Chronic Inflammation can lead to many diseases and it can greatly affect your health. Sometimes without even knowing it!
If you’re not exactly sure what inflammation is and how your body uses this mechanism for good (and bad), we’ll go through an overview, plus I’ll share three ways to reduce chronic inflammation, naturally.
What is Inflammation?
Inflammation is your body’s natural way of protecting itself from harmful things such as infections from bacteria and viruses, injury or illness. The body releases white blood cells into the blood stream or the affected tissues where the injury has occurred.
Generally, inflammation is a good thing and helps the body heal. It’s a part of the healing process.
However, there are other types of inflammation that are not ideal and we’ll discuss those a bit further down.
First, let’s talk about how acute inflammation is protecting your body from harm.
Acute inflammation is usually short term.
Some signs of acute inflammation due to injury may include:
- Swollen area of the body where the injury has occurred
- Hot skin
For instance, when you fall and sprang your ankle, your body will start its healing process by triggering inflammatory response and often you’ll notice swelling and pain of the ankle.
This usually lasts a few days until the body has had its time to heal.
On the other hand, chronic inflammation is usually long term and is not ideal for a healthy lifestyle.
Factors such as lifestyle, diet, stress level and being overweight contribute to chronic inflammation.
Those who suffer from chronic inflammation may not suffer any symptoms at all.
However, those with an autoimmune disease may suffer inflammation. For instance, certain types of arthritis (i.e. Rheumatoid arthritis) may experience joint pain.
Other Symptoms of Inflammation
Other inflammation symptoms you may experience might be flu-like symptoms such as:
- Loss of Energy
- Loss of Appetite
- Stiffness in muscles
Inflammation Can Affect Internal Organs
Inflammation can affect your internal organs and you may not even realize it. For instance, inflammation of the heart may cause shortness of breath and inflammation of the kidneys may cause high blood pressure or kidney failure.
Other Ways Inflammation Affects your Health
In addition to affecting your internal organs, inflammation can also affect the following:
Inflammation may also affect your largest organ, your skin. Psoriasis, for example is an autoimmune disease and causes inflammatory responses in the body.
Immune cells gather around the intestines and ignore healthy bacteria. Those who are sensitive to this process experience the immune cells attacking the healthy bacteria and creating chronic inflammation.
Inflammation can cause stiffness and pain in your joints.
Inflammation of the lungs can cause difficulty in breathing. People who suffer from asthma and COPD are experiencing inflammation of the lungs.
3 Ways to Reduce Inflammation Naturally
Changing your diet is probably one of the easier ways to reduce inflammation naturally. An anti-inflammatory diet consists of meals with a good balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
Daily intake of vitamins, minerals and water also contribute to less inflammation.
Strive to eat whole foods and avoid overly processed foods in order to reduce inflammation in the body.
Foods to Avoid to Reduce Inflammation
Here is a list of foods you’ll want to avoid eating all together or considerably reduce in order to reduce inflammation:
- Sodas, juices, or any type of sugar-filled beverages
- Refined carbohydrates such as white bread, white rice, white potatoes, etc.
- High sugar desserts and foods (including sugar of any kind)
- Gluten (if you’re sensitive to gluten avoid food such as wheat, barley and rye)
- Casein (found in dairy products)
- Processed snacks, deli & processed meats
- MSG (may be found in prepared soups, dressings, and deli meats)
- Processed vegetable oils such as corn, soybean and seed oils
- High trans fat processed items such as cookies, crackers, etc
- Too much alcohol
Foods to Enjoy for an Anti Inflammatory Diet
Here is a list of foods you’ll want to incorporate into your diet in order to promote an anti-inflammatory diet for reduction in inflammation:
- Non starchy vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, and several types of green leafy veggies
- Low sugar fruits such as berries, red grapes, etc
- Healthy high fat fruits such as avocados and olives
- High fat fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and anchovies
- Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, etc
- Dark chocolate (no sugar added)
- Spices such as turmeric, cinnamon, etc
- Green tea
- Red wine (in moderation)
Adding in these great anti-inflammatory foods doesn’t have to be difficult. My Superfood Smoothie Recipe features a few nuts and seeds, berries, leafy greens all in one meal.
If you’re overweight, you may be suffering from inflammation. Sometimes you may not even realize it.
For others, symptoms can occur.
For example, you may feel pain in your joints and knees due to carrying extra weight around. For every pound of extra weight you carry, you’re exerting four pounds of extra pressure on your knees according to the Arthritis Foundation.
Losing weight can be one of the easiest ways to reduce inflammation in the body. Incorporating the food tips in the point above can drastically improve the reduction of inflammation.
If you’ve ever been on a diet and lost weight in the first few weeks, your joints and overall aches and pains seem to get better. Why, you ask? This is usually because the inflammation has been reduced in your joints and body.
However, there is one caveat to being overweight.
If your body is inflamed, it might be more difficult to lose weight. For instance, inflammation influences your hunger signals and slows down your metabolism so you tend to eat more and burn fewer calories.
In addition, inflammation can increase your risk of diabetes and affects your future weight gain.
Some people who suffer from chronic inflammation may not even be overweight.
However, if you’re overweight and likely suffering inflammation, losing weight by incorporating an anti-inflammatory diet into your routine would be most helpful.
CBD Oil for Inflammation
There are many drugs that help reduce inflammation or relieve symptoms such as swelling and pain. Drugs such as NSAIDs (aspirin, ibuprofen,) and Corticosteroids such as prednisone are designed to help with inflammation.
Unfortunately, many of these drugs have harmful side effects such as damage to organs.
If you’re looking for a more natural way to reduce inflammation, there is evidence that Cannabidiol (CBD) is effective.
In recent studies CBD has been found to target and reduce oxidative stress on organs and offers promise as an anti-inflammatory agent.
A portion of this manuscript best describes how CBD helps reduce inflammation:
Cannabinoids are potent anti-inflammatory agents and they exert their effects through induction of apoptosis, inhibition of cell proliferation, suppression of cytokine production and induction of T-regulatory cells (Tregs).
How CBD Oil Helped Reduce My Inflammation
Last Summer I woke to a very stiff knee – it was out of the blue and I hadn’t had any injury prior that would have caused the stiffness and pain.
It was then that I began using CBD Oil to help with the pain.
Over the course of a few months, my pain was relieved, my knee became less stiff and the inflammation reduced so much in my entire body that I saw noticeable changes in my body composition.
For instance, I saw my ankles for the first time in years. They were no longer “cankles”!
Another noticeable difference I saw was in my thighs. I remember the day very clearly – I was in the dressing room trying on pants and noticed my legs were much thinner! Overall, my jeans fit A LOT better!
That was one of the best days of my life!
Another change was my feet were less swollen and my shoe size went down by maybe a half of a size.
Talk about amazing results!
Being able to reduce my inflammation actually allowed me to lose weight a lot easier and help ease the discomfort in my joints. It was as a double WIN using CBD oil to help alleviate symptoms and reduce my inflammation.
Chronic inflammation is generally linked to many diseases – it either causes the actual disease or the disease triggers the inflammatory response in your body and makes the symptoms even worse.
Using these tips to help reduce your inflammation will definitely improve your quality of life.
If you’re interested in using CBD oil to reduce your inflammation, be sure to check out Busy Bee’s CBD for everyday wellness.