What You Need to Know to Manage Systemic Inflammation
by Holli Richardson, Hollistics.net (Guest Blogger)
Inflammation is a common condition and can manifest in many different ways. Aging can contribute to it, as can illnesses or genetic conditions, but you don’t need to live with pain. Thankfully, there are ways you can manage systemic inflammation and its effects.
What Is It?
Systemic inflammation is when your entire body becomes inflamed, and it is caused by many different factors. Metabolic issues, allergies, and autoimmune diseases are all possibilities, and only your doctor can give you detailed information. The inflammation can increase our risk of illness, as well as raise our likelihood of developing cancer, especially for those with autoimmune diseases. On the short term, inflammation is not harmful, and, in fact, it is the body’s response when we are injured. However, it is when the symptoms become chronic and systemic that we need to worry. To lower it, we have to minimize toxicity at the cellular level, otherwise known as cytotoxicity. Luckily, there are manageable ways to do it.
Look After Your Microbiome
Much of our health — both good and bad — boils down to our guts and the healthy bacteria that live there. This is called our microbiome, and keeping yours healthy may decrease inflammation. After all, these microbes help us digest difficult but healthy foods like fiber, can keep our immune systems strong, and even bolster emotional well-being. To ensure that your microbiome is in good shape, consider adding probiotics and prebiotics to your daily meals. Prebiotics are nondigestible fiber that can help keep your system running effectively, whereas probiotics such as kefir and yogurt, are active and beneficial bacteria that help digestion. Together, these can decrease inflammation and help you feel better overall.
Up Your Ginger
Your diet can greatly impact levels of inflammation, too. In addition to your probiotics and prebiotics, add ginger to your meals to see improvements, as well as other benefits. Not only does it aid digestion, strengthen your immune system, and improve circulation, but it also reduces pain. Recent studies support what people have known for centuries: ginger reduces inflammation. It’s fibrous and a good source of potassium, vitamin B6, magnesium, zinc, and other minerals. Even if you aren’t fond of spicy foods, there are ways to incorporate ginger into your diet, from stir-fries to smoothies or cookies, to gain health benefits.
Inflammation can also be reduced through regular, moderate exercise. To see the positive changes, you only need to dedicate 20 minutes a day to moderate physical activity. This can help regulate the hormones that may contribute to inflammation itself while boosting metabolism, increasing muscle mass, strengthening your heart. Before you begin an exercise regimen, speak to a doctor to determine what is safe and which workouts will be most effective.
Lower Your Stress
It may not seem readily apparent, but stress can increase inflammation. This does not mean that every surge of anxiety is going to lead to such increases. Rather, chronic stress, or stress that lasts continually over a length of time, may do so. This is why it’s important to learn to manage stress and lower anxiety levels. Fortunately, there are plenty of techniques to do so, and many of them are enjoyable. For instance, yoga is an active way to help us deal with negative emotional responses to tense situations, and deep breathing can be just as effective. If it’s a specific issue that’s plaguing you, write it down and make a list of actions you can take to change the situation, or confront it to overcome the stress it causes.
You don’t need to tolerate pain, disease, and stress. It’s possible to overcome systemic inflammation — or, at least, better manage it — through a combination of diet, exercise, and relaxation. If you have systemic inflammation, you need to start the process of improving your health today, as the condition only gets worse over time.
Image courtesy of Pixabay
Holli Richardson is a guest blogger for fibroLIFE. Her website is Hollistics.net