5 Common Causes of Inflammation

Inflammation is never easy to diagnose as it manifests itself in many forms. Although we can use blood tests to detect it, medication is not really straightforward as there is not one solution that will fit all cases.

The Center for Physical Rehabilitation defines inflammation as a localized physical condition in which an area of the body becomes swollen, reddened, hot and more often than not causes pain as a reaction to infection or injury.

Although it has always been associated with something negative, acute inflammation is our body’s natural reaction to foreign invaders. We’ve all gone through a fever due to a cold or an injury like a swollen knee after a fall. In those cases, inflammation is not an issue. On the contrary, it’s our body’s cells’ way of helping us heal. It only becomes a problem when it becomes chronic.

Chronic inflammation symptoms vary depending on the organs affected and its stage level. To the untrained eye, they can easily be mistaken for acne, common allergies or tiredness but chances are, these reactions may be manifestations of inflammation in the body.

Chronic inflammation can cause conditions like diabetes, cancer and depression just to name a few. Read on to discover the common triggers of inflammation.

5) Sugar

Research has shown that many Americans are consuming more than twice the recommended allowance for sugar. From the ubiquitous breakfast cereal to microwavable soups to low-sodium crackers, the American diet is loaded with added sugars, usually in the form of high-fructose corn syrup. Too much sugar can induce an immune response that leads to inflammation and diseases like diabetes.

4) Processed Foods

We’ve all been guilty of going for unhealthy fast food over real home cooked meal simply because we’re running late or just too tired to cook. Unfortunately, the excessive consumption of processed foods is a sad reality that’s almost impossible to escape. Processed foods are more likely to cause inflammation as they contain high levels of fat, empty carbs, sodium and added sugar. They may temporarily provide a boost of energy but it doesn’t last for very long and before you know it, you’re hungry again. Since processed meals do not have the necessary nutrients our body needs to function properly, it often causes cravings for more food, leading to overeating.

3) Fat

Most people are not aware of this, but fat itself is not the problem at all. In fact, our body and brain needs fat to function optimally. Unsaturated fats, like those found in almonds and olive oil, are necessary for our health. Trans fats, such as the ones found in fried foods or anything battered, can be highly toxic for our body and should be avoided as much as possible.

2) Gluten

Unfortunately, the grains that are grown today are not of the same quality as the ones grown 50 years ago. Because of the need to feed an ever increasing population, agricultural companies have turned to genetic manipulation to come up with more resistant and stronger seeds. These GMO’s, however, come with a trade-off in the form of gastrointestinal and immune disorders. In fact, gluten-related disorders now affect up to 18 million Americans.

1) Alcohol

Anyone who has gone through a hangover knows the dreadful effects of excessive alcohol consumption. Whenever you consume alcohol, most of it is broken down in your liver. During this process, harmful toxins that are more harmful than alcohol are produced, which can damage liver cells. This type of inflammation that weakens the body’s defenses is only the beginning, though. A weak immune system can leave room for more fatal inflammations such as liver fibrosis and alcoholic hepatitis.

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