Inflammation is our body’s natural reaction to injury and infection, causing redness and swelling. Whilst healthy in small doses, chronic inflammation can lead to conditions and diseases such as arthritis and cancer. It can also contribute to aging of the skin and body by constantly putting the body under stress. Here are five ways that you can fight the effects if inflammation
Consume less sugar
If you eat lots of sugary snacks or consume lots of soft drinks, it’s likely this will be making your inflammation worse. Such foods and drinks cause our blood sugar levels to spike, which in turn causes us to produce insulin which triggers inflammation. Consuming lots of sugar has been proven to make inflammatory conditions such as IBD, acne and arthritis a lot worse. Natural sugars like fructose as found in fruit aren’t so dangerous as the body is better equipped at getting rid of them – it’s the sugars found in cakes and cola that you’ve got to worry about.
Take a hot bath
Another way in which you can reduce inflammation is by taking a hot bath. In fact, it’s often advised by doctors for those that have a bad back. The hot water in a bathtub not only relaxes muscles so they’re not pulling as tightly, it’s also be shown to lower cortisol levels causing high blood sugar levels and inflammation.
Try natural supplements
Whilst you can take medication to ease inflammation and numb the pain, relying on meds isn’t always healthy as they can be addictive. Natural supplements could be worth trying out as a way of fighting inflammation. These include supplements such as turmeric, ginger and omega-3 fish oil. Make sure to always read the label on the bottom as certain supplements may not be advised in certain conditions (for example, taking fish oil supplements whilst also taking aspirin or blood thinners could have a negative effect).
Get enough sleep
It’s when we’re asleep that our body does most of its healing. Infections and injuries causing inflammation may be going unhealed as a result. In fact, a lack of sleep could even make inflammation worse – when we haven’t had enough sleep, our body produces the stress hormone cortisol, which makes inflammation worse. Scientists have also found other correlations between lack of sleep and inflammatory diseases.
People with inflammatory diseases like back pain used to be advised to stay in bed by doctors, but newer research suggests that its better to be active. Mild exercise is thought to slow the deterioration of joints and improve mood and sleep. Certain activities may be better for people with inflammatory diseases than others – if you’ve got joint problems the likes of running and jumping should be avoided, whilst swimming and yoga are recommended. When it comes to severe pain, you’re better off resting, however milder chronic pain is likely to be made better through exercise.