Inflammation is a natural process that occurs in the body to help with healing. However, some things can cause inflammation to become chronic, and this is very harmful to the body.
Chronic inflammation has been linked to conditions such as Alzheimer’s and heart disease, so reducing inflammation is particularly important.
Here we explore some of the ways that inflammation can be reduced at home.
What is Inflammation?
Inflammation is your body’s response to illness or injury and is used to help you heal. Most people will have experienced inflammation when ill or injured, with parts of the body feeling tender, swollen and red – often coupled with a fever and fatigue.
This occurs due to an increase in white blood cells and immune cells that are used to help fight infection. Inflammation essentially occurs when your body is fighting off bacteria or viruses, or healing an injury. When your immune system has won, the inflammation should come to an end.
Problems occur when your inflammation becomes chronic. Chronic inflammation refers to having inflammation for months or years. Often, this can be occurring without any noticeable symptoms. Blood tests can reveal hidden inflammation.
Chronic inflammation can cause damage to your arteries, organs and joints, which, if left untreated, can lead to chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
How to Reduce Inflammation
Chronic inflammation is typically caused by lifestyle factors. Things like diet, exercise, stress and sleep all play a part in the level of inflammation you experience.
Lifestyle factors are often things that can be worked on and changed to help control or reduce inflammation issues.
Here we take a look at some of the most common causes and how they can be reduced.
Your diet is one of the biggest contributors to inflammation. Certain foods are more likely to trigger inflammation, while other types can help to reduce it. Following an anti-inflammatory diet can make a big difference. This can involve:
- Following a Mediterranean diet full of fruit and vegetables.
- Limit the amount of processed foods in your diet, including fried food, red meat, sugary drinks, saturated fats and trans fats.
- Increase omega-3 intake by eating more oily fish, nuts and seeds.
- Use better sources of fats, like olive oil.
- Increase your fibre intake by introducing more beans, pulses and oats to your diet.
- Reduce your alcohol consumption.
Research has linked activity levels with inflammation. A study of 4,300 people revealed that, over a ten year period, those who had regularly exercised had lower levels of inflammation than those who didn’t exercise.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) and brisk walking are found to be particularly effective methods of reducing inflammation.
An aspect of both dietary changes and more regular exercise, losing weight is another key way to reduce inflammation.
Body fat releases inflammatory proteins and also suppresses anti-inflammatory proteins. Therefore, the more body fat you have, the more inflammatory proteins will be present in your body.
Inflammation caused by excess body fat typically results in painful joints. Losing weight can help to reduce inflammation and ease this pain.
When we feel stressed, our bodies sense danger and release immune cells in preparation for attack. When we experience chronic stress, this process is activated repeatedly, and the ability to regulate inflammation is affected. Finding ways to destress, such as yoga, meditation and listening to music can help to reduce levels of inflammation.
Get Better Sleep
Sleep deprivation has been linked to an increase in inflammation, meaning that getting your eight hours is particularly important.
In addition, the quality of the sleep you have is essential, especially in regards to sleep apnoea. Sleep apnoea is when you don’t breathe properly when you sleep, and this leads to oxygen deprivation and poor quality sleep.
This causes inflammation of the cardiovascular system, with plaque building in arteries, which can lead to heart conditions.
We all know that smoking is no good for us, but did you know that it contributes to inflammation?
Smoking has been found to activate inflammation, while those who have quit present a lower level of inflammation markers.
Using CBD Oil
Studies show that CBD oil for pain works to reduce inflammation in a number of ways. While CBD can help to reduce inflammation itself, it can also have positive effects on reducing levels of stress and improve sleep, which are both factors of increased inflammation.
CBD to Reduce Inflammation
A 2015 review, published in the Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry journal, found that CBD reduces inflammation in the body through several pathways and offers a potential treatment for symptoms of inflammation and the conditions it causes.
Likewise, a 2017 study of rats with osteoarthritis, published in Pain journal, found that after two weeks of applying a CBD treatment, acute inflammation of the joints was reduced and prevented the development of nerve damage and joint pain.
CBD to Reduce Stress
CBD is thought to help reduce stress, with many research studies backing up these claims.
For example, a 2015 analysis found that CBD helped to reduce stress and could be a “potential treatment for anxiety disorders”. Likewise, a 2010 study found that CBD helps to reduce social anxiety disorder, with brain scans revealing changes in blood flow patterns in the area of the brain associated with stress.
It is believed that CBD helps with stress and anxiety by stimulating neurotransmitter systems and through neural regeneration.
Stress is a trigger for inflammation, so by using CBD to reduce stress, it can help to reduce inflammation.
CBD to Improve Sleep
CBD has also been linked to helping improve quality of sleep. For example, a 2017 review found that CBD could be an effective treatment for insomnia and that it can also help to treat REM Sleep Behaviour Disorder and daytime sleepiness.
Taking CBD oil may help you to drift off quicker, with a better quality sleep. As having better sleep is a key factor in reducing inflammation, CBD can also help to reduce inflammation in this way.
If you’d like to try CBD oil as a way of reducing any of the symptoms mentioned, then here at ElleVance, we offer a range of CBD products, including oils, capsules and balms perfect for easing pain and reducing stress.