If so, what’s the damage and what’s the protection?
Acute inflammation is an immune response to an infection, an irritation, or an injury. When the problem heals, so does the inflammation. Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, is a disease. The system has snarled up and, instead of protecting the organism, it starts to attack and even kill the body, slowly but surely.
THE DAMAGE DONE
Pro-inflammatory cytokines are the part of our immune systems that attack and kill cells with oxidative chemicals. If they don’t stop their attacks, they will start killing cells our bodies need. The inflammation in a joint can eat away at our cartilage and lead to arthritis.
The elderly are especially vulnerable to this sort of unchecked inflammation since the body loses the ability to ‘down-regulate’ inflammation with age, but you don’t have to be old to have chronic inflammation. Micro-organisms cause inflammation within our blood vessels, and the inflammation attacks the inside of the arteries. Lipoproteins form a sticky patch over the damaged area which grabs cholesterol (supposedly ‘bad’ cholesterol) to create a cholesterol bandage over the site. However, the inflammation is inside now. The patch grows and bulges. The inflammation grows and bulges. Heart disease is the result.
Modern medicine is starting to admit that chronic inflammation is the main contributing factor to all chronic degenerative diseases, and the root cause of the two greatest killers: cancer and heart disease. Indeed, chronic inflammation might be the culprit in all degenerative disease. Health problems like depression, asthma, pancreatitis, Parkinson’s, lupus, anaemia, kidney failure, psoriasis, and fibrosis are all suspect to have a root cause of chronic inflammation.
THE STARCHY CARBS CONNECTION
Chronic inflammation begins on the end of your fork, with eating starchy carbs or high glycemic-load foods. According to the Linus Pauling institute, starchy carbs have been associated with increased serum levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of systemic inflammation that is also a sensitive predictor of cardiovascular disease.
The relationship between dietary glycemic load and coronary heart disease risk is more pronounced in overweight women, suggesting that people who are insulin resistant may be most susceptible to the adverse cardiovascular effects of a high- glycemic load diet.
If you eat something that is high in sugar, it stimulates the inflammation response, which taxes the immune system. The more processed the food, the higher the glycemic level, the more chemicals, and the less food value.
Accepting chronic inflammation as the major root cause of disease would simplify preventive medical practices.
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