Inflammation Archive

Articles

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.

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.

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.

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