Volume 3 Issue 5

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Page 46 | Abby's Magazine - Our bodies become inflamed when the immune system jumps to action. If you suffer an ankle injury, your immune sytem will trigger an inflammatory response (or inflammatory cascade) by sending out white blood cells to take care of the damage—for instance, your ankle will swell, be hot to the touch, appear red, and feel tender—which all indicate that the immune system is working so the healing process can begin. When injuries or infections occur, this series of events signifies a healthy immune system response. However, chronic inflammation occurs when swelling sticks around and doesn't let the healing process begin. It often rears its ugly head in the gut (or gastrointestinal tract), resulting in painful bloating, alternating diarrhea and constipation, gas, and a distended tummy. Here are 10 potential causes of chronic inflammation in the digestive tract… Emotional Stress Psychological stress in the form of a panic attack, rapid pulse, or night sweats is a sign of cortisol-prompted inflammation. Cortisol is your "fight or flight" hormone, the one that kicks from the adrenal glands when a threat is perceived. It results in dilated blood vessels that force blood to your organs in preparation of an attack. This "fight or flight" response becomes a normal state during times of persistent stress, and chronic inflammation occurs when your immune system and adrenals are on over-drive. Physical Stress The body reacts in a similar manner when stress is physical. Take a hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) attack for example. This physical panic in the body will trigger an immune response and chronic inflammation may cause your intestinal tract to go off balance, your skin to break out in hives, and your body to literally shut down. Once you restore nutrients, electrolytes, and sustenance to the body, things will return to normal. However, if you make a habit of skipping meals, your immune system will remain unbalanced. Digestive Issues Because chronic inflammation originates in the digestive system, it makes sense that digestive turmoil may actually be a source of inflammation itself. Oftentimes, a simple anti-inflammation diet— one high in essential fatty acids, probiotic digestive supplements, and daily exercise will help balance the intestinal tract and get it working again optimally. Poor Diet When we eat a meal that's particularly rich, our digestive systems need to put in extra work in order for efficient digestion. This most often occurs if we rely on sugary, or processed, or fast food as 10 Potential Causes of Chronic Inflammation

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