What’s the difference between Acute and Chronic Inflammation?
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury or stress. We’re all familiar with the swelling associated with inflammation like when we sprain an ankle, cut ourselves or get an infection. This acute inflammation is a normal immune system response, a natural and necessary part of the healing process. Normally these symptoms subside after a few days, once the immune system has done it’s job to heal the injured area.
On the other hand chronic inflammation occurs when this normal process goes wrong and starts to target even healthy tissue. Progressive doctors accept that chronic inflammation plays a key role in aging and in many ailments including arthritis, heart disease, bone health and allergies.
Chronic inflammation is generally the result of an immune system imbalance. What I’ve seen in my practice is that decreasing inflammation and restoring balance is absolutely essential for long-term health and will likely help ease many of the problems you may be experiencing.
What causes Chronic Inflammation?
Chronic inflammation is usually caused by a combination of factors. There are often underlying nutritional deficiencies or imbalances, which have taken years to develop. Then there’s a trigger, which precipitates an inflammation -some type of injury to the body, or an infection or stress to the body.
The following are the factors that predispose one to chronic inflammation
- Poor diet (probably the most important)
- Nutritional deficiencies or imbalances
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Gastro-intestinal imbalances
- Hormonal imbalances
- Excess fat (especially around midsection)
- Lack of sleep
- Chronic low-grade infections (e.g. yeast or parasites)
What diseases are associated with Chronic Inflammation?
- Arthritis (Osteo and Rheumatoid)
- Auto-immune diseases (e.g. Lupus)
- Chronic soft tissue injuries (e.g.Tendonitis, Bursitis, etc.)
- Heart disease, Hypertension, Stroke
- Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Some cancers
- Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s
- Psoriasis, Eczema, Acne
- Aging skin, wrinkles
- Gingivitis, Periodontitis
- Multiple Sclerosis