Inflammation is a naturally occurring process in your body. It is increased when you have a cut or illness and it is part of your normal immune system response. Normally, it is kept under control while you are younger, but inflammation naturally increases as you age. When it does, it can lead to the formation of many diseases. Reducing inflammation can help you live longer.
Symptoms of Chronic Inflammation
When you cut your finger, you will normally see some redness around the wound – called acute inflammation. This is normal and temporary and soon goes away.
Chronic inflammation is revealed differently and you may not be aware of its presence at all. It does have symptoms but you may not connect them to inflammation. The symptoms you might have include muscle aches and pain in your joints, stomach issues, skin rashes, feeling constantly tired, insomnia, mood disorders, headaches, and gaining weight.
The Problem with Chronic Inflammation
Chronic inflammation that lasts too long damages your cells. Cell damage leads to an inability to reproduce new cells and heal itself. It leads to a process called senescence – which speeds up your aging. At the same time, these cells accumulate in the body – causing more inflammation – and more damage.
Senescence does have a good side. As cells get older, it helps prevent them from dividing, which can also reduce the likelihood of tumor formation.
The results of senescence as you age can be seen early on by the appearance of aging in your skin. Wrinkles begin to appear, and your eyesight and hearing begin to be affected.
Aging also reduces your ability to produce efficient T-cells – a powerful part of your immune system. A weakening of the immune system often leads to some diseases that can lead to an early death. You can keep your immune system as strong as possible by reducing inflammation can increase your longevity.
Chronic Inflammation Is Revealed by Testing
If you have chronic inflammation, you can get a blood test, which will reveal its presence. A blood test measures the amount of the C-reactive protein (CRP) in your blood – a protein formed by your liver.
Steps to Reducing Inflammation
Once you realize that you have chronic inflammation, you can take steps to reduce it.
You can reverse inflammation and reduce the number of senescent cells in your body.
All of the things you can do to reduce inflammation involve lifestyle changes. The one thing you may be doing that causes the most harm by increasing inflammation is smoking. This habit puts thousands of different toxins into your body, which results in more C-reactive protein – which increases your risk of many diseases.
Regularly eating foods with anti-inflammatory properties will help control inflammation. These foods are part of a healthy diet and include fruits such as cherries, blueberries, strawberries, oranges, peppers, leafy green vegetables, whole grains, and fatty fish such as tuna, salmon, and sardines.
At the same time, you also need to reduce foods that increase inflammation. It includes fried foods, refined carbs such as white bread, cakes and cookies, processed meats, soda, and other drinks with added sugar.
Finally, you also need to exercise and keep your body weight under control. It affects how much inflammation is in your body, and being overweight also weakens your immune system. Chronic stress also increases inflammation, but keeping it under control reduces it and helps you to live longer.