Heart disease, cancer, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, and diabetes share two things in common. They rank in the top-eight causes of death, and they're all directly associated with chronic inflammation.
Just in case that doesn't illustrate the serious impact inflammation has on your health, here's another eye-opening statistic: More than half of all deaths are attributed to inflammation-related diseases.
When you face persistent inflammation, the best step you can take is to seek help from Behnam Khaleghi, MD, at Pacific Rheumatology Medical Center. As an expert in inflammatory diseases, he offers comprehensive care, ranging from advanced medications and regenerative medicine to supplements and holistic support for lifestyle and environmental factors.
Here’s what you need to know about the role of inflammation and how it leads to dangerous chronic diseases.
Inflammation helps you heal
Inflammation isn’t always bad; in fact, it’s an essential part of your body's healing process. It begins when your immune system sends out an army of cells to fight infections, repair wounds, and cure diseases.
These immune cells cause inflammation. Then inflammation begins healing by controlling bleeding, killing pathogens, preventing infection, and clearing away debris.
Normally, this inflammatory stage is short-lived, lasting during the early stage of healing and ending when your body starts rebuilding new tissues. If inflammation becomes chronic (long-lasting), it changes from a healing agent to the primary cause of serious health problems.
Causes of chronic inflammation
There are many reasons why inflammation can turn into a persistent problem. In some cases, your body's immune process may fail to stop the inflammation during healing.
Chronic health conditions are notorious for causing inflammation. An imbalance in gut bacteria often leads to inflammation, as does a leaky gut. When the barrier lining your intestine allows harmful substances to get into your bloodstream, they trigger inflammation and disease throughout your body.
Social, environmental, and lifestyle factors also contribute to continuous inflammation. The top factors include:
- Inflammatory foods
- Excessive alcohol
- Chronic stress
- Disrupted sleep
- Air pollution
- Environmental chemicals
Environmental chemicals come from many sources. Some people are exposed to toxins at work. However, most inflammation-causing irritants come from everyday products such as personal care products, household cleaners, and lawn care products.
Symptoms of chronic inflammation
The inflammation that occurs during healing causes swelling, warmth, and pain or tenderness. By comparison, the symptoms of chronic inflammation are varied.
You may have signs such as:
- Abdominal pain
- Chest pain
- Muscle aches
- Joint pain
- Low-grade fever
- Skin rashes
- Mouth sores
- Eye inflammation
- Memory loss
- Constipation and diarrhea
- Weight gain or loss
- Recurrent infections
We have helped many patients by identifying the root cause of the problem and providing holistic treatments that ease their symptoms and diminish inflammation.
Impact of chronic inflammation
The relationship between inflammation and chronic disease is a two-way street. Chronic diseases cause inflammation and chronic inflammation contributes to the same diseases.
Unrelenting inflammation damages healthy tissues, causing scarring and tissue death. The impact on your health depends on where the inflammation is located and which body tissues suffer harm.
Inflammation has a significant role in the development of conditions such as:
- Heart disease
- Autoimmune diseases
- High blood pressure
- Chronic kidney disease
- Crohn's disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Frequent infections
As specialists in rheumatology, we're also experts in chronic inflammation because rheumatic diseases are associated with inflammation. For example, lupus leads to systemic (bodywide) inflammation, vasculitis is defined by inflamed blood vessels, and arthritis causes joint inflammation.
We offer comprehensive care for chronic inflammation. In addition to treating the underlying disease, we offer a range of safe, effective treatments that directly target inflammation. In addition to today's most advanced medications, we fight inflammation with:
If you need help with chronic inflammation, call one of the Pacific Rheumatology Medical Center offices or book an appointment online today.