Inflammation is a biological response that happens when your body is trying to protect itself from external organisms like bacteria and viruses. It also happens when your body sustains an injury, triggering a signal to the immune system to heal and repair damaged tissues. While it sounds like a great defense system for our bodies, there are times where symptoms of inflammation give way to more unwanted health issues. Let's take a look at the two types of inflammatory symptoms.
Acute inflammation - often causes noticeable symptoms such as pain, redness or swelling. It is part of the body's natural healing process, and thus labeled a "healthy" bodily response to injury or infection.
Acute inflammation can be characterised by these symptoms: pain, heat, redness, swelling, loss of function.
Chronic inflammation - is not part of the body's healing process. It is an almost invisible condition where hypersensitive white blood cells attack healthy areas of the body, resulting in a weakened immune system. This makes the body more susceptible to diseases.
Triggers for chronic inflammation
- Air pollution
- Untreated injuries/infections
- Autoimmune disorder
What are the 5 signs of Chronic Inflammation?
Because the symptoms chronic inflammation are not as pronounced compared to acute inflammation, people tend of overlook these symptoms and brushing them off as temporary inconveniences in their daily lives.
There are, however, 5 signs of chronic inflammation:
Gas, bloating, constipation and acid reflux are symptoms that you may have chronic inflammation.
High blood glucose
High glycemic index foods can contribute to chronic inflammation and resulting in weight gain too.
Fatigue and insomnia
Associated with poor sleeping habits and irregular sleep schedules.
Psoriasis, eczema, acne and redness all stems from acute inflammation which can progress to chronic inflammation if left untreated
Pains and aches
Any lingering, inexplicable pains around the body would mean that your body tissues are being attacked internally.
Management of Chronic Inflammation
Dietary and lifestyle changes may be helpful in managing chronic inflammation. Starting off with a healthy diet, foods with low-glycemic index such as whole wheat bread, oatmeal, sweet potato, beans and legumes as well as most fruits and non-starchy vegetables should be consumed more often, and avoid saturated fat and trans fat.
Apart from low-glycemic index foods, you can also increase your intake of foods with high fiber, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids.
Essential oils for chronic inflammation
Chamomile has analgesic properties which is useful in soothing pain in inflamed joints and muscles. It also has a calming effect on sore muscles, and digestive issues which are common symptoms of chronic inflammation. As a natural anti-inflammatory oil, Chamomile can be used aromatically in a diffuser to encourage relaxation, or topically on localised areas of pain.
This is another oil that is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Lavender helps tremendously with stress and depression, and it can also be used onto problem skin like eczema and acne. Lavender is one of the few oils that you can use neat onto your skin, but a word of caution, for those with extremely sensitive skin, it is still recommended to dilute with a carrier before applying Lavender onto the skin.
Peppermint has a cooling effect which is an effective pain reliever for the nerves and muscles. It is also an energizing oil that help with boosting mental alertness and relieving fatigue. Another oil that is similar to peppermint is eucalyptus. Both share similar properties, and are equally effective in managing chronic inf