Recent Blog Articles

Inflammation Archive


Breathing your way to better health

Taking time out of a stressful day to perform simple breathing exercises can reduce chronic stress and prevent the harm it can inflict on the body. Even a few short breathing sessions can make a big difference for many people. Chronic stress, when it goes unchecked, can lead to a host of health problems, including high blood pressure, obesity, anxiety, depression, and reduced immune response.

Do people who have COVID-19 go on to develop other diseases?

Evidence suggests that people who recover from COVID-19 have an increased risk for developing new health problems, including heart attacks, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, muscle inflammation, blood clots that travel to the lungs, strokes from clots or hemorrhages, or psychosis. This is in addition to permanent damage that can result from having COVID, including damage to the lungs, heart, kidneys, brain, or other organs; and debilitating fatigue, difficulty thinking, and other symptoms that make it hard to function normally at work or at home.

Beyond blood pressure: Added benefits from the DASH diet

The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating pattern doesn’t just lower blood pressure. It may also reduce inflammation, heart injury, and heart strain.

Fruit of the month: Apples

Unpeeled apples are good sources of both fiber and compounds called polyphenols that benefit heart health. Eating apples often may help lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and inflammation.

New treatment for pericarditis approved

The FDA has approved a new drug called rilonacept (Arcalyst) to specifically treat recurrent pericarditis, a painful inflammation of the fluid-filled sac that surrounds the heart.

Chronic gut inflammation: Coping with inflammatory bowel disease

Chronic inflammation in the gut may be due to inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. It’s unclear what causes IBD. Doctors suspect it’s a combination of factors, such as eating an unhealthy diet or using certain medications; altered gut bacteria; having a leaky gut; or genetics. The goal of IBD treatment is remission: suppressed symptoms, lower blood levels of inflammatory markers, and normal-looking bowel and tissue biopsies. Approaches to achieve remission and prevent flare-ups include medication, a healthy lifestyle, and possibly surgery.

Cold-water dips: Healthy or risky?

Swimming (or just dunking) in cold water is generally safe. But people with heart rhythm disorders should be cautious about this practice. The evidence for the health benefits for cold-water immersion (which allegedly include fat loss and reduced inflammation) is limited. Submerging the face in cold water triggers the diving reflex, which causes the heart to slow down and blood pressure to rise. This response—in addition to an adrenaline surge from cold water on the skin—may trigger an underlying arrythmia.

Thoughts on optimism

Science continues to find that people with an optimistic outlook enjoy healthier and longer lives. The power of optimism is not just having a sunny disposition, but applying this mindset to make positive change. Even if people are not naturally optimistic, there are ways to change one’s outlook, such as looking for opportunities during trying times, focusing on personal strengths, practicing gratitude, and visualizing their best possible self.

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