Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Are you inflamed?!

What comes to mind when you think about inflammation? Hot and red swelling? Maybe a sprained ankle, or a hurt knee, or possibly even the swollen ankles you pregnant ladies might have had? What you might not realize is that inflammation is involved with most if not all of the disease processes. Some inflammation related to local injury can be good for the general healing process. However, most of the inflammation in the body is problematic.

The suffix "-itis" denotes inflammation, so any condition or disease ending in "-itis" is specifically related to inflammation. i.e. bronchitis (inflammation of the air passages in the lungs), sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses), arthritis (inflammation of the joints), diverticulitis (inflammation within the digestive tract), prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate). However, if a condition does not end with this suffix it does not mean that inflammation is not involved. Here is a list of just a few diseases and conditions that are or can be caused or promoted by inflammation...

chronic pain
heart disease
high blood pressure

...and this is just a small sample of the conditions related to inflammation.

After seeing this list, don't you think it would be a good idea to try to avoid things that promote inflammation in the body? The good news is that there are some simple changes you can make with your diet and lifestyle that can help decrease overall inflammation. Whether or not you already suffer from one of the conditions above, your current and future health will benefit from less inflammation.

Next time, we will review some things that you can do to help decrease inflammation.

I hope you are all having a wonderful summer!


Live Well.