Inflammation has been found to be associated with most health conditions in one way or another.
After this article you’ll know:
How inflammation may be affecting your body
What signs to look for
Which tests to ask your doctor for, to determine the severity
Let’s look at which tests your doctor may do and gain a deeper understanding of what inflammation is… it’s MUCH more than just swelling and bloating.
What causes inflammation at the cellular level is: excess proteins being deposited in the blood.
Use these inflammatory markers, tests that are used to identify inflammation:
Erythocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR)
This tests takes your drawn blood and combines it with a chemical that separates it from the plasma. What the doctors are looking for is your ESR or how long it takes for the red blood cells to fall and create sediment.
Some specific forms of inflammation cause your red blood cells to bind together and fall at a faster rate.
If you have a lot of red blood cells falling at a fast rate, it will indicate that your body is working hard to fight inflammation
C-Reactive Protein Levels (CRP)
The c-reactive protein is a specific protein created by the liver. It’s produced in excess when there’s a chronic level of inflammation in the body. If you have high levels of CRP you likely have high levels of inflammation however, it is not tied to a specific type of inflammation.
These protein levels can even run high after a workout.
Similar to the ESR test, the plasma is separated from your blood and tested for viscosity or thickness. This test is used for specific inflammation: Rheumatoid Arthritis. This test is often used with joint pain.
When you talk to your doctor about your inflammation concerns, they will be able to suggest the appropriate tests and treatments for you.
Tests such as the c-reactive protein test work very well to see if a specific treatment is working for you. If you are treated for rheumatoid arthritis and your CRP levels go down after several weeks, you’ll know that it’s having a positive effect.
What is inflammation:
There are two types of inflammation – Acute and Chronic
Acute inflammation is your body’s natural response to damaged cells caused by virus, bacteria, puncture etc.
Chronic inflammation can last for months or years, it’s an indicator that there is repeated exposure to some irritating agent.
A poor diet, stress, minor food allergies, a sedentary lifestyle and more can contribute to chronic inflammation.
What researchers believe is that an overactive immune system results in the body being flooded with defence cells and hormones that damage tissues.
Examples of foods that promote inflammation:
Examples of diseases and conditions that include chronic inflammation:
chronic peptic ulcer
rheumatoid arthritis (pictures to the right)
ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease
Although damaged tissue cannot heal without inflammation, chronic inflammation can eventually cause several diseases and conditions including some cancers, rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, periodontitis, and hay fever.
Something to consider:
Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs (NSAID)
NSAIDs work on our ‘COX’ enzymes. These enzymes trigger the release of prostaglandins which cause the redness and swelling during inflammation.
When NSAIDs inhibit the COX-1s from working, it’s telling your body not to produce prostaglandins.
This is why they may be recommended to alieve inflammation but long-term use is not recommended.
It’s easy to tell if you have acute inflammation, you’ll have redness, swelling, tenderness, heat, or immobility.
Think of a bee sting, scraping your knee, spraining a joint, etc
Chronic inflammation is more difficult to pinpoint.
You have extra belly fat: Fat cells in the abdomen churn out inflammatory chemicals—and the more belly fat you have, the more of these chemicals they create.
You have digestive problems: gas, diarrhea, bloating, or constipation.
These can stem from a sick, inflamed, overly permeable gut—and a leaky gut that allows toxins to escape into your bloodstream is one of the leading cause of chronic, body-wide inflammation.
You have skin problems like eczema or psoriasis, or your skin is red and blotchy: This could be an external sign of internal fire. (This is why there’s a powerful link between psoriasis and inflammatory conditions that manifest internally, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease.)
Other symptoms of chronic inflammation can include:
puffy bags under your eyes
high blood glucose levels
Foods that combat inflammation
Include plenty of these anti-inflammatory foods in your diet:
green leafy vegetables: such as spinach, kale, and collards
nuts: like almonds and walnuts
fatty fish: like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines
fruits: such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges
Let us know in the comments below if you have suffered from inflmmation or think you might have an inflammation related disease and what treatments you have tried.
Live Well Team