Chronic inflammation is implicated in many serious illnesses, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, many cancers, rheumatoid arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease.

Inflammation is the body’s response to infection, injury or irritant. The body responds by sending an army of inflammatory cells to remove the stimulus and initiate the healing process.Unknown

Acute inflammation is a short-term response that can last minutes to days. The chemical mediators responsible for the vascular and cellular changes allow the flow of white blood cells and plasma to the site of injury. This can cause intense but temporary inflammation

Prolonged (a.k.a. chronic) inflammation occurs when the cause of inflammation persists. This results in constant low levels of inflammation and can lead to serious health problems. These problems can include the buildup of fatty deposits in the inner lining of the arteries, which increases the risk for a stroke or heart attack.

Although inflammation is a healthy and necessary part of your autoimmune response system, persistent inflammation that serves no purpose damages the body and causes illness.

By Lenore Shamah, MS, RD

Photo courtesy of altered-state

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