Chronic inflammation is often diagnosed as a prolonged inflammatory response involving a gradual transition in the cell types located at the inflammation site. The chronic nature of the condition is indicated by a continuous cycle of simultaneous tissue repair and impairment during the inflammatory process.
Hence, an acute form of chronic inflammation may be present as a protracted low-grade problem.
A Lifestyle-Driven Precursor To Disease
Chronic inflammation is often referred to as a “man-made” ailment thanks to its direct links to our 21st-century “western lifestyles.” Following on from its initial identification in the 1990s, chronic inflammation has gained prominence as a serious health condition.
Researchers point to this often lifestyle-driven condition as being the root cause of a range of illnesses spanning depression to diabetes. Diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, some cancers, obesity, depression and even dementia and Alzheimer’s are thought to share chronic inflammation as a common risk factor.
From a vanity perspective, inflammation seems to be a significant factor in ageing signs of the skin on our face, hands and neck.
The primary profile of an average chronic inflammation sufferer is: suffers from continuous stress with a diet high in processed foods and sugar, carries excess abdominal fat, experiences poor quality and duration of sleep and doesn’t exercise sufficiently.
Sound familiar? Health experts believe most adults living in the developed world have some form of chronic inflammation.
Ironically, inflammation is an essential, life-saving aspect of our body’s immune response. It helps to combat infection and begin the healing cycle.
However, a chronic, low-level inflammation that skulks under the radar for extended periods of time isn’t likely to be working to heal, rather it could be responsible for triggering other ailments.
This is where modern sedentary lifestyles work against us. You may start exercising and go on a diet to lose weight, but while it may improve your overall level of health, if you continue to be stressed at work, eat a diet with a high amount of processed foods and not get sufficient sleep, the inflammation can still be there chugging along and consequently, your risk for developing a chronic illness may remain undiminished.
Lifestyle factors seem to have a significant impact on chronic inflammation. Working to improve nutrition intake, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol intake, exercise regularly and ensuring we enjoy a refreshing night’s sleep may all have a positive impact.
While inflammation may not be a disease in its own right, research indicates it’s a trigger for many serious ailments, so it’s essential for our continued health that we assess lifestyle.