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6 Causes of Chronic Inflammation You Are Guilty Of

causes of chronic inflammation

Inflammation in itself isn’t actually bad — it’s your body’s natural defense against threats. For example, your ankle swells when you sprain it because of a rush of fluid and white blood cells sent to the area for protection and healing.

Chronic inflammation, however, is a whole ‘nother story! It’s the result of your body being in defensive mode constantly. No bueno! It leads to all kinds of awful symptoms like headaches, exhaustion, joint pain, bloating, digestive issues, brain fog….the list goes on and on. Even worse? It can set off a cascade of events that lead to chronic diseases. Yikes! {You don’t have to let this be the beginning of the end, though. Learn more about how to lower your own inflammation here.}

So how did you get this way?

It’s a little different for everyone, but there are some big ones you’ll see on this list that I think the majority of us experiencing chronic inflammation have in common.

 1. Refined Sugars and Grains

Refined sugars and grains are super inflammatory, and if you eat like many of us do, you’re way overdoing it. Even the government’s “My Plate” or “Food Pyramid” recommends more than we should consume for optimal health. Whole grains should be replacing the refined ones (or skip grains altogether.)

2. Wrong Oils

Let’s not forget about the common oils we use in cooking, processed foods, and at 99.9% of restaurants: seed oils. Canola oil, soybean oil, and vegetable oils are not only heavily refined, but they greatly throw off our Omega-3:6 ratios because they are so high in omega-6. The more omega-3 we eat, the less omega-6 will be available to our tissues to produce inflammation. So take an easy step and switch to coconut, avocado, and grapeseed oils instead!

 3. Alcohol

Alcohol consumption is often touted as beneficial to your health in moderation (though this is debatable) but it actually raises your inflammatory markers in heavier amounts. It even aids bacteria in leaving your colon — bacteria you need — and is a cause of leaky gut.

 4. Mental Stress

Chronic psychological stress (do you feel like you always have 87 windows open in your brain?) activates the body’s inflammatory response. It can even genetically alter immune cells to poise them to fight perceived threat! Cortisol, a hormone that is part of our fight or flight response, influences inflammation regulation. When it constantly runs high, our body eventually stops making enough, and we crash with long-term exhaustion.

 5. Physical Stress

Much like mental stress, the physical stress we inflict on our bodies sets of inflammation, too. We tend to think we need to push ourselves to the limit each workout and that we aren’t doing our best if we aren’t killing ourselves in the process. In reality, our bodies can perceive this as bad stress and increase cortisol and boom! Chronic inflammation.

 6. Too Little Sleep

Same goes for lack of sleep! When we don’t get enough sleep, our immune system weakens, our hormones get out of whack, and we crave sugar and carbs to keep ourselves going….all of which increase inflammation. Maybe you shouldn’t feel guilty for wanting a nap after all!

Recognize yourself?

How many chronic inflammation causes on this list are a part of your daily life? My guess is….too many.

And since chronic inflammation is the root of so many diseases including asthma, arthritis, and autoimmune disease, we should all take heed of the warning signs and make the changes in our lives that will help us live longer, happier, and healthier.

Luckily, many of the solutions are actually quite simple! Read more in my next post (or click here to be first to hear when my new anti-inflammatory program is released.)

 

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