What is Inflammation?
We’ve all experienced acute inflammation — a cut, a bug bite, a burn, a sprained ankle, an allergic reaction, an infection. It’s the body’s way of protecting itself. Blood vessels near the damaged area constrict and then dilate to bring more blood to the area, making it redden and heat up. The increased flow of blood and other fluids causes the area to swell and brings in immune cells and ingredients for rebuilding tissue. Inflammation must break down damaged tissue or pathogens in order for the area to heal. As the area heals, the inflammation subsides. This inflammatory process is very important for the immune system and for our survival.
Chronic inflammation, or “silent” inflammation, works differently. It is not a response to sudden injury, but rather a constant, low-level process lasting several months or years. We don’t necessarily realize when our body is experiencing this quiet burn, but its effects can be devastating. Chronic inflammation has been identified as a major factor in the development of several major chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Continue reading “Fighting Chronic Inflammation: The Key to Prevention”