5 Weird Ways Inflammation is Messing with Your Health (and what you can do about it)

Young woman noticing a pimple on her face in terror

We are all guilty of ignoring the subtle, and sometimes not so subtle ways that our body’s tell us that something is out of whack. When we are busy, it is easy to brush off an occasional headache, muscle pain or even more severe issues like chronic allergies or constipation. What is important to understand is that all of these are symptoms of possible chronic inflammation. As a reminder, if you already didn’t know – chronic inflammation is behind over 95% of all western diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer.

The human body is an amazing machine with built-in mechanisms to keep all systems balanced. However, when things become unbalanced for too long, the body will deliver signals, warning lights of sorts to get our attention. If you want to be healthy, it is imperative that you be alert for the warning signs your body gives you. Imagine your body is your car, would you ignore your service engine soon light if it came on?

Here are five strange ways that your body is trying to get your attention:

Pimples, pimples everywhere

While it is true that dead skin cells and excessive oil can plug pores and mix with bacteria to cause pimples, there is often something else at play here. Research reveals that long before you see a pimple, inflammation at the cellular level is at work. The skin is our largest organ, and generally, when we see something manifested on the outside of this organ, it is a symptom of something happening far deeper within. If you struggle with acne, it may well be that you are eating foods that are causing inflammation. Three big culprits are sugar, gluten, and dairy. When you remove these three common triggers from your diet, you will most likely notice a massive change in not only your complexation but also your overall health.

Wicked cramps

According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, about 85% of menstruating women experience some form of PMS every cycle. For many, this may come in the form of intolerable cramps. A study  conducted in 2016 found that women who had more severe PMS symptoms including cramps, back pain, bloating, breast pain, mood issues, and cravings had higher inflammatory proteins in their body. To reduce overall inflammation and symptoms, the study authors suggest the following:

  • Stop smoking
  • Reduce sugar consumption
  • Reduce consumption of processed, high unhealthy fat foods
  • Stay fit
  • Follow the Mediterranean diet

You are backed up, bad

The occasional bout of constipation is relatively common, but if you suffer on a regular basis, it may be time to take a closer look. Just know that you are not alone, over 14 million Americans suffer from constipation – women more than men. If you change up your diet to include more fiber and drink more water and things still aren’t moving at an acceptable speed, inflammation may be to blame. Try eliminating sugar, gluten, and dairy while adding in plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables to your diet. It could also be that you have an inflamed thyroid. If you consume a clean diet but still struggle, see your physician for further diagnosis.

You have sensitive teeth

Are your teeth sensitive to hot or cold? This may be a sign of inflammation. Not only can poor oral hygiene result in inflammation but inflammation in the body can lead to tender gums, sensitive teeth and bone loss around teeth. Inflammation-induced Type 2 diabetes often manifests itself in the mouth first. This is just one reason why regular trips to the dentist are essential.

You are puffing up

Too much inflammation in your body results in increased fat stores and weight gain. While eating a clean diet and exercising regularly is critical, getting a grip on stress is equally as important. A body under stress produces hormones that increase inflammation and result in elevated fat stores. If your body feels like it is under attack, it will gather fat and hang on to it for protection – much like a squirrel gathering nuts for a cold winter. You might be under a stress attack and not even know it. Be sure that you are sleeping well – at least 8 hours a night, slowing down some every day to enjoy yourself, getting outdoors often, enjoying downtime with your family and friends and making a concerted effort to breathe deeply and slowly when you can. Many people find that yoga, journaling and participating in hobbies such as painting help to reduce stress. This, in turn, will lower the hormones that trigger fat storage.

Bottom Line

The bottom line here is that your body is like the fine-tuned engine of a beautiful Ferrari. When something, even something little goes wrong in the car’s engine – it is going to let you know. Your body is the same way. Take the time to assess how you feel each day. How are your mind and body doing? Are there warning signs you should be paying attention to? Inflammation is sneaky – it is also deadly – time to start paying attention!

-Susan Patterson

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