Inflammation is your system's automatic reaction to protect and repair itself. When there is a wound or allergic response, blood circulation in the area is raised bearing leukocytes (types of white cells) to clear up the damage and heal the wounded tissue. After a short period of time, the damage is repaired and you are back to your old healthy self.
But what occurs when the immune system is always switched in the 'on' position? Instead of attacking damaged or dead tissue, it starts to attack healthy tissue.
Chronic inflammation doesn't only result in pain--it can also lead to fatigue, brain fog, and anxiety, and it can open the door for even more serious health problems in the future.
These health problems include:
- Several Environmental and Food Allergies
An optimal immune system is like a national security guard--it sits and monitors things in stealth mode and, when there is danger, it attacks. However, an immune system affected by chronic inflammation is like a trigger-happy soldier who has seen one too many battles on the front lines. This means that many different foods, scents, trees, and plants can cause an extreme reaction within your body--anything from a sneezing fit, to a severe and sudden rash, to debilitating stomach pain.
The immune system is designed to protect us from viruses, bacteria, pathogens, and parasite infections. When there is an autoimmune disorder present, the immune system strikes the system itself, and that includes healthy tissues.
Over time, this can cause the development of an autoimmune disease. Once this happens, it is a signal that inflammation has gotten completely out of control, and it becomes locked in a type of "feedback loop" where the body continues to attack itself, causing more inflammation, which keeps the body attacking itself.
- Heart Problems
Study findings imply that it is systemic inflammation (and not elevated cholesterol, as previously believed) that is the greatest risk aspect for heart problems. As supported by the American Heart Association, inflammation is evident in all phases of atherothrombosis, which is responsible for 80 percent of cases of sudden cardiac death.
- Gastrointestinal Impairment
Chronic gastrointestinal disorders like Crohn's disease, celiac disease, leaky gut syndrome, and colitis are all triggered by chronic inflammation. These conditions can lead to serious functional impairment as well as painful surgical procedures to remove damaged intestinal tissue. Some individuals with gastrointestinal disorders must rely on a colostomy bag to flush waste from the system, as they are no longer able to have normal bowel movements!
Based on journal studies, there is also a strong link between inflammatory gastrointestinal disease and the formation of colon tumors.
As supported by cancer studies, chronic existence of pro-inflammatory agents in the system accelerates the spread of abnormal and tumorous cells, which may grow into cancer in the areas exposed to this inflammation.
As it is evident, exposure to chronic inflammation can trigger serious health problems, and even cancer or sudden heart attack in extreme cases. It is therefore important to find ways to recognize and alleviate chronic inflammation before it gets that far.