Inflammation is something that occurs naturally and comes to our body’s aid when it’s injured. When you burn your finger, your body sends in an army of white blood cells to destroy bacteria and mend tissue. The problem occurs when the dreaded chronic inflammation is present. Chronic inflammation, caused by stress, poor diet and sedentary lifestyle, can lead to a host of diseases including Alzheimer’s, heart disease and certain cancers.

With chronic inflammation, your body operates on high alert, as if it is constantly under attack. This can trigger disease processes like the buildup of plaque in the arteries which leads to heart attacks.

Chronic inflammation alone doesn’t always lead to cancer, but if left untreated it certainly creates a more hospitable place for cancer cells to thrive. The most common types of cancers that feed on inflammation are colon, stomach, lung and breast cancers.

The good news is that chronic inflammation is something you can control through diet, lifestyle choices and exercise.

  1. Stop smoking. It may take several attempts, but the benefits are worth it. Smoking triggers the white blood cells in your body to fight. When they are elevated for a long period of time, your immune system is weakened.

  2. Change your diet. Eat fish 2 times a week, stay away from trans-fatty acids (found in vegetable shortening and processed foods), eat brightly colored fruits and vegetables, and say NO to sugar.

  3. Move more. Experts say physical activity is one of the best ways to keep inflammation at bay. It doesn’t matter how you move, just get up and go.

Researchers are learning more and more about chronic inflammation each day. The best way to fight chronic inflammation is to take charge the factors within your control! The doctors at GI Associates want you start the new year in the most healthy way possible. If you have any concerns, call your doctor and schedule an appointment.

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