Updated: Aug 2, 2019
There are two primary types of inflammation in the body, acute and chronic. Acute inflammation comes into play when we injure ourselves or are exposed to harmful bacteria. It promotes healing, and in short is the good kind. (1)
Chronic inflammation is the ongoing release of low level inflammation and can contribute to the development of illness and disease. (1) Chronic inflammation is associated with osteoarthritis, autoimmune diseases, respiratory illnesses and gastrointestinal ailments. Lifestyle and environment can impact chronic inflammation. Those who are sedentary, carry excess weight, consume a poor diet, smoke, consume alcohol in excess or live in heavily polluted areas may be at increased risk of developing chronic inflammation. (2)
Some symptoms of chronic inflammation include:
1) Pain. Ongoing joint pain, stiffness and muscle aches.
2) Fatigue. You’re always exhausted and have difficulty falling or staying asleep.
3) Gastrointestinal issues. Upset stomach and bloating. (2)
What can you do to help?
1) Move! Regular exercise can do wonders for decreasing chronic inflammation associated with being overweight and sedentary. Taking a daily walk around your neighborhood can help you get more steps into your day.
2) Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Similar to the well-known Mediterranean diet, this system of eating promotes consuming more healthy fats like avocados and nuts, lean protein in the form of fish, and lots of fresh fruit, vegetables, and dark leafy greens. At the same time it is recommended that you limit foods that are inflammatory in the body including refined sugar and flour. (3)
3) Brush AND Floss! Your mouth is a gateway to the rest of your body. Inflammation starting as periodontal disease has been linked to heart disease, Alzheimer’s and arthritis. (4)(5)
4) Natural Anti-Inflammatory Support
Turmeric. Long hailed for it’s anti-inflammatory properties. It contains curcumin which reduces free radicals and shuts down inflammation. (4)
Willow bark. This medicinal bark is effective at treating arthritis because it inhibits cyclooxygenase which decreases inflammation and swelling. (6)
Ginger. The gingerol and zingerone in this root can reduce inflammation associated with colitis, kidney damage, diabetes and breast cancer. (6)
Frankincense. Often found as an essential oil, Frankincense can inhibit the production of inflammation and offers support for conditions like asthma, arthritis, and gastrointestinal diseases. (8)
Magnesium. A study in 2007 titled “Magnesium and the Inflammatory Response…” concluded that increasing magnesium levels decreases inflammation. Applying magnesium oil daily is an easily tolerated method for increasing your magnesium intake. (9)
Awareness around inflammation’s relationship with chronic disease is on the rise. In the meantime, there’s plenty you can do to help support your body’s health. Reducing inflammation is just a spray away.