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Inflammation

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5 Sneaky signs you may have inflammation

Inflammation is a natural process that happens in everyone. In fact, it’s how our immune system protects us from infections, injuries, or diseases. And without it, we wouldn’t be able to heal properly.

However, inflammation can be a problem at times. There are many factors that can cause inflammation, from taking medication that doesn’t sit well with your body, to certain foods in your diet like too much sugar, refined carbohydrates, and alcohol.

That’s why it’s important to look out for some signs that indicate you may have too much inflammation. Here are 5 signs to look for:

Constantly feeling tired

Feeling low in energy even after getting enough sleep may be a sign that your body has inflammation. Inflammation can be a result of not enough sleep or even sleeping too much. Inconsistent sleep patterns can disrupt the body’s inflammatory response and leave you with unnecessary inflammation. This is because your body treats too much or insufficient sleep the same way it treats an illness. So your immune system thinks you’re sick and that you need rest. While it works hard to make more immune cells, it drains you of the energy you need to function throughout the day, leaving you feeling fatigued.

Experiencing digestive problems

If you’re experiencing frequent digestive issues such as bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, or loose stools, it may be an indication of inflammation in the gut. This is because inflammation can cause what’s known as “leaky gut” syndrome, where the intestines have increased permeability due to an imbalance in good and bad bacteria. This allows toxins and other harmful bacteria to leak out and into the rest of the body, which leads to uncomfortable digestive problems.

Getting sick often

Woman with cold

Another sign of inflammation could be constantly catching colds, flus, and viral infections. Your immune system may not be sufficiently prepared to fight off infections since it’s being overworked by the inflammation. In other words, your immune system simply has too much going on and finds it difficult to focus on improving its defence mechanisms. This makes you more vulnerable to the colds and flus that you come in contact with.

Weight fluctuations

An increase in your weight, especially around your midsection, could also be a sign of inflammation. Your body releases cytokines when the immune system spots a possible threat, which impacts insulin response. When your body becomes resistant to insulin, the pancreas produces more of it, which results in the accumulation of abdominal fat. One study suggests that belly fat secretes inflammatory compounds that promote chronic inflammation. This means that excess fat around your belly is a sign that you may already have some inflammation.

Muscle aches and joint pain

Although soreness after a workout or lifting too many heavy items in a day is normal, you may have inflammation if you have slight aches and pains that won’t go away. Maybe you’ve constantly felt pain after rotating your shoulders back or touching your toes. This type of pain could be a sign of arthritis. which is a form of advanced inflammation in itself and contributes to the inflammation in other parts of your body.

How do doctors diagnose inflammation?

Your healthcare practitioner may ask you to complete a blood test to look for specific markers that indicate long term inflammation. One of the most common markers is called the C-reactive protein (CRP). If your CRP is high, it indicates increased levels of inflammation. In the case of digestive upset, they may also ask you to undergo a colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, or upper endoscopy to diagnose gastrointestinal inflammation.

Since these signs can be common and are subtle, it can be hard to notice them. But being informed can help you recognize that these could be possible signs of unnecessary inflammation in your body. Be sure to speak with your healthcare practitioner if you believe you may have inflammation.

Sources
Inflammation: What You Need to Know
9 Extremely Subtle Signs You May Have Too Much Inflammation In Your Body
Are You Inflamed? 5 Sings To Look Out For
9 Sneaky Signs You Could Have Inflammation
Visceral fat adipokine secretion is associated with systemic inflammation in obese humans
Chronic inflammation and weight gain

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