Usually, inflammation is the body’s way of protecting itself from injury or infection. Under normal conditions the body is able to repair itself, ward off invaders and return to a state of homeostasis (harmony and stability). However, when inflammation becomes prolonged and persists, it can become damaging and destructive to the body’s tissues. The inflammation tends to increase as we age. “Inflammaging” describes the low-grade, chronic, systemic inflammation, which contributes to the development of age-related diseases.
Several studies have demonstrated that chronic inflammation represents the “common soil” for a wide variety of conditions from chronic pain disorders to type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, obesity, asthma, and aging.
Inflammation can affect the body in several ways, including:
The Nervous System: It can result in depression, anxiety, impaired cognition, and neuropathic pain
The Skin: It can lead to dermatitis, hives, acne, and premature aging.
The Gut: It can cause pain, bloating, weight gain, and poor nutrient absorption
The Immune System: It can affect autoimmune disorders and cause allergies
Musculoskeletal- It can cause pain and reduced mobility
A healthy inflammatory response is dependent on a healthy immune system. The primary functions of the immune system are to maintain health and promote healing by defending the body against foreign invaders such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi; and to protect us from abnormal cells like those of cancer, but as we age the immune system doesn’t work as efficiently as in our younger years. This can lead to “cytokine dysregulation ” within the immune system.
“Cytokine dysregulation is believed to play a key role in chronic inflammation. Cytokines are a wide cast of small molecules in the body that are released by certain cells to help coordinate the battle against injury or infection. Ideally, there’s a balance between pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines. When the pro-inflammatory cytokines drown out the anti-inflammatory cytokines, tissue damage occurs. This tissue damage is known as inflammation. When inflammation is reduced, pain is often reduced as well” – Debra Young, Founder of Young Nutraceuticals
Naturally, once our immune system is impacted, it leaves us at risk of infection, illness, and general ill-health. Inflammation within the body can potentially be the cause, or at the very least, play a role in many chronic conditions, diseases, premature aging, and lowered overall immune function. Without a healthy immune system, the body cannot protect itself from the numerous threats to well-being that are prevalent in modern society and many of the stressors that we deal with daily.
Nourish and Heal Your Immune System
Adjusting our approach to health assists in achieving the goals we set through wellness directives, initiatives, support, and supplements. No, we may never be “perfect” in terms of health, but we can be in a continued state of improvement as we heal and repair.
There is a myriad of ways and means to improve your health and the fundamentals should always be a higher priority. These include:
Regular physical exercise and activity at least 3-5x weekly for 20-30 minutes each time.
Good nutrition that offers your body the best you can give it if not 100% of the time, then at least 80% of the time!
Stress management such as taking regular breaks when needed, introducing relaxation techniques and practices that help to stabilize stress, and pay due attention to your emotional and mental well-being.
Sleep! Without the appropriate quantity and quality of sleep, health suffers. Sleep is a very individual thing, some people can function well on 6-8 hours each evening, and others may need more. The important thing is to listen to your body and…