Inflammation and Belly Fat - dummies

By Erin Palinski-Wade

Chronic inflammation is a condition that causes your body to become inflamed internally due to stresses from internal or external factors. Poor dietary habits and lifestyle choices, such as cigarette smoking, excessive alcohol intake, and sedentary lifestyle, can increase the risk of chronic inflammation.

So if your diet isn’t the greatest and you make some of these poor lifestyle choices, you may have underlying inflammation. To be safe, everyone should assume she has a low level of inflammation in her body and should work at preventing it.

Inflammation is a complex response of the systems in your body to fight off harmful pathogens, irritants, or even damaged cells. It’s your body’s way of protecting itself by removing damaging substances and initiating the healing process. It’s really part of the immune response.

Think of inflammation as a war in your body. A foreign body, pathogen, or mutated cell enters the body and threatens it by risking damage or disease. To prevent damage, the body unleashes white blood cells to attack the invader. These cells either destroy the invader or wall it off to prevent it from spreading to other areas of the body.

The body also releases proteins containing fluids to the area under invasion. The dilation and constriction of blood vessels to move protein and fluid to the area are what contribute to swelling. As nerve endings are compressed from swelling, pain can result.

When inflammation occurs in your body on a regular basis, such as from constant introduction of unhealthy food substances, your body can become chronically inflamed. Chronic inflammation is an autoimmune disease. Your body’s defense system switches from protecting you and starts to attack itself and slowly leads to a metabolic breakdown, which can lead to serious, long-term health consequences.

Some individuals with chronic inflammation display symptoms like joint pain and chronic fatigue. Even gingivitis, inflammation of the gums, may be an indication of inflammation or impending inflammation in other parts of your body. However, inflammation can also be a silent disease, with few to no symptoms until it causes other serious health conditions.