Chronic Inflammation Can Impact Your Brain Health - Part 1
According to a recent article in the AARP Bulletin, researches have linked chronic inflammation to dozes of brain health conditions. Dementia and Parkinson's Diseases are among the conditions listed.
"Chronic inflammation is a slow, creeping condition caused by a misfiring of the immune system that keeps your body in a constant, long-term state of high alert," says Robert H. Shmerling, clinical chief in the department of rheumatology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts. "Over time, inflammation damages healthy cells. In essence, the inflammation starts attacking the healthy cells, causing cellular damage that can trigger diseases like Dementia, heart disease, cancer, depression and arthritis," he explained. The devastating news is that the person has no idea this is happening until those conditions show symptoms.
How do you know if you have inflammation? First, it's not that you either have it or don't have it, states the article. By a certain age, we all have some degree of inflammation in our bodies. The key is to keep it at a "flickering ember" and not let it erupt into a "forest fire." If you smoke, drink a lot, carry a lot of extra weight (especially in your belly), never exercise, eat poorly or constantly feel agitated by stress, your chances of having some level of chronic, elevated inflammation are high. Before making any changes to your diet and/or lifestyle, consult your physician.
Check here next month for Part 2, which will cover steps you can take to reduce inflammation.