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Inflammation in the Body:  Good and Bad

Is your body suffering from inflammation?  Answer these questions:

  • Are you achy upon waking in the morning?
  • Does it take you a while to get “warmed up” before being able to move freely?
  • Are you fatigued without cause?
  • Do your joints hurt?
  • Do you have difficulty moving your joints?
  • Do your muscles hurt without cause?
  • Are you itchy?
  • Is your skin red?
  • Are your joints hot and red?
  • Is it hard to move some of your body parts?

If you answered yes to any of these, you are likely suffering from inflammation in your body.  Inflammation is the body’s response to injury, drives the disease process, and is typically the first sign that something is awry.  Think about when you twist your ankle.  Your body reacts with the inflammatory process to initiate healing.  The white blood cells that come rushing in are meant to fight infection and help the body heal.  This is a good thing.

Not so good is when the body turns on itself and enters a state of chronic inflammation, fighting off would-be invaders that do not exist, resulting in damage to the body.  In this instance, the immune system goes into overdrive, if you will.  These conditions are broadly referred to as autoimmune diseases.

Any condition that ends in “itis” refers to inflammation (e.g., arthritis, spondylitis, bursitis, hepatitis, etc).  These, among other types of inflammatory processes, are silent in that they are not visible per se.  However, the body speaks to us via pain and unexplained fatigue.  Specific blood work can be done to test the level of inflammation within the body.  (I’m not a physician, but have had plenty of testing done.  Inquire with your doctor for more information).

Once it is determined that you are dealing with inflammation within your body, you’ll have options as to plan of care.  Of course, there’s traditional western medicine with its prescription medications including anti-inflammatories, pain relievers, and topical ointments and creams.  There are other alternatives including massage, acupuncture, physiotherapy, etc.

In addition to the above, you also can adjust your nutrition to help alleviate the symptoms associated with inflammation.  Come back for part 2 in which I will discuss the impact nutrition has on the inflammatory process.  Until then, continue to #FuelUpforaFitLife.

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