Millions of people are affected by chronic inflammation, but don’t even know it. Inflammation is a natural and healthy part of the body’s immune response, but left unchecked, it can cause many problems like joint pain, weight gain, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer. So, what causes this type of inflammation in the first place?
In today’s video, we’ll go over the Top 11 Causes of Inflammation. Once you know the root causes of your inflammation, you can take steps to address them. As always, this video is educational, and does not constitute medical advice; we are not doctors.
Number 11. Obesity.
Obesity is often linked with low-grade chronic inflammation. When fat cells expand, you get fatter and your body is in a constantly swollen state. This extra stress isn’t good for your body, so white blood cells rush to help. Unfortunately, if you do not lose weight soon enough, healthy cells stop responding to the hormone insulin that regulates blood sugar. This is a condition called insulin resistance. Your body may then have a more dangerous problem: diabetes. White blood cells that were there to help you now enter the bloodstream and start damaging your liver.
Number 10. Stress And Anxiety.
Sometimes when something bad happens, it can cause a lot of stress and anxiety. This often triggers night sweats or a panic attack because your body is releasing cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that makes the blood vessels widen when a threat is perceived. When you are stressed, this hormone can cause inflammation, even if we don’t feel any physical pain. Your brain sees the change in emotions as a threat, and then inflammation is created as an extra protection measure. Excess cortisol increases your risk of getting an infection. You are more likely to get sick when you are stressed than when you are feeling mentally healthy.
Number 9. Pollution And Bad Air.
Chronic inhalation of polluted air has been linked to an increased chance of having diabetes, heart attack or stroke. This is because polluted air causes inflammation, which makes it harder for your body to fight off diseases. Smoking cigarettes exposes your lungs to bad air and leaves your immune system struggling to repair the damage constantly.
Number 8. Poor Diet.
A poor diet is a major cause of inflammation. This includes things like refined carbohydrates, white flour, processed foods, and high levels of sugar. These foods can cause the immune system to go into overdrive, leading to inflammation. A balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, olive oil, and fish can help keep inflammation in check. In short, skip the junk food and choose more whole, unprocessed fare.
Number 7. Lack of Sleep.
People who have insomnia have more cytokines in their bodies. This means that their immune system is working harder than people without insomnia. The body needs sleep to regenerate and the immune system needs to calm down. Not getting enough restorative sleep can promote inflammation, which is bad for people with autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis.
Number 6. Food Allergies.
Food allergies are another common cause of inflammation. When someone has a food allergy, their immune system reacts to a particular food as if it were a foreign invader. This can lead to inflammation in the gut and other parts of the body. Common food allergens include dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, and wheat. Some people are sensitive to foods, but they don’t have a true allergy. For example, people with Celiac disease get sick when they eat gluten. This is not a true food allergy, but their body reacts similarly.
Number 5. Hormone Imbalance.
Chronic inflammation can result from an imbalance in hormones, such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. When these hormones are imbalanced, cortisol levels may increase. Cortisol is a hormone that helps keep the immune system balanced and inflammation in check. Chronic inflammation can affect women going through menopause, causing symptoms like adult acne and osteoporosis. Studies suggest that inflammation increases with age.
Number 4. Synthetic Fibers.
Synthetic fibers are another common cause of inflammation. These are the man-made fibers that are used in things like clothing and furniture. Some people with sensitive skin may find that problematic fibers can cause rashes, nausea, and itching. In more severe cases, the fibers can also lead to lung problems because of the inflammation they cause.
Number 3. Chemicals.
You are exposed to many chemicals in your everyday life, such as from air fresheners, adhesives, cosmetics, and cleaning products. They can also come from things like glues, heavy metals, and pesticides. Inflammation can be caused by airborne irritants that we breathe in at work. These chemicals will spread even faster if the air conditioning system in your home or workplace is not clean.
Number 2. Excessive Alcohol.
Drinking over one drink per day can damage your memory, reasoning, and teeth. It can also lead to gastritis, anemia, and malnutrition. Drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco is even worse for you. This combination can lead to esophagitis, or inflammation of the tube that carries food from mouth to stomach.
Number 1. Trigger Foods.
The top trigger foods that can cause inflammation are sugar, refined carbs, processed foods, fried foods, alcohol, and artificial sweeteners. Some research suggests that products high in linoleic acid can cause an inflammatory reaction. This includes safflower, corn, soy, and sunflower oils. In contrast, healthy, fiber-rich carbohydrate sources, like fruits and vegetables, may help to reduce inflammation. See our video, Top 13 Foods that Cause Inflammation.
I just put together a FREE Report that shows you an anti-inflammatory meal plan comprising dairy-free and gluten-free foods you can follow for the next 28 days. Click the link below this video if that sounds like something you’re interested in, and I’ll see you on the other side.
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