Chronic Inflammation Check-list
What is inflammation?
The ancient Greeks described inflammation as “the internal fire.” Anyone who has cut, sprained, or burned themselves has experienced pain, heat, redness, and swelling - the sure signs of acute inflammation. Inflammation is one of the body’s natural ways of protecting itself from foreign invaders like viruses, fungi, bacteria, chemicals, toxins, etc. In all these cases, inflammation is a good and natural thing. Without it, wounds would never heal, and germs would win the war. Unfortunately, as with any process in the body, it is possible to have too much of a good thing... Chronic inflammation is very different from acute inflammation. Chronic inflammation is not the kind you can feel or even something you can see under a microscope. “It’s very subtle,” says Professor Joel Mason, M.D., director of the Vitamins and Carcinogenesis Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) at Tufts. “It’s inflammation on a biochemical level.” “Inflammation is thought to be an important basis not just for cancer, but for insulin resistance and diabetes and athero-sclerotic disease and any number of other conditions,” Mason says. “There is a lot of research going on into what role inflammation plays in a lot of the chronic degenerative diseases that our society falls prey to.” Many medical conditions are believed to be linked to chronic inflammation in the body.
Some of these include: SYMPTOMS OF CHRONIC INFLAMMATION Blood tests for markers such as C-reactive protein (CRP) are a means to determining your degree of silent inflammation. Should you get tested? If you answer “yes” to more than three of the following questions, you could benefit from a CRP blood test.
- Do you smoke?
- Do you have diabetes?
- Do you have gum disease?
- Are you overweight?
- Are you always craving carbohydrates?
- Are you constantly hungry?
- Are you tired, especially after exercise?
- Are your fingernails brittle?
- Are you constipated?
- Are you groggy upon waking?
- Do you have difficulty concentrating?
Do you have headaches? • Alzheimer’s Disease • Asthma • Cancer • Chronic Obstructive Lung Diseases (emphysema and bronchitis) • Chronic Pain • Type 2 Diabetes • Heart Disease • Inflammatory Bowel Disease • Stroke • Diseases where the immune system attacks the body, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or scleroderma Are you affected by an inflammation-rooted disease?
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