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Acute inflammation is a normal physical response to an injury or infection, but chronic inflammation is implicated in a large number of health complaints. Infection, stress, poor diet, and a lack of exercise can all increase the levels of inflammation in our bodies. Lifestyle and dietary changes can reduce your inflammatory load, and help restore you to health and wellness.

Inflammation is the body’s normal response to injury or infection. Your body might become red, swollen and painful at the site of an injury, signaling that your immune system has responded and is beginning the healing process.

Short term inflammation is not usually a problem, but chronic inflammation indicates that something more serious is going on in your body. Chronic inflammation causes the thickening and scarring of connective tissue, and the destruction and death of bodily cells. It is thought to underlie a wide range of chronic diseases including cancer, allergies, arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases, fibromyalgia, psoriasis and even depression.

Scientific studies have confirmed that chronic stress leads to an increase in inflammation in the body (read the abstract here).  A stressful event stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, priming the body to react to any perceived threat. This is also known as the ‘fight or flight’ response. Long-term activation of this response causes the body to produce higher levels of inflammatory cells, as well as lower levels of anti-inflammatory cells, causing chronic inflammation.