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Inflammation Archive


The heart-related hazards of air pollution

Air pollution is an often overlooked yet important contributor to cardiovascular disease. Tiny particles known as PM2.5 travel deep into the lungs, where they irritate receptors and trigger nerves involved in the autonomic nervous system. This irritation also contributes to inflammation, which accelerates atherosclerosis. Climate change can worsen the damaging effects of air pollution in several ways, such as by promoting wildfires and dust storms, which creates more PM2.5. To reduce pollution’s harmful effects, people can check air quality information and use portable indoor air cleaners when pollution levels are elevated.

Top ways to reduce daily stress

Chronic stress is bad for health. It can trigger physical problems, including chronic inflammation—the persistent activation of the immune system, which sharply raises the risks for many diseases such as dementia, heart disease, or stroke. Ways to reduce stress include living a healthy lifestyle, doing relaxation exercises, stretching, being mindful, taking a brisk walk, reducing loud noise, using laughter, playing soothing music, countering negative thoughts, reaching out for help from a loved one, and using positive self-talk.

Should you monitor this chronic inflammation marker?

Increasingly, tests that measure C-reactive protein are marketed to health-conscious consumers as a way of determining if they have chronic inflammation. However, the test is just one piece of evidence and should be interpreted by one’s doctor. Without that expertise, a customer might not understand what the CRP test result means, and as a result might suffer unnecessary anxiety or pursue unnecessary tests. It’s best to talk to one’s doctor before seeking tests that measure CRP levels.

An anti-inflammatory diet may be good for your joints

Research shows that a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods, such as fruits and vegetables, healthy oils, and whole grains, may help prevent some joint problems, such as gout or even osteoarthritis. The benefit is less pronounced if a person has joint problems already. Diet cannot reverse joint problems completely, but it may help with disease management in combination with other treatments.

Five hours of weekly exercise may help prevent some cancers

Many cancers might be avoided if people did at least five hours of moderate-intensity exercise per week like brisk walking, biking riding, and water aerobics.

Fighting inflammation with food

A healthy diet is believed to play a role in warding off chronic inflammation that can lead to chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and cognitive decline. Six types of foods that may help fight chronic inflammation are berries, fatty fish, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and tomatoes. These foods are all found in a Mediterranean-style diet, which consists of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, lean proteins, and small amounts of dairy foods and olive oil.

The most common exercise among people with arthritis

U.S. adults who report being physically active say their most frequent forms of exercise are walking, gardening, and weight lifting, according to a study published online Oct. 8, 2021, by the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

If you have knee pain, telehealth may help

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the number one cause of chronic knee pain, affecting nearly a quarter of people 40 or older. A recent study of people with overweight or obesity and OA showed that telehealth visits can be an effective way to provide care and may even help with weight loss, which can improve symptoms and prevent OA from worsening.

Anti-inflammatory food superstars for every season

Inflammation is part of the body's healing process, but chronic inflammation can contribute to a range of health issues. In every season, regularly eating a variety of anti-inflammatory foods can benefit your health.

Taming the chronic inflammation of psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory condition in which the immune system attacks the skin. It causes painful skin lesions and may also lead to psoriatic arthritis, hypertension, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, or coronary artery disease. Psoriasis treatments include topical steroids, gentle exfoliant lotions, emollients that keep the skin hydrated, ultraviolet light (phototherapy), laser therapies, vitamin A (retinoid creams), and medications (for moderate-to-severe psoriasis). People with psoriasis are encouraged to get vaccinated against COVID-19 with an mRNA vaccine (from either Pfizer or Moderna) as soon as possible, if they haven’t already done so.

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