The word inflammation comes from the Latin word inflammo meaning ‘I set alight, I ignite’, quite fitting really. Inflammation effects every one of us in multiple ways. It might be your skin that is healing from a cut or your aching back that makes you wince once you get out of bed. As much as we try to eliminate inflammation it has an important role as a key part of our body’s protection mechanism, though it’s not something we want to let get out of control.
Inflammation is one of the underlying factors of many chronic conditions including auto-immune diseases. One concept is that there is inflammation first through our lifestyle and environment. When we have inflammation, our immune system responds working to keep our body healthy. A constant calling on our immune system can make it over-sensitive. It begins to become confused between friend or foe and starts assaulting on our own cells.
When you look at conditions such as Ulcerative colitis (UC), Crohn’s disease, dermatitis, arthritis and cardio vascular disease (just to name a few), inflammation is present in all of them. UC and crohn’s are inflammation in the digestive system, dermatitis inflammation of the skin, arthritis inflammation in the joints and cardiovascular conditions; inflammation of the cardiovascular system. It just depends on where the inflammation and immune attack occurs which defines the label to your diagnosis. Medical treatment for many of these conditions include a majority of anti-inflammatory or immune-suppressing drugs.
Of course, auto-immune conditions are more complex than this and there is the argument of the genetic connection. Though the brilliant science of Epigenetic’s tells us that even though you may have a genetic tendency or risk to a condition there needs to be the right lifestyle and environment for the genetic ‘snps’ to be triggered. Which can be viewed as hopeful research – the concept that we may have some degree of influence to avoiding the genetic health conditions our past loved ones have suffered.
How about when it’s not an auto-immune disease you are trying to avoid or are battling with? What about the ‘getting older’ aches and pains we believe we need to put up with as our years tick by? This is also inflammation, which can be bought on or prolonged by our lifestyle and environment.
If we can work towards better health and reduce pain, one of the best ways will be to go towards the root cause. In both situations, auto-immune or general pain and inflammation, we have the choice daily to do things that either increase or reduce our level of inflammation.
A large contributor towards this fire is stress. Click on this link to read about the road of stress and inflammation.
By Tanya Jones