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What is Chronic Inflammation?


Chronic inflammation is a type of inflammation that persists over a long period of time, often months or even years. Unfortunately, it’s not something we can see or feel, it is a slow burn that causes many illnesses and diseases.

Inflammation is the normal response of the immune system that protects the body from injury or infection. It involves the release of certain chemicals and immune cells that help to eliminate harmful pathogens, damaged tissue or anything that the immune system identifies as foreign. This is normal inflammation, you cut yourself, you bleed and then you heal, this healing process is caused by healthy inflammation. However, when inflammation becomes chronic, it can cause damage to healthy tissues and organs.

Chronic inflammation is caused by many things, including ongoing infections, exposure to environmental toxins, and poor diet and lifestyle choices. It can also occur as a result of the body's immune system attacking healthy tissue, as is the case with autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. That’s what autoimmune diseases are, the body thinking its own tissue is a foreign object.

The effects of chronic inflammation can vary depending on the location in the body and the underlying cause, but it has been linked to a range of health problems, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer's disease. It can also lead to chronic pain, fatigue, and other symptoms.

When you get your yearly bloodwork, you can ask for a test called CRP or C reative protein. This measure the amount C-reactive protein in the blood which the liver makes in response to inflammation in the blood. The American Heart Association and the CDC have set the healthy measure of CRP at <1.0 mg/L. Above that increases your risk for heart disease.

Reducing chronic inflammation is important for overall health and well-being. This can be done by addressing the underlying causes, such as treating infections or managing autoimmune conditions, as well as making lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet, reducing your intake of unhealthy fried foods, unhealthy fats and processed foods, and getting regular movement into your life, and of course, managing stress.


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