by Nicole Hutchison, owner and CEO, Statera Integrated Health and Wellness Solutions

What is chronic inflammation? Inflammation is a natural process in the body. It is our body’s immune system working to protect us from something that is recognized as harmful or irritating. For example, when you cut your finger, the body responds quickly by releasing cells and chemicals to stop the bleeding, prevent infection by triggering inflammation, and start the healing process. Inflammation is essential because without it even small injuries or simple infections could be deadly. So why do we hear so much today about the dangers of inflammation and reducing it?

Acute vs. chronic inflammation. Acute inflammation may last for a few hours or a few days. Chronic inflammation is a prolonged inflammatory response lasting for several months or even years, leaving one’s body in a constant state of alert. According to Harvard Health Publishing, “Chronic inflammation often begins with the same cellular response [as acute inflammation], but morphs into a lingering state that persists for months or years when the immune system response fails to eliminate the problem. Alternatively, the inflammation may stay active even after the initial threat has been eliminated. In other cases, low-level inflammation becomes activated even when there is no apparent injury or disease. Unchecked, the immune system prompts white blood cells to attack nearby healthy tissues and organs, setting up a chronic inflammatory process…”

What is your risk? There are several risk factors for developing chronic inflammation – some modifiable and some not.

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