Lifestyle Choices That Can Cause Chronic Inflammation
Sadly, chronic inflammation affects many people all over the world. However, what many people don’t realise is that their own lifestyle choices can exacerbate the problem. Of course, some inflammation is a result of health conditions and diseases. Yet, it is also sometimes caused by poor lifestyle choices.
Here are some of the lifestyle choices that may just cause your chronic inflammation!
Carrying Extra Weight (Lack of Exercise)
Firstly, perhaps the most common lifestyle choice that causes chronic inflammation is carrying extra weight while not exercising as much as recommended. Generally speaking, C-reactive protein (CRP) is higher in obese people and it’s also a common sign of inflammation. As soon as you lose weight, your CRP will also drop (and this should correlate to a reduction in inflammation).
Elsewhere, some experts believe that excess fat cells wear down the immune system. Since fat cells are seen as negative invaders, the body activates an inflammatory response to rid it of these cells.
This year, make a conscious effort to exercise regularly and improve your diet (more on this in a moment!). With better control of your weight, you’ll reduce CRP levels and the need for an inflammatory response.
Next, chronic inflammation is sometimes also caused by a poor diet. If you consume too many inflammatory foods, your body will suffer. Examples of inflammatory foods include:
- Artificial trans fats
- Vegetable/seed oils
- Refined carbohydrates
- Processed meat (bacon, ham, sausage, beef jerky)
Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t ever have processed meat or alcohol again. But it does mean that you need to eat these things in moderation to control inflammation.
Too Much Stress
You might not think that too much stress is a lifestyle choice, but there are some things you can do to alleviate stress in life. Unfortunately, excessive stress leads to inflammation. Therefore, your response to stressful situations could be the difference between suffering from inflammation and overcoming challenges.
Good ways to prevent inflammation during stressful times include guided imagery, mindfulness, meditation, yoga, and partaking in your favourite hobby more frequently. After work, go for walks with friends rather than sitting on a device at home.
Since smoking doesn’t offer anything valuable for the body, you probably aren’t surprised to hear that it causes inflammation too. According to scientists, nicotine can activate certain white blood cells. These blood cells, neutrophils, can release inflammation-causing molecules. In other words, smoking is bad for inflammation (as well as a host of other things!).
If you want to put an end to chronic inflammation, stop smoking.
Poor Sleeping Habits
If you stay up late playing video games or just browsing on your phone, know that this can cause chronic inflammation. Even if you lose a couple of hours per night, the immune system can start attacking healthy organs and tissues. When this happens, recent research suggests that this could lead to inflammation. Not only are the healthy tissues attacked but you also suffer from inflammation simultaneously.
Wherever possible, get into positive habits when it comes to your sleeping pattern. Get into bed early, put all devices down for the last hour, and encourage a long and deep sleep. However, don’t sleep for too long because this has its own problems.
While there are treatments for chronic inflammation, like holistic anti inflammatory remedies, it’s best to avoid these lifestyle choices as much as possible. Your body will thank you for it in the long run!