What is inflammation, and how does it affect my physical and emotional health?

In its purest form, inflammation is a natural process. Taken in isolation, when you are injured, your body’s immune system automatically kicks in and creates redness and swelling around the affected area as part of the healing process. If your body is being infected by external invaders, like bacteria or viruses, inflammatory chemicals are released by your immune system to fight against the infection.

However, lifestyle and autoimmune disorders can get in the way of the natural healing lifecycle, exacerbating the inflammatory processes which lead to chronic inflammation. It is this chronic inflammation that persists – sometimes for weeks or even years – and can then lead to a lot of the underlying health issues that we see today, such as chronic pain, headaches, stomach problems, respiratory disorders, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and cancers.

The devastation of chronic inflammation

According to the WHO, three out of every five people die due to chronic inflammatory diseases such as stroke, chronic respiratory diseases, heart disorders, cancer, obesity, and diabetes. The cost of chronic inflammation to the NHS will be equally eye-watering.

Yet, there are many simple lifestyle actions every individual can take in order to relieve that chronic inflammation. 

How to reduce inflammation in the body fast

Diet is one of the biggest changes that you can make to help you reduce chronic inflammation. Processed added sugar is one of the biggest causes. There is simply too much of it in our modern diet. We all know it is in sweets, doughnuts, cakes, and fizzy drinks, but it is also added to bread, ready meals, fruit yoghurts, corn syrup, milk, and many ‘low fat’ alternatives. 

Quite perverse that millions are encouraged to eat low-fat foods as a healthier option, which actually only makes you fatter and more ill!

You don’t need an expensive and meaningless qualification in nutrition to know that a good, natural Mediterranean-style diet will immediately reduce your sugar intake and put you back on the path the better health. This includes freshly prepared vegetables, leafy greens, good quality meat and pulses, olive oils, and meals cooked from scratch.

Combined with an increase in movement and exercise, concentrating on building good bone health and strengthening muscle will not only help you ease the pain and discomfort caused by chronic inflammation – but it will also save the NHS hundreds of millions of pounds.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Relief from the pain and discomfort of chronic inflammation can also be achieved through manual lymphatic drainage. 

The pain causes the body to tense and tighten, which in turn prevents the lymphatic system from removing waste from the body, thereby creating a bigger build-up of fluid and inflammation. This is a vicious cycle that many sufferers of fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis will recognise.

Constant pain places massive stress on the body, and the lymphatic system is compromised and cannot move fluid around the body. MLD steps in to get the system flowing again as it should, re-regulating and re-balancing the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems and refiring the immune system. As a result, the sufferer has intense relief both physically and psychologically.

Does chronic inflammation cause depression?

There is some evidence that chronic inflammation can also lead to depression. Because chronic inflammation breaks down the body over a long period of time, causing weakness, fatigue, and pain. Sufferers also experience insomnia, low mood, and social withdrawal. Whether it is the chronic inflammation that causes the depression, or the constant pain, discomfort and fatigue is a moot point, the important thing to remember is that by implementing lifestyle changes combined with gentle movement and MLD, both the pain and the depression will lift as a result.

Manual lymphatic drainage massage near me

Fortunately for the people of Peterborough, Be You Health Studios can offer help, support, and advice on all three forms of relief from chronic inflammation. We are passionate about making people feel better inside and out – and that does not involve beasting it in the gym. In fact, sometimes too much exercise can also lead to muscle inflammation which, for many (particularly those who are older and have not engaged in much exercise), can prevent weight loss, and the body scrambles to repair the damage. 

If you feel that your health issues could be related back to chronic inflammation, book yourself in for a no-obligation chat with us here at Be You. You might find that a few weeks of working towards a better lifestyle will soon see those symptoms start to fade.