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Inflammation- do you know what it really means?
Hi everyone. Welcome to this week's episode of Five Minute Fridays. Today we are going to talk about a subject that you hear about all the time in the health and wellness world. Inflammation. Most people have heard of it, but few people understand what it really means. So we're going to dive into it today because it's arguably one of the most important issues we should be focusing on when it comes to being healthy.
So what is. First we have acute inflammation. An example of this is you cut your skin and the immune system responds by getting red with increased blood flow, swelling up, and then ultimately healing the area of injury. The body just knows what to do. Inflammation simply refers to the body's process of fighting against things at Harmit, such as infections or injuries in an attempt to heal.
But what I wanna talk about today is chronic inflammation. So as we just [00:01:00] discussed, when something damages your cells, your body releases chemicals that trigger response from your immune system. The whole process usually lasts a few days in the case of acute inflammation. But chronic inflammation happens when this response lingers leaving your body in a constant state of alert.
So acute comes and goes. Within days. Chronic is a cycle that won't go away. We put something in, the body doesn't like it, it gets irritated. The immune system tries to heal the irritation, but then we just keep putting the same thing back in. Over and over and the immune system never stops trying to heal the irritation and hello.
The immune system is like, I am exhausted. Stop putting things in that I don't like. Okay, so here's an illustration that might make it easier to understand. If you eat something that causes food poisoning, we know what happens there. The body knows you have a dangerous foreign foreign invader that you unknowingly consumed, and it does everything it can to eliminate this invader.
It's awful, but the process is saving your life from grave danger. But [00:02:00] let's say you're putting things in your body like processed food and chemicals. These two are foreign invaders and shouldn't be in the body, but they aren't so dangerous that they trigger the violent kind of reaction that food poisoning does.
However, the body still has to do something with these things. So long-term exposure of a diet with lots of chemicals or constant exposure to irritants like smoking or alcohol or toxins in the air, the body has to process these. And just like the cut on your skin example from before, if there's something in the body that the body doesn't like, the immune system is going to respond if this response goes on for years or even decades.
This is what we call chronic inflammation. We keep putting things in that the body doesn't like and the immune system has no choice but to deal with it. Over time, this chronic inflammation can eventually start damaging healthy cells, tissues, and organs. A common example of this is IBS and leaky gut, which some statistics say 70 to 80% of the US population suffers from.
For many chronic inflamma, [00:03:00] inflammation can ultimately lead to an autoimmune condition where the immune system is so confused because it's so freaking tired. It essentially turns on itself and starts attacking healthy. That's one issue. The next big issue is when your immune system is on high alert 24 7.
When a disease like cancer comes creeping in the immune system, which ordinarily should be able to fight off the cancer cells is so exhausted that it can't properly do what it needs to to fight off the disease. Now, this is a very complicated subject that I'm clearly simplifying, but here is the takeaway.
I hope you keep at the front of your mind. From this moment forward. Anything we can do to reduce inflammation in our body is going to allow our immune system to have a break. When we give our immune system a break, it can then get stronger. When we, when we have a strong immune system, we can fight off disease more efficiently.
The biggest issue is that while acute inflammation causes noticeable symptoms like pain, redness, or. Chronic inflammation symptoms are usually subtler, which makes them easy to overlook some of the most, [00:04:00] so, excuse me. Some of the most common symptoms are body pain, especially in joints. Constant fatigue and insomnia, depression, anxiety and mood disorders, GI issues like constipation, diarrhea and acid reflux, weight gain, skin rashes such as eczema and psoria.
Excessive mucus productions such as chronic sinus infections or any constant runny nose and frequent infections that won't go away, such as ear infections or chronic female infections. Okay, so now I know everyone out there is like, I have half of those things you just listed. Don't freak out, but here's what you need to do.
Understand that these symptoms above are your body's way of raising little yellow flags. The body is saying to you, Hey, I'm not happy about something, and this is my way of telling you. If you are a person that has anything going on in your body in a chronic way, Understand you have chronic inflammation, and more importantly, you have the ability to control it.
And by control it, I do [00:05:00] not mean take an Advil or take an antibiotic every time you have an issue. I mean, figuring out what is triggering the symptom to begin with so you can stop the chronic inflammation from happening. There are lots of ways to lower inflammation in the body and in the coming weeks I'm going to explore some of the best ways, but please understand this basic concept.
Eating an anti-inflammatory diet is not some trendy diet of the moment. Anything you can incorporate into your diet that is going to reduce inflammation in your body is the best way you can strengthen your immune system with the ultimate goal of avoiding. Okay, so as I mentioned in the coming weeks, I'm going to explore some of the best ways to reduce inflammation in your body, so stay tuned for that.
If you are new to my vlog, simply go to saltwater wellness.com and a little box will pop up. Just enter your email and you will then receive my five minute Friday videos. I do not send them every week, and I promise I will never spam you or clog up your inbox. I'm just trying to teach nuggets of information in about five minutes to help people start improving their health in an easy, actionable way.[00:06:00]
Baby steps people. I know you can do it. Also at the bottom of each blog post is a list of all my prior episodes. So check it out to see if there is an episode or two that you may have missed or you might be interested in seeing. Okay, so I hope this helps explain why chronic inflammation is so crucial to understand.
And as always, thanks for watching.