3 Reasons Why You Need to Manage Inflammation

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3 Reasons Why You Need to Manage Inflammation

With swelling and redness, inflammation can be obvious. But sometimes, it happens inside your body without your knowledge, leading to damage and disease. Read on to find out why inflammation management is essential for your health.

For its intended purposes, inflammation is a good thing — your immune system stimulates inflammation as it helps your body heal. Inflammatory cells from your immune system attack disease-causing bacteria and participate in the process of tissue repair. 

An immune system that’s overactive or dysfunctional can release inflammatory cells when there’s no need for them, causing inflammation throughout your body at all times. Chronic inflammation is a characteristic of many diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and Alzheimer’s disease. The inflammatory cells begin to attack healthy tissue instead of only diseased tissue.

Prolonged inflammation inside your body could be doing more damage than you realize, and it could exacerbate your autoimmune disease symptoms. Our expert providers Kristine Van Kirk, MD, and Kelly Gebauer, WHNP-BC, of Healthy Lifestyle Medicine in Cheyenne, Wyoming, can educate you on anti-inflammatory nutrition to get your inflammation under control and improve your gut health. We can also discuss the implications of inflammation and why it must be kept to a minimum. 

While there’s no problem with acute inflammation, fighting chronic inflammation is crucial for your health and wellness. Here are three reasons to consider taking steps to manage it.

1. DNA damage can occur

Your DNA is the unique genetic material from your parents and ancestors, which dictates a lot about your appearance, tendencies, and health. DNA damage to cells caused by chronic inflammation can interfere with cellular reproduction. 

DNA damage can happen to your cells for many reasons. Fortunately, your cells can repair some of the damage. But if the damage isn’t repaired by the time a cell reproduces, the damage is passed along to the next cells. 

What are the consequences? Perhaps the most concerning possible consequence of DNA damage is cancer, which happens when cells grow uncontrollably because of the changes to their genetic coding. Chronic inflammation puts you at an increased risk for cancer by subjecting your cells to an increased risk of uncontrolled damage. 

2. Symptoms of autoimmune diseases are worse

When you have chronic inflammation that isn’t yet under control, your immune system continuously attacks specific healthy cells, which is the underlying cause of the symptoms you experience with an autoimmune disease. Controlling the inflammation through your nutrition can lead to less severe or fewer flare-ups of illnesses like:

  • Psoriasis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Graves’ disease
  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
  • Celiac disease

While these diseases have their differences, they also share some common symptoms and features. Lowering chronic inflammation could mean less fatigue, fewer body aches and pains, and better nerve function. 

3. Internal scarring can slow you down

With an overactive immune system causing an inflammatory response inside your body, a potential consequence is internal scarring. While you can’t see these scars like you can see acne scars or surgical scars on your skin, the scar tissue is equally thick and fibrous. 

The scar tissue might be painless at first, especially if the inflammation has destroyed nerve cells in the areas where it has developed. However, as new nerve cells regenerate, internal pain can occur. You might also notice achy or creaky joints and a reduced range of motion as time goes on if you don’t get the inflammation under control. 

Our experts at Healthy Lifestyle Medicine specialize in managing chronic inflammation through nutritional programs and other personalized wellness services. Schedule your next visit over the phone or online to avoid complications from chronic inflammation today.