One of the greatest misconceptions today is with inflammation. It’s a swelling that can cause burning, redness and pain but it’s more than that. Some diseases cause inflammation that isn’t so obvious, not unless you’re specifically looking for it. How can you treat inflammation naturally? And more important, what’s really causing it?
Where Does It Come From?
Well the word itself comes from the Latin for ‘set afire’. If you’ve experienced any kind of inflammation then you know why those chose that particular description – it burns. But that burning isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it becomes a problem when it continues. Once you understand how the body works in this area, you’ll look at inflammation a bit differently.
Your Body Is Fighting
To treat inflammation naturally you need to understand what’s causing it – a the root of the problem. You see, inflammation is your body’s natural response to disease or to heal an injury. That’s right, in and of itself, inflammation is completely normal. Your body’s immune system is simply trying to combat a specific problem. It because a bad thing if the inflammation doesn’t go away. Long-term (chronic) inflammation is often caused by persistent disease, for example Lupus.
Your Heart And Your Mind
Indirectly, inflammation could cause heart and brain problems. A common condition of people with heart disease is inflamed arteries. The arteries may be inflamed because of plaque build up, where the body is trying to fight the ‘intruder’. The inflammation could cause a blood clot and that could cause a stroke or a heart attack.
On the brain side of things, patients with Alzheimer’s often have inflammation of the brain. It’s not yet clear how the two relate, but it looks like there’s a link.
How Can You Treat Inflammation Naturally?
There are three main areas that you can do starting right now (but always consult your doctor before starting a new diet or exercise program). They are Diet, Activity and Sleep. That’s right, even though you’re stiff and sore, exercise is still a good option. If you keep it up, you’ll reap the rewards by helping keep that inflammation at bay. Make an appointment with the office to come in and see what activities are best suited for your condition and age.
And don’t forget your rest. It’s true, you need the proper amount of sleep. Otherwise healthy people that don’t get enough rest, have inflammation problems.
Your diet can play a big role because some foods (specifically spices) have been proven to have an affect on inflammation. Ginger is a great option, cinnamon, clove, black pepper and turmeric are also great to add to your food. They not only make things taste better, but they all have the power to bring that inflammation down.
Add omega-3s to your diet is another way to cut down the inflammation, particularly from fish like salmon and tuna.
For a more complete list of diet options to help you treat inflammation naturally, checkout this article.
If you’re smoking – quit. I know it’s easier said than done, but smoking just makes things worse. Don’t give up, it’s one of the best things you can do for your body.
What about non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs? Well, they can help lower the inflammation and they can help reduce the pain, but they are a short term solution because they can also cause stomach bleeding and ulcers. They also increase your chance of a blood clot. Some of these drugs are prescription-only, and some (like ibuprofen and naproxen) are sold over the counter at most drug stores.