Chronic or Systemic Inflammation; a low level of inflammation which affects various parts of the body for prolonged periods of time. This can be due to illness / disease and life style factors (e.g. smoking, alcohol, obesity).
Prolonged inflammation causes a constant release of chemicals which can damage the lining of blood vessels, organs and depress the immune system.
Inflammation is common in auto-immune conditions such as: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriasis, Multiple Sclerosis, Type 1 Diabetes and Thyroid Diseases. It is also prevalent in conditions such as Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis and Coronary Heart Disease.
Studies have established links between chronic inflammation and incidence of heart attack, stroke, inflammatory bowel disease and increased risk of cancer. Long term inflammation can significantly impart your quality of life, increase your risk of developing serious illness as well as affecting your mental health.
Although we cannot change our genes, we can make active decisions in order to help reduce our bodies levels of inflammation:
- Increased sleep
- Stress management
- Healthy diet; by reducing our sugar intake, we can lower our insulin levels, this in turn can alleviate the number of cytokines in our bodies (chemicals that initiate inflammation)
- Increased levels of exercise / activity
- Quit smoking
- Healthy weight