Better Your Health by Understanding and Managing Inflammation

by | Nov 17, 2023

My chiropractic patients often ask me what steps they can take to improve their overall health naturally. One area that can benefit everyone’s health and well-being is reducing inflammation. Often tossed around in health discussions, the term ‘inflammation’ can seem vague or even confusing, but don’t worry I’m going to explain just what inflammation is, the different types, and most importantly provide you with actionable insights to manage it effectively.
Remember, understanding your body is the first step towards optimal health, and that’s exactly what I aim to help you with today.

What is Inflammation?

In a nutshell, inflammation is your body’s natural response to injury or infection. It’s like your body’s personal defense team springing into action whenever there’s a threat. The primary purpose of inflammation is to eliminate the initial cause of cell injury, clear out damaged cells and tissues, and establish a healing environment.

There are two types of inflammation:

Acute inflammation: This is a short-term, rapid response to an injury or infection, typically characterized by its five cardinal signs: redness, heat, swelling, pain, and sometimes loss of function. Acute inflammation is usually protective and beneficial.

Chronic Inflammation: This is a slower, longer-lasting form of inflammation that can last for months or years. Chronic inflammation is often less overt and can contribute to the development of various diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis.

Knowing what triggers chronic inflammation and how to keep it in check is key to maintaining your health.

Main Causes of Chronic Inflammation

Chronic inflammation can arise from a variety of factors, often involving a combination of lifestyle, environmental, and genetic elements. Here are some of the main causes of chronic inflammation:

  1. Autoimmune Disorders: Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and multiple sclerosis occur when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own tissues, leading to prolonged inflammation.
  2. Persistent Infections: Some infections can linger in the body, either because they are difficult to eradicate or because the immune system fails to clear them completely. Chronic infections, such as some types of viral hepatitis, can cause ongoing inflammation.
  3. Chronic Exposure to Irritants: Long-term exposure to certain irritants, such as industrial chemicals or polluted air, can perpetuate inflammatory responses.
  4. Dietary Factors: Diets high in sugar, trans fats, and processed foods can contribute to chronic inflammation. These foods can alter gut microbiota and promote the release of inflammatory markers.
  5. Obesity: Excess body fat, especially visceral fat around the organs, produces inflammatory cytokines. This can lead to a state of low-grade, systemic inflammation.
  6. Sedentary Lifestyle: Lack of regular physical activity is associated with increased inflammation.
  7. Smoking and Alcohol Consumption: Both smoking and excessive alcohol intake are known to induce inflammatory responses in the body.
  8. Aging: The process of aging is associated with increased levels of inflammation, partly due to the gradual decline of the immune system with age.

How to Manage and Reduce Inflammation

Tackling inflammation is about taking a holistic approach that includes diet, lifestyle, and healthcare practices. By making these changes, you can significantly reduce inflammation and boost your health, naturally.

The top changes I recommend to positively influence your body’s inflammatory response through lifestyle and dietary choices are:

  1. Adopt an Anti-Inflammatory Diet: Include omega-3-rich foods like fatty fish and seeds. Load up on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats. Spices like turmeric and ginger are also great.
  2. Stay Hydrated: Water is crucial for detoxifying your body.
  3. Limit Inflammatory Foods: Reduce your intake of processed, sugary, and high-fat foods.
  4. Exercise Regularly: A mix of cardio, strength, and flexibility exercises helps keep inflammation at bay.
  5. Get Quality Sleep: Aim for 7-9 hours of restful sleep every night.
  6. Manage Stress: Meditation, yoga, and hobbies can effectively reduce stress.
  7. Maintain a Healthy Weight: Reducing excess body fat lessens inflammatory signals and reduces stress on the body’s systems.
  8. Consider Supplements: Omega-3s, vitamin D, and probiotics can be beneficial. Always consult a healthcare professional before starting any.
  9. Chiropractic Adjustments: Regular adjustments can help with musculoskeletal inflammation.

 

Remember, your health journey is for the long-term and not an overall quick fix. It’s about making small, sustainable changes that add up to big results. When I meet a patient for the first time I must learn about their health concerns, examine their medical history, and do a deep dive into their dietary and lifestyle habits so I can help them achieve long-lasting, optimal health not just relieve aches and pains. Start today and take control of your health one step at a time. I hope this information helps you on your path to better health and a happier future.

Dr. William McKenna

Dr. William McKenna

Chiropractor

Dr.William McKenna has been a Chiropractor for over 20 years in Westchester and Dutchess County, helping his patients to achieve greater health and live more active lifestyles. He is the founder of McKenna Family Chiropractic located in Pelham, NY, and Dutchess Braincore Therapy and Wellness Center located in Hopewell Junction, NY. He graduated from Life University in 1999 and has been advocating for better health, naturally, since. Dr. Will believes a smile is the first step in healing and building valued relationships with his patients. Book Appointment

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