Acute and chronic inflammation are very different things. But it’s possible that a small, insignificant injury can be the gateway to further problems.
Inflammation is a natural response designed to keep you healthy. When you bang your leg, inhale an allergen, or become infected with a virus, your body’s immune system goes to work to get rid of the invader or repair the damage.
But sometimes it doesn’t go as planned.
When your immune system remains active after the threat has been neutralized, it can start attacking healthy cells. This is when acute inflammation might become chronic.
Acute inflammation can become chronic in four ways. One is that the body simply can’t rid itself of infection. Another is that it believes a threat exists when it does not. Another is an autoimmune disorder, when the body attacks itself, ultimately resulting in damage instead of healing. The last is an unhealthy lifestyle.
Smoking, limited exercise, and regularly eating refined carbohydrates and processed food are all considered parts of an “unhealthy lifestyle” that can increase the risk for a laundry list of chronic illnesses.
Roughly sixty percent of people die from diseases linked to inflammation each year around the world.
So, how do you recognize when you’re being affected by chronic inflammation? Although it can be hard to identify, here are some things to pay attention to:
- Unexplainable fatigue or low energy
- Depression or anxiety
- Muscle aches, joint pain
- Gastrointestinal issues like constipation, diarrhea
- Weight changes or fluctuations
- Alteration is appetite
- Brain fog
Chronic inflammation is associated with a host of conditions including heart disease and diabetes. The symptoms mentioned above are all associated with these illnesses.
A small injury may take longer to heal or lead to enhanced symptoms if your immune system is on overdrive. Pat attention to symptoms and lifestyle to learn if an overactive immune system is putting you in danger.