is perceived. Inflammation spreads even faster when under stress because even if you do not feel any physical pain, your brain detects that your change in emotions and causes inflammation as a by-product of trying to protect you.
Chronic inhalation of bad air has been associated with increased morbidity from ischemic cardiovascular events. Living in a polluted area means a higher chance of developing diabetes because bad air causes inflammation. Moreover, cigarette smoking exposes your lung function and airways to bad air, leaving the immune system to try to repair itself constantly, without any success.
Red meat and sugar are very hard for the body to digest. It takes hours of hard work and a lot of stomach acid to properly deal with such meals. Inflammation can result if you don't eat foods your body can process more easily, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
If you have insomnia, your body secretes inflammatory cytokines at a higher rate than those who do not experience insomnia. During sleep, the body regenerates, and the immune system calms down. Lack of restorative sleep is a major promoter of inflammation. People with rheumatoid arthritis or other autoimmune disorders experience this when lack of sleep due to pain associated with their condition promotes further flare-ups and more pain.
Certain food can trigger allergies. For example, some people are allergic to casein, found in milk, or to gluten, found in wheat. If these ingredients cause an inflammatory response when you ingest them. The only thing you can do is avoid them. Some foods, including sunflower oils, soy or peanuts, can cause inflammation to anyone if used excessively.
Imbalance of hormones — estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone — may cause inflammation. Menopausal women often gain weight quickly and become prone to conditions such as acne and osteoporosis, which is characterized by fragile bones, due to lack of calcium, because they often experience inflammation as their hormone balance shifts with age.
Believe it or not, choosing your clothes carefully might be one of the biggest favors you could do for yourself. Some people who have especially sensitive skin may find problematic fibers can cause rashes, nausea, itching and in more extreme situations, even lung problems as a result of the inflammation they cause.
You're exposed to dozens of chemicals in your everyday life, from air fresheners, adhesives, cosmetics, and cleaning products to glues, heavy metals, and pesticides. A common cause of inflammation comes from the airborne irritants that we breathe in at work. If the air conditioning system in your home or workplace is not clean, everything spreads even faster.
Anything more than one drink a day is considered excessive, damaging your memory, reasoning, thinking, and teeth, and sometimes resulting in gastritis, which can lead to anemia and malnutrition. Combining alcohol with tobacco is an even worse decision, leading to esophagitis, or inflammation of the tube that carries food from mouth to stomach.
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