Inflammation is a natural response that protects the body. But it’s not supposed to last a long time. Long-term inflammation can cause a lot of harm to the body. It can reduce mobility and range of motion, cause you pain, and lead to other serious conditions if it’s allowed to continue. Taking anti-inflammatory medications can offer some relief, but using them for the long term can lead to adverse side effects and complications. Fortunately, there are some natural supplements to decrease inflammation in the body without the negative side effects.
Under normal circumstances, inflammation is helpful to the body. It is a response initiated by the immune system and helps to protect the body from disease, injury, or infection. Everyone experiences inflammation at some time, and many times you are not even aware it is happening. Without the normal inflammation process, your body wouldn’t be able to heal properly.
The inflammation process starts by releasing chemicals from white blood cells into the body at the location where an injury occurs, or where it is otherwise affected. These chemicals help increase blood flow to the affected area and to the surrounding tissues so the body is protected. Redness or warmth may occur when the blood flow is increased in the injured or infected areas. It may also cause fluids to leak into the surrounding tissues, which results in swelling. There may also be some pain since the protective process stimulates nerves.
Causes of Inflammation in the Body
Inflammation is a natural response from the immune system. It’s an essential function of the body that helps fight off illnesses and brings healing. It’s supposed to be a temporary function that goes away once the job has been completed. The problem occurs when the inflammation doesn’t go away. This can occur for many reasons, such as an on-going infection, or if you are exposed to toxins like cigarette smoke, mold, or alcohol. An autoimmune condition can also cause ongoing inflammation. The primary causes of inflammation include:
- Chronic or acute health conditions
- Some types of medications
- Exposure to materials your body cannot easily eliminate such as alcohol
Long-term inflammation can be caused by numerous things including poor diet choices. Poor habits such as smoking, lack of physical activity, and inadequate amounts of sleep can also lead to inflammation.
Signs of Inflammation
There are several signs of inflammation in the body. They can be different based on the specific organ or area that is affected, however, the signs of inflammation share some common signs and symptoms.
- Pain. Whether you suffer from short-term or long-term inflammation, it stimulates nerve endings. This causes affected areas to become more sensitive to touch. Inflammation can also cause pain in different muscles and joints. Chronic inflammation can cause higher levels of pain and sensitivity along with stiffness.
- Warmth. It’s common for inflamed areas to feel warm. This is caused by more blood flow in the area. The skin around affected joints may or may not feel warm to the touch. If you have an illness or an infection, and are experiencing whole-body inflammation, you may also run a fever.
- Redness. Areas of the body that become inflamed may look red. This is caused by blood vessels that become wider than usual.
- Swelling. Edema or swelling is common with inflammation. The affected area begins to accumulate fluid in the tissue, which causes swelling. Swelling can also cause pressure on the skin or in tissues, which can lead to more pain.
- Loss of Function. Whether inflammation is caused by injury or illness, it can cause loss of function. For instance, inflamed joints may not be able to move properly, or a respiratory infection accompanied by lung inflammation can make it hard to breathe.
5 Supplements that Fight Inflammation in the Body
Long-term inflammation can increase the risk of developing other health problems such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Consuming anti-inflammatory foods, getting enough exercise and sleep, along with stress management are all helpful for reducing chronic inflammation. In some cases, these types of health-minded changes can even help reverse inflammation. Getting nutrient support from some specific supplements can also be helpful. Here are some of the supplements that are beneficial for reducing inflammation.
Fish Oil Supplements
Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids which are great for achieving or maintaining good health. Fish oil supplements may also help decrease inflammation that has been associated with heart disease, diabetes, and other physical conditions. (Talk with your primary care health provider before starting fish oil supplements, especially if you have a compromised immune system or if you are taking a blood thinner.)
People who have low B6, often have higher levels of C-reactive protein. This compound is thought to be responsible for causing inflammation, especially in individuals who have autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. Vitamin B6 and Folate or folic acid, are two specific B-vitamin supplements that are helpful for reducing inflammation.
Vitamin C is known to boost the immune system, but it is one of the top supplements that fights inflammation in the body. The powerful antioxidant neutralizes free radicals that cause oxidative damage to the body’s cells, which in turn, reduces inflammation. Individuals who are in the hospital for conditions like pneumonia, influenza, severe respiratory problems, and COVID-19 are often given high doses of Vitamin C through an IV to help reduce inflammation in the body.
Vitamin D plays a huge role in boosting your immune system and it may also have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Some research has been able to link inflammation with low levels of vitamin D.
Your entire body needs zinc. If you want to support your immune system, you’ll want to take supplemental zinc. Not only does it offer immune support, but it is also a potent anti-inflammatory. Zinc was found to reduce oxidative stress and decrease inflammation in one study. Many people only take supplemental zinc when they have a cold, since it helps boost the immune system and helps fight off infections.
Alcohol consumption can often lead to inflammation, which over the long term can cause your body more harm than good. Are you looking for a natural way to relieve inflammation? Give BioRebalance Restore a chance to help you feel better and get rid of inflammation for good.
Dr. Rebeca Eriksen, PhD MSc BSc (Hons) RD, is the Co-Founder at BioRebalance. She has a PhD in Nutritional Genetics from Imperial College London, and over ten years of clinical experience designing custom nutritional repair regimens for patients recovering from alcohol addiction and other disorders.