So many people suffer from inflammation on a daily basis! Are you one of them?
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to protect itself against harm. There are two types: acute and chronic. The more familiar type is the acute type, which occurs when you bang your knee or cut your finger. Your immune system dispatches an army of white blood cells to surround and protect the area, which creates visible redness and swelling. The process works similarly if you have an infection like the flu or pneumonia. So in these cases, inflammation is an important bodily response which helps you to heal and recover.
However, there is also chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation can occur in response to other unwanted substances in the body, such as toxins, viruses and an excess of fat cells (especially fat in the belly area). Inside arteries, inflammation helps kick off atherosclerosis—the buildup of fatty, cholesterol-rich plaque. Your body perceives this plaque as abnormal and foreign, so it attempts to wall off the plaque from the flowing blood. But if that wall breaks down, the plaque may rupture. The contents then mingle with blood, forming a clot that blocks blood flow. These clots are responsible for the majority of heart attacks and most strokes.
A simple blood test called the hsCRP test can measure C-reactive protein (CRP), which is a marker for inflammation, including arterial inflammation. CRP is produced in the liver and its level is measured by testing the blood. I highly recommend getting your CRP tested when getting routine blood work. I pesonally use this test as one tool to gauge and monitor the inflammation in my body, along with obvious signs such as:
- aches and pains
- being overweight
- red or itchy skin
- swollen fingers, toes, and/or wrists
- a diagnosed autoimmune disease
- allergies or infections
Inflammation is not fun at all! I will be sharing more blog posts on inflammation and ways to combat inflammation. Feel free to share in the comments, questions or experiences that you have around inflammation.
Some health professional believe inflammation is the root of all disease. Whatever way one looks at it, inflammation is something we want to work at lowering and there are many natural ways to help with this. I look forward to sharing more with you soon. Be sure to follow along, to see updates on inflammation and other topics pertaining to our playing a pivotal part in our own wellness management.
Maggie Holbik.com, CNC, NNCP, CLC, is a Certified Life Coach and Certified Holistic Nutritionist who resides in Northern Ontario Canada