Inflammation is often talked about but greatly misunderstood by many people. Unlike what many people think, it is not necessarily a harmful process.
Inflammation is the body's natural response to harmful pathogens or tissue injury, which plays a crucial role in the healing process. However, when inflammation becomes chronic, it may lead to various chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. In this blog, we will discuss the types of inflammation, their symptoms, and ways to resolve them.
Types of Inflammation
An injury or illness can cause acute, or short-term inflammation. Acute Inflammation lasts a few days, and its symptoms include pain, redness, swelling and heat. Certain body functions can be compromised when inflammation presents, for example the loss of smell in rhinitis or the loss of mobility for an inflamed joint. The symptoms of inflammation may not always be present, and sometimes inflammation is "silent" without symptoms. In some cases, a person may feel tired, generally unwell, and have a fever.
Acute inflammation can be triggered from exposure to a substance such as a bee sting or dust, an injury, or an infection. When the body detects damage or pathogens, the immune system triggers a number of reactions. Signs of acute inflammation can appear within hours or days, depending on the cause.
Chronic inflammation can last for months or years and may have links to various diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, allergies, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis. The symptoms will depend on the disease, but they may include pain and fatigue.
A chronic inflammation can develop if a person has sensitivity, long-term, low-level exposure to an irritant, autoimmune disorders, autoinflammatory diseases, or persistent acute inflammation. Factors that may increase the risk of chronic inflammation include older age, obesity, a diet that is rich in unhealthy fats and sugar, smoking, low sex hormones, stress, and sleep problems. Long-term diseases that doctors associate with inflammation include asthma, chronic peptic ulcer, tuberculosis, rheumatoid arthritis, periodontitis, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, sinusitis, and active hepatitis and more.
Treating and managing inflammation:
Research has shown that acupuncture can effectively help to reduce inflammation in the body by regulating the immune system and reducing oxidative stress. Your acupuncturist will do a full evaluation and provide a personalized treatment plan to address your specific needs and help you manage your symptoms.
In addition to acupuncture treatment, there are several other ways to manage inflammation on your own:
Follow an anti-inflammatory diet:
Adopting a diet that is rich in whole, unprocessed foods can help to reduce inflammation in your body. Incorporate plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats into your diet.
Regular exercise can help to reduce inflammation by improving circulation and boosting the immune system. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking or cycling.
Practice stress management techniques:
Chronic stress can lead to inflammation in the body. It is important to find ways to manage your stress if you rate your stress level above 5 on a 1-10 scale. Meditation, yoga, deep breathing, and other techniques can be helpful.
Get enough sleep:
Poor sleep can also lead to inflammation, so it is important to get enough quality sleep each night. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night and try to establish a consistent sleep routine is essential for managing inflammation.
Inflammation plays a vital role in healing, but chronic inflammation may increase the risk of various diseases. It is essential to identify and manage inflammation and related diseases to prevent further complications.
Book your acupuncture appointment here, or contact us if you have questions or need more information.