11 Signs of Chronic Inflammation

11 Signs of Chronic Inflammation

The first time I heard the term “chronic inflammation,” it was a relatively unused term – now I hear it everywhere. 

I wonder, is it a bit like the scenario of buying a new car and seeing the same model everywhere, or are we becoming more aware of chronic inflammation and the effects of lifestyle on healthy aging?

Chronic inflammation underpins, or is the precursor for, chronic disease – that’s why it’s important to understand.  Chronic disease kills 41 million people each year, equivalent to 74% of all deaths globally (World Health Organisation).

Deaths from chronic disease tend to be of longer duration – and often the warning signs of chronic inflammation are there well before a person shows any disease symptoms, which is why it's so important to act early as we may be able to stop the formation of disease.

Chronic inflammation underpins the following chronic diseases:

    Let’s understand what the differences are between acute and chronic inflammation - then we can explore what the signs of chronic inflammation are.

    There are two main types of inflammation: acute and chronic. Acute inflammation is sudden and temporary, while chronic inflammation can go on for months or years.

    Acute inflammation

    This is your immune system’s response to a sudden injury or illness. Inflammatory cells travel to the site of injury (like a cut on your finger) or infection (like strep throat) and start the healing process.

    Acute inflammation may last for a few hours to a few days, depending on the cause.

    Chronic inflammation

    This is when your body continues sending inflammatory cells even when there’s no danger, in terms of an infection or cut. For example, in rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory cells and substances attack joint tissues. This leads to inflammation that comes and goes and can cause severe damage to joints.

    Chronic inflammation can last for months or years and it’s not constant - you may have periods where it improves and other times when it gets worse.

    What are the signs/symptoms of chronic inflammation?

    It’s hard to recognise and diagnose chronic inflammation unless it is associated with a disease diagnosis - the symptoms can creep up on you and they can come and go.   As said earlier the inflammation can lead to the onset of disease which is why it’s important to keep a check on general associated health symptoms.

    You should watch out for:

    If you have concerns about chronic inflammation, it is definitely worth speaking with your doctor.   There are inexpensive blood tests which are part of routine blood panels eg a test for high-sensitivity c-reactive protein (hsCRP) can show inflammation is present - (read more here) and liver function tests are also of value.

    Darcy has two diseases which are underpinned by chronic inflammation (sarcoidosis and ankylosing spondylitis).  Learning about these and what we can do to downgrade chronic inflammation has been the key driver behind Zestt, our products and what we do on an everyday basis.  Pharmaceuticals are part of the solution, but importantly, in many cases, lifestyle changes can be the most effective in improving health outcomes.

    Sleep, social connection, diet, exercise and stress all affect levels of chronic inflammation in your body (read other blogs we have written on the topic here, here and here).  It usually takes a person some time to develop chronic inflammation and subsequent disease, but it's amazing how quickly you can start reversing symtoms with lifestyle changes (depending on how far down the path you are).  It is well worth the effort in terms of your general health and energy.

    We are making a short documentary describing what Darcy has done to reverse some of his chronic inflammation, in addition to using Zestt products which are designed to downgrade inflammation.  This path has led to Darcy being in remission from sarcoidosis, but he still has ongoing issues with COPD and ankylosing spondilitis.  As Darcy says, if he can do it, anyone can but it's worth noting, the livestyle changes he has made are for life - not just for a couple of weeks!

    All the best, Anna and Darcy.

    If you would like to discuss any of this further, please contact Darcy or Anna (who you can contact at +64 27 599 2255 or +64 27 4861418 respectively) or via info@zesttwellness.com.

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