“Whole-body inflammation refers to chronic, imperceptible, low-level inflammation.”(1) “Mounting evidence suggests that over time this kind of inflammation sets the foundation for many serious, age-related diseases including heart disease, cancer and neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.”(1)
The difficult thing about chronic inflammation is many times there aren’t any obvious signs as there are with acute inflammation. Acute inflammation occurs as the result of injury so many times there are visible signs such as swelling , and redness. If someone has chronic inflammation they may experience allergies, digestive problems such as bloating, or joint pain.
According to Dr. Frank Lipman, “Chronic inflammation is the result of an immune system imbalance .”(7) Since roughly 70% of your immune system resides in your gut it’s important to make sure your gut is healthy.
So what can you do to improve your gut health as well as combat chronic inflammation?
- Reduce stress
- Eliminate processed foods and eat more unprocessed foods such as fruits, and vegetables
- Limit alcohol
- Take care of your oral hygiene by flossing
- Limit NSAID and antibiotic use
2) Stay Hydrated
“Recent literature suggests that even mild dehydration- a body water loss of 1-2%-can impair cognitive performance.”(2) “Cognitive performance measures an individual’s attentiveness, critical thinking skills, and memory.”(3)
Some other symptoms people can experience when they become dehydrated are
- brain fog
So how much water do you need to drink in order to stay properly hydrated?
A good rule of thumb is to drink approximately half your body weight in ounces of water a day. So if you weigh 100 lbs. aim to drink 50 oz of water a day. However, This can vary from person to person according to how active someone is, and the climate they live in.
3) Reduce stress
How you deal with stress plays a critical role in your health.
According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, “Stress plays a major role in your immune system, and can impact your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, brain chemistry, blood sugar levels, and hormonal balance, for instance. It can even “break” your heart, and is increasingly being viewed as a cardiovascular risk marker. In fact, stress, and by proxy your emotional health, is a leading factor in virtually any disease or illness you can think of.”(4)
What are some ways you can reduce stress?
- Make time for things you enjoy doing
- Stay connected with friends, family
- Stay positive
- Learn to forgive
- Listen to music
There is no one size fits all approach when it comes to reducing stress. The key is finding what works for you.
4) Get enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is probably one of the most important things you can do for your health.
Sleep deprivation can have many negative consequences to one’s health. “Although scientists have just begun to identify the connections between insufficient sleep and disease, most experts have concluded that getting enough high-quality sleep may be as important to health and well-being as nutrition and exercise.”(5)
Some of the detrimental effects of sleep deprivation are:
- weight gain
- higher risk for diseases such as diabetes, and heart disease
- you’re memory, and ability to think clearly, and concentrate are all negatively affected
It’s generally thought that adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep each night to maintain their health.
Here are a few tips if you have trouble falling asleep and/or if you want to improve your quality of sleep:
- Prioritize sleep. Make it a priority to get at least 7 hours of sleep or how many hours you need to feel rested the next day.
- Try to make your bedroom as dark as possible because “even the tiniest bit of light in the room can disrupt your internal clock and your pineal gland’s production of melatonin and serotonin.”(6)
- Try to keep the temperature below 70 degrees.
- Try to go to sleep as early as possible and maintain a regular schedule
- Do something that helps relax you such as meditation, and deep breathing.
- Avoid caffeine, and alcohol.
“How to Stay Hydrated in 4 Steps- Dr. Axe.” Dr Axe.N.p., 26 Oct. 2015. Web. 30 Apr. 2016.
“8 Stress-Busting Tips From Experts | Stress Management.” Mercola.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2016.
- “Sleep and Health.” Sleep and Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2015
- “Sleep Problems Solution – Tips on How to Sleep Better.” Mercola.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2015