What is Inflammation? And What Is It Doing to Your Body?

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Many people may not know it, but inflammation can often be the cause of many conditions that cause us pain. It builds up over time and is hard to detect so it can be hard to nail down as a cause. But if we’re talking about ways to feel better, inflammation has to be included in that conversation. 

So, let’s talk about.

What is Inflammation? 

Inflammation is a defense mechanism our body creates when it is sick or injured. 

Think of a small cut on your finger. Even the smallest of cuts swell up, turn red, and fill with fluid. That is our body’s way of protecting itself. The swelling prevents bacteria from making its way into our bloodstream. 

This same process occurs inside our bodies when something is attacking our blood cells or a virus makes its way in. 

Our bodies can have good and bad inflammation. Or, acute and chronic inflammation. The cut we talked about is an example of acute inflammation, which our bodies need to survive. 

Acute Inflammation

The swelling that happens when we are trying to fight a virus or keep allergens out of our bodies (swollen eyes during allergy season) are all examples of acute inflammation. A fever is an example of a system-wide sign of inflammation working to kill a virus. 

Chronic Inflammation

While we need acute inflammation to fight off bacteria or disease, our bodies can also experience chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation refers to a prolonged inflammatory response in the body. When inflammation lingers, it can detrimentally impact tissues and organs due to the increased production of free radicals, which results in oxidative stress.A state of ongoing or chronic inflammation is undesirable and can be a source of significant pain, anxiety, and is sometimes linked with depression.

What causes chronic inflammation?

Consider the fact that your body is always on the defensive. It’s always looking for things that are getting ready to attack it. Now consider the fact that we live in a world where we have significant amounts of environmental allergens and pollutants in the air and foreign items like preservatives and additives and added sugars in our food, and a wide variety of things going into our bodies every day that aren’t supposed to be there. It’s basically an assault on the cells that are there to protect us.  

Besides these triggers, chronic inflammation may be caused by autoimmune disorders, untreated infections or illnesses. It often plays a role in conditions such as asthma, cancer, and diabetes. Chronic inflammation can be a source of significant pain, anxiety, and is sometimes linked to depression. 

Preventing Chronic Inflammation

Diet

There are different causes of chronic inflammation and different ways to treat it. One of the easiest ways to control is inflammation is with diet. Here are a few of the worst offenders when it comes to foods that cause chronic inflammation.

  • Sugar and high-fructose corn syrup
  • Artificial trans fats
  • Refined carbs (like those found in candy, bread, pastries, some cereals, and all processed foods that contain added sugar or flour)
  • Excessive alcohol

While inflammation can be triggered by things we can’t control, like pollution or illness, diet is one thing we can control. 

CBD

Research has shown that CBD can help fight inflammation, in turn treating the symptoms like anxiety and depression. CBD blocks inflammatory pain by interacting with a protein that plays a critical role in transmitting pain signals from the body, through the spinal cord, and into the brain. CBD also has antioxidant properties that reduce oxidative stress. 

Since CBD helps reduce inflammation in the brain and the body it helps you start to feel better when faced with chronic inflammation. 

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