There is one commonality that seems to exist among multiple illnesses. From obesity to depression, from diabetes to heart disease, internal inflammation is a large component.
Normally we associate inflammation with the swelling that accompanies a bee sting, for example. However, inflammation can be on the inside of our bodies and can be chronic. Chronic inflammation is different from acute inflammation because chronic is long-lasting and subtle, whereas acute is severe and sudden.
Inflammation is certainly not always bad because it is an innate defense mechanism of the immune system. However, with regards to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, continual attacks on the immune system in the form of bacteria, virus, inflammatory foods, or other environmental factors can induce unregulated inflammation and result in the body’s immune system attacking itself.
Mild forms of chronic GI inflammation are much more common that we think. It is important to be aware of GI inflammation, which everyone has at some point or another, because it can progress to more severe illnesses such as Crohn’s disease and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
GI inflammation presents itself in many ways and can be sporadic, severe, or mild. Symptoms include abdominal pain, fevers, abnormally high or low appetite, bloating, skin problems, headaches, brain fog, fatigue, allergies and mood disorders.
There are ways you can guard yourself against GI inflammation. One way is through lifestyle: make sure you are managing your stress well, sleeping, and exercising. Exercise is actually one of the best things you can do to prevent internal inflammation!
Another way to avoid GI inflammation is through diet: stay away from inflammatory foods and eat more anti-inflammatory foods.
Toxic foods include processed foods, artificial colors and flavors, preservatives, GMO foods, processed meats, omega-6 fats (such as canola, soybean, and corn oil), refined sugar, sugar alcohols, gluten, dairy, alcohol, and hydrogenated fats.
Anti-inflammatory foods include leafy greens, omega-3 fats (olive oil, avocadoes, nuts), berries, turmeric, fish, and even dark chocolate. Getting enough fruits and vegetables is crucial because not only do they provide a lot of important nutrients, but they also contain a lot of fiber.
It is also a good idea to take probiotics because they allow good bacteria to thrive in the gut’s microbiome. Each person’s body is different and sensitive to different foods, so find out what foods are and are not best for your body.
It is hard for doctors to recognize chronic GI inflammation because the signs are subtle, slow-progressing, and may be attributed to other ailments. You can empower yourself against inflammation because your health is in your hands and your hands alone.