Recent Blog Articles

Inflammation Archive


Atrial fibrillation after surgery: Common and undertreated?

After surgery unrelated to the heart, a diagnosis of atrial fibrillation (afib) may be more common than previously thought. These cases, which may constitute 13% of new afib diagnoses, appear to be undertreated.

How a fiber-rich diet promotes heart health

Fiber-rich diets may lower the risk of heart attack and stroke, in part by decreasing inflammation. This benefit appears to be facilitated by the breakdown of prebiotic fiber in the gut microbiome to create short-chain fatty acids. These compounds circulate through the bloodstream and interact with specific receptors on cells that quell inflammation. Short-chain fatty acids may also play a role in keeping blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels in check, as well as helping to prevent harmful blood clotting.

Too little sleep may be hard on your heart

Not getting sufficient sleep may harm the cardiovascular system by triggering physiological and hormonal changes that increase blood pressure, blood sugar, and blood levels of substances that indicate inflammation. People who don't regularly get at least seven hours of sleep a night should assess their daily habits to look for ways to improve, such as by establishing an earlier bedtime and turning off all electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime.

A refresher on childhood asthma: What families should know and do

Asthma is the most common chronic lung disease in children, and it can make life more difficult and less enjoyable for both children and their parents. The good news is that asthma is very treatable; here's what families need to know.

Use strength training to help ward off chronic disease

Strength training triggers many body reactions that protect people against chronic disease. For example, strengthening muscles helps reduce blood sugar, lower blood pressure, burn calories, and discourage chronic inflammation. Evidence suggests that getting 30 to 60 minutes of weekly strength training leads to the highest amount of health benefits. That's in line with the recommendation from the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. But doctors say any amount of strength training can help health.

What are the different types of body fat?

Two important types of fat in the body are white fat and brown fat. White fat is located in the chest, abdomen, and upper legs; too much of it constitutes obesity. Its function is to provide insulation against the cold, store fats derived from food, and continually release small amounts of the fats to be converted into energy. Brown fat is found in small amounts in the neck, shoulders, chest, and abdomen. Its main function is to burn the fat it stores, creating heat that keeps the body warm.

An action plan to fight unhealthy inflammation

Inflammation serves a vital role in the body's defense and repair systems, but chronic inflammation can be harmful. Learn six of the most effective ways to ward off unhealthy inflammation.

Can medication tame chronic inflammation?

Many medications are effective for managing (but not preventing) chronic inflammation. The most common medications include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, and biologics. These drugs can have dangerous side effects, so a physician must oversee their use. Other important ways to manage chronic inflammation include treating underlying causes of inflammation and living a healthy lifestyle, such as cutting out processed foods and taking a 10-minute walk each day. A healthy lifestyle may also help prevent chronic inflammation from developing in the first place.

Should you be tested for inflammation?

Our understanding of how chronic inflammation can impair health has expanded dramatically in recent years, causing some people to wonder if there is a test to identify it, and if they should have it. There are several tests that can detect inflammation, and they are useful in certain situations, but not universally.

Why all the buzz about inflammation — and just how bad is it?

Inflammation is the body's response to an injury, allergy, or infection, a reaction that attempts to restore the health of the affected area. But that's only part of the story, because there are two types of inflammation, and it's important to know the difference—and what is and isn't true about all types.

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