The Determined Patient is aware that inflammation in the body is involved in a variety of diseases. Acute inflammation plays a crucial role in fighting infections and is a typical response to injuries, rashes, and even pneumonia. For example, when you get a sliver in your finger, you will experience redness and pain where the wood or glass fragment has entered the skin. This acute inflammation helps your body fight any bacteria that accompanied that small foreign object. However, chronic inflammation in the body is problematic. It has been linked to heart disease, stroke, dementia, diabetes, and cancer.
Tests for chronic inflammation can be used to help diagnose and follow certain diseases, for example, rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease. However, the general level of inflammation in your body is not easy to measure, and its meaning is difficult to interpret. Thus, it is not routinely measured.
To be safe and avoid chronic inflammation in the body, avoid its precipitators.
Don’t smoke or vape.
Eat a healthy diet. Consume plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes (such as lentils and beans including pinto, kidney, and black beans), and healthy fats (such as avocado, olive oil, nuts, seeds, and deep-water oily fish such as salmon and sardines).
Avoid obesity. If you are obese, work with your physician to reduce your weight. For example, your doctor may recommend surgery.
Exercise. The best exercise is the exercise you actually do!
Manage stress. Consider taking up meditation or yoga. Undergoing cognitive behavioral therapy for managing stress and anxiety can help, too.
Attend to preventive health care. Keep up with cancer screening, vaccinations, and exposure to allergens.
If you have allergies, ask your doctor about specific anti-inflammatory medications. These include corticoid steroids and “non-steroidals” such as ibuprofen and aspirin.
And keep in mind that the benefits conferred by these healthy lifestyle approaches can extend far beyond reducing inflammation in the body.