Inflammation is a hot (pun intended) topic these days! It’s being called the root of all evil in the body. You know what the word means, and you’ve experienced it when you got a bug bite or twisted your ankle. But, what does inflammation really mean for you and your body? And, is it really such a big deal if you don’t see it or feel the swelling?
All of us are suffering from some inflammation in our bodies these days. It’s invisible, under our skin, deep in our organs and tissues. We don’t associate the symptoms we feel with inflammation at all. For example, a sinus headache or stuffy nose is due to inflammation; asthma is from inflammation; diarrhea can come from inflammation; feeling bloated can be from inflammation; skin rashes are inflamed; bladder infections will include inflammation, and the list can go on and on.
Anything that goes wrong in the body, be it from infection or injury will include some inflammation. My medical dictionary defines inflammation as “a localized protective response elicited by injury or destruction of tissues, which serves to destroy, dilute, or wall off both the injurious agent and the injured tissue.” So, it’s a protective response – the body is trying to protect us from injury or destruction and separate us from that destruction. Sounds like a good thing!
The dictionary goes on to say, “the inflammatory response can be provoked by physical, chemical, or biologic agents, including mechanical trauma, exposure to excessive amounts of sunlight, x-rays and radioactive materials, corrosive chemicals, extremes of heat and cold, or by infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses and other pathogenic microorganisms. Let’s break that down because it starts to explain how inflammation impacts us and our bodies.
Injury creates inflammation; that’s easy to understand. You fall on your wrist snowboarding and it swells up. It’s harder to picture injuries that happen inside the body, when we aren’t take good care of it. Those “corrosive chemicals” could be pesticides or herbicides in your food or the in the products you use to clean your house. You breathe them in on the freeway. They cause injury in your body, much like the fall did, but it’s invisible and you don’t feel it in the moment usually.
We are exposed to “infectious agents” such as bacteria, viruses, and other “pathogenic microorganisms” like parasites and molds all the time. Those guys create injury in the body and the subsequent inflammation too.
When we’ve got these things in our bodies (and we all do) that inflammation is attempting to protect us, remember? But, just like the inflammation around that twisted ankle, it hurts and causes us pain. Our intestines shouldn’t be inflamed. Our livers shouldn’t be inflamed. Our blood vessels shouldn’t be inflamed. You get the picture.
So, what happens when parts of our bodies are getting invisibly injured by our lifestyles and get inflamed when they shouldn’t be? SYMPTOMS! Symptoms are how your body tells you it is struggling, often gently at first and then later full on screaming, if ignored. Give me a symptom you experience and I can track it back to inflammation along the way for sure!
Obviously I’m in agreement that inflammation really is a huge problem for all of us. I think it really comes down to the injuries we are inflicting on ourselves internally. The inflammation is just the protective response – our awesome bodies trying to save us from ourselves. Yay, for the human body! Now, we need to take better care of it by making better choices as to what we put into it. I know, easier said then done! At the end of the day though, how do you want to feel? I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict symptom free and truly healthy!
I’d love to help you figure out what going on in your body, behind the invisible inflammation and all the symptoms. Contact me, by clicking HERE, to set up an appointment in person or by hair sample.