Chronic Inflammation - The Secret Killer
When the causes of cardiovascular diseases are considered, the first things that come to mind are smoking, blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes. Even many doctors never mention a very important risk factor. This risk factor is Inflammation.
What is this inflammation? Inflammation is a reaction of the immune system to anything foreign. It is an inflammatory formation without microbes. For example, when a mosquito bites your arm, even the redness there is inflammation. Eye redness, runny nose, skin rash caused by any allergy is an inflammation. Inflammation is a necessary and beneficial reaction under normal conditions, it is proof that the immune system is working and reacting to certain substances.
Detailed reading:Inflammation: Definition, Diseases, Types, and Treatment
There is also Chronic Inflammation, which is invisible but settles in all tissues and vessels. Chronic inflammation is an extremely harmful type of inflammation unlike normal inflammation which is healthy and beneficial. Chronic inflammation is like a fire inside the body!
Chronic inflammation is like a tissue being constantly inflamed, never getting better. Chronic inflammation causes damage to tissues, cells and DNA over time, causing tissue death and cancers. When this inflammation settles in the veins, it causes the veins to be more sensitive and more open to some external influences. For the treatment of diseased veins, cholesterol comes and starts to stick to those veins. The most important underlying cause of cardiovascular diseases is chronic inflammation in the vessels.
Detailed reading:Cardiovascular Pathobiology of Inflammasomes: Inflammatory Machinery and Beyond
,Cancer-related inflammation, the seventh hallmark of cancer: links to genetic instability
,Molecular pathways and targets in cancer-related inflammation
Chronic inflammation is associated with many diseases such as Cardiovascular diseases, Rheumatoid Arthritis, some cancers, Type 2 diabetes, Asthma, Obesity, Depression, Alzheimer's.
Factors causing chronic inflammation,
- Trans fats,
- Chemicals in processed foods,
- Artificial sweeteners,
- Animal foods and fats,
Anything foreign to the body and metabolism can cause inflammation. Inflammation causes insulin resistance and obesity with some metabolic changes, but according to new findings, obesity also causes the secretion of some chemicals that increase inflammation. Adipose tissue is not just an area where fat is stored, it is a tissue that has active hormonal functions. In case of obesity, inflammatory substances such as Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha and Interleukin-6 are secreted from these tissues. This increases obesity and creates a vicious circle.
Detailed reading:Adipokines Mediate Inflammation and Insulin Resistance
Apart from Rheumatoid Arthritis which is caused by chronic inflammation and which presents itself with pain and swelling, chronic inflammation does not show many symptoms and is often overlooked. However, some symptoms can also be signs of chronic inflammation:
- Vague pains, especially joint pains,
- Indigestion, bloating,
- Changes related to the skin.
Especially people with fat around the belly are prone to chronic inflammation.
Diagnosis of chronic inflammation occurs during routine checkups. In the blood count performed in these patients, the increase in the rate of some cells, the measurement of values such as sedimentation, CRP and High sensitivity CRP, and if necessary the level of Interleukin-6, can be used to determine whether there is inflammation and if any, its degree.
To prevent and, if any, extinguish inflammation,
- Avoid fried food,
- Avoid trans fats, margarines,
- Avoid sugary soft drinks,
- Limit animal foods,
- Avoid processed meats (salami, sausage, etc.),
- Avoid foods and desserts made from white flour.
On the other hand, there are foods that are known to suppress inflammation, which are generally foods that contain high levels of antioxidants.
- Antioxidant-rich fruits, especially citrus fruits,
- All kinds of green salads,
- Olive oil,
- Nuts such as walnuts, almonds,
- Omega 3 rich oily fish,
- Spices such as turmeric, ginger, cinnamon,
And low dose Aspirin.
The role of inflammation in diseases cannot be overemphasized. The most important factor in the formation of cancers is chronic inflammation. It is of great benefit to conduct research in the direction of inflammation in check-ups. If inflammation is present and cannot be prevented by lifestyle changes, doctors prescribe the necessary medication.
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