As soon as you walk into the corner of your dresser accidentally, you begin to experience the pain caused by inflammation—redness, maybe even some swelling, tenderness, etc. But, although this is a pretty classic example of inflammation, there are other types that you can experience.
Acute inflammation, related to an injury, is a type of healing process, and this type is okay. When inflammation becomes chronic, however, you will want to do something about it or you will end up with serious health issues that could include arthritis, diabetes, hair loss, and even Alzheimer’s disease.
All it takes is a simple blood test to detect, but here are a few of the most common symptoms. If you experience any of these symptoms and they don’t go away, ask your doctor if you should be examined for chronic inflammation.
Certainly there are many possible causes for depression, but inflammation is definitely one of them. Dr. Andrew Miller, a professor of psychiatry and behavioural sciences at Emory School of Medicine, states,"If you look at patients with heart disease who are depressed, you see they have higher markers of inflammation than heart disease patients who aren't depressed.”
This is not only true for heart patients, as many others with chronic health problems experience increased inflammation and depression. The more inflammation that is within the body, the higher the risk of depression. Miller also found that there is a connection when depression is treated, and that using exercise and omega-3 fatty acids to treat inflammation can reduce depression symptoms.
2. Stomach pains
Certain digestive conditions, including Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) are caused by chronic inflammation. The symptoms of IBS are typically diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain, and constipation. Other stomach problems, including celiac disease may be indicative of chronic inflammation and warrant a check by your doctor, too.
3. Constant fatigue
You might try to explain away your constant state of tiredness by saying you work too hard, don’t sleep enough, or have too many stressors in your life. But, it might actually be caused by chronic inflammation. Dr. Mary Harrington, director of the neuroscience program at Smith College, explained that about 15% of the population shows this kind of life changing fatigue. She states, “We think that inflammation is key.”
Because inflammation can affect the central nervous system, there can be small changes in the circadian pacemaker part of your brain—which helps your brain recognize day and night. When this malfunctions, you may not be able to be fully awake, or even fully asleep, for healthy amounts. This may be a sign of chronic inflammation.
While each of these symptoms could be indicative of many different health problems, they are worth checking out. If you have chronic inflammation, your doctor can help you learn ways to treat it and improve your health.