Acute inflammation is a necessary, vital and occasionally lifesaving bodily process. However, chronic inflammation over a prolonged period is very damaging to the body and has been found to be a causative factor in many of the chronic diseases people are experiencing in the 21st century.
The causes of chronic inflammation are; failure to eliminate whatever causes an acute inflammation; an autoimmune response (where the body creates antigens which attack its own healthy tissue), a chronic persistent irritant (such as gluten in people with Coeliac’s), smoking, stress, inactivity and ongoing exposure to pollution.
Chronic inflammation can result in the following symptoms; Allergies, asthma, chronic high blood pressure, repeated ulcers, poor sleep, constant fatigue, skin problems, regular bloating and diarrhoea, blood shot eyes and chronic pain. If it persists for a long period it can drive a plethora of conditions, such as Asthma, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Chronic Periodontitis, Cancer, Coeliac’s disease, Crohn’s disease, obesity, Tuberculosis, Peptic ulcers, chronic sinusitis and many more.
Most people just ignore the symptoms of chronic inflammation and mask them with medication. However, doing this means they are not getting to the root cause of their condition and at the same time they are putting a toxic burden on their liver and kidneys (further accentuating the cause and exaggerating their condition).
A Naturopath will try to ascertain what is causing the symptoms and take steps to restore the body to balance (homeostasis). This may include; detoxification, physiotherapy, lifestyle changes (stress reduction and improvements in fitness), environmental changes (reduced exposure to toxins), nutritional changes and homeopathic remedies.
If you think your symptoms might be attributable to chronic inflammation then consulting a nutritionist to help improve your nutrition could be the key to your path back to good health. In the meantime here are a few foods to avoid and some you should try and eat everyday.
Foods which can contribute to Inflammation
Fast foods, Trans fats, omega 6 (vegetable oils), salt, sugar, gluten, lactose, excess and poor quality meat, pesticides on fruit and vegetables.
Foods which can help to reduce Inflammation
Garlic, ginger, turmeric, omega 3 foods (oily fish, Brazil nuts and flax seeds), green tea, beetroot, tomatoes, berries, liver, carrots, squash, sweet potato and – this is the best bit -even a glass of Rioja!