Is This What's Causing Your Inflammation?

Is This What's Causing Your Inflammation?

Acute inflammation is necessary for your survival. A pathogen enters your body and your immune system rallies to the front, rushing in white blood cells to kill off the invaders. 

The result is inflammation that lasts as long as it takes to subdue the infection or heal the wound. Then the inflammation recedes, restoring health and balance.

But when you’re in a state of chronic inflammation, your immune system is on high alert all the time. For reasons that are still unknown, your immune cells attack healthy tissue in your own body, causing widespread inflammation, degradation, and pain.

Rheumatoid conditions and autoimmune diseases are associated with chronic inflammation. Recently, though, researchers have discovered that virtually every noncommunicable disease begins with chronic inflammation, including: 

At the Rheumatology Center of New Jersey, our expert rheumatologists believe in treating the whole patient. Although we provide symptom relief, we also believe in getting to the root of your disease. That includes subduing or eliminating inflammation.

We offer cutting-edge therapies such as platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP) and Cimzia® to reduce chronic inflammation and promote healing. But we also encourage you to identify proinflammatory factors in your life and, as much as possible, eliminate these, too.

Chronic infections

If you’re infected with an organism that your immune system or medications can’t kill, you may develop chronic inflammation. Infections associated with chronic inflammation and its symptoms include:

These chronic infections may interact with other lifestyle factors to create the perfect storm of inflammation. 

For instance, hunter-gatherer populations throughout the world who are exposed to a great variety of pathogens and viruses tend not to develop inflammation or Western diseases, such as cancer or dementia.

Even as they age, hunter-gatherers don’t exhibit an increase in inflammatory markers, as we in industrialized nations do. So if you know that you have a chronic infection, it’s important to control other proinflammatory factors as much as possible.

Pollution and toxins

Smoking cigarettes does more than damage your lungs. It also lowers the production of anti-inflammatory molecules, thereby inducing chronic inflammation. Any kind of pollution or toxin, including chemicals and mold, can create chronic inflammation. 

Proinflammatory diet

It’s no secret that as non-Western countries adopt a Western-style diet, disease and obesity increases. 

Easy-to-eat fast foods and processed foods are filled with proinflammatory ingredients that keep people in a state of inflammation and also increase their risk for obesity (which is, in itself, a proinflammatory factor).

Turn down the heat in your body by providing it with the nutrients it needs to function in a non-inflammatory state. That means, no more:

Instead, indulge freely in anti-inflammatory foods, such as:

Be careful of foods with a high glycemic index, including many fruits. We can customize a diet plan for you that counteracts inflammation while also keeping you at a healthy weight.

Too much or too little exercise

Staying active daily and exercising vigorously throughout the week lowers multiple proinflammatory molecules and cytokines. Exercise also lubricates your joints, which reduces stiffness and pain.

But if you’re a professional athlete or weekend warrior, get adequate rest, too. Over-exercising actually induces inflammation.

Circadian disruption 

Our 24/7 world wreaks havoc with our health and leads to chronic inflammation. Improve your sleep by harmonizing your internal clock with the natural cycles of day and night. Go to bed and rise at the same time every day — including weekends.

Get plenty of natural blue light in the morning by stepping outside into the sunshine for a brief walk. Turn off the invigorating, unnatural blue light at night by using amber or red light bulbs and/or wearing blue-blocker glasses. 

If you’re having trouble sleeping, get help. Your body needs consistent rest to eliminate toxins and heal damaged cells. Insomnia and inadequate sleep lead to inflammation.

Age and hormone disruption

As women and men age, their hormone levels drop. This can lead to low libido, erectile dysfunction in men, and painful sex for women. But low levels of estrogen and testosterone also allow inflammation to spread. 

You may benefit from hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which turns down inflammation and reduces the symptoms of aging.

Making substantial lifestyle changes can be challenging on your own. If you suffer from chronic inflammation, get the help you need by contacting your nearest Rheumatology Center of New Jersey office today for a customized plan, including PRP or other therapies. We have locations in Somerville, Flemington, and Monroe, New Jersey.

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