Chronic inflammation FACTS
- Chronic inflammation contributes to the majority of chronic diseases, including chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, and neurodegenerative disease.
- Inflammation plays a major role in autoimmune diseases.
- One of the hallmarks of CBD is its ability to modulate inflammation.
Everyone experiences acute inflammation—you smack your knee into the table and a painful red lump appears. That sore spot is your immune system working to protect and heal your body. Without acute inflammation, infections and wounds would go unchecked, so a little bit of inflammation is a good thing. What we are talking about here is chronic inflammation, which is not a good thing! It can occur when your body is attempting to fight an infection but is losing the battle, such as is frequently the case with Lyme disease. The good news is that CBD is a potent anti-inflammatory ingredient that may reduce chronic inflammation.
Inside Chronic Inflammation
Chronic inflammation is both symptom and ailment, stemming from and leading to numerous conditions. If you have any of the following illnesses, chronic inflammation may be at play:
- Active hepatitis
- Allergies and hay fever
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Heart disease
- Peptic ulcer
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease
In addition to appearing as a symptom of other illnesses, chronic inflammation can be caused by:
- AN INFLAMMATORY DIET. A diet that is high in foods that promote inflammation—including sugar, gluten, and fried foods—can contribute to chronic inflammation.
- SENSITIVITY TO FOOD INGREDIENTS. Sensitivities or intolerances to certain foods and ingredients can contribute to chronic inflammation.
- EXCESS WEIGHT. Fat cells, especially in the abdomen, release substances that trigger inflammation.
- EXPOSURE TO TOXINS. Toxins in personal, cleaning, building, and other products can contribute to inflammation.
A real problem
Chronic inflammation contributes to the vast majority of chronic disease in the United States. Check out the stats:
- Allergies: 50 million
- Alzheimer’s disease: 6 million
- Asthma: 25 million
- Depression: 16 million
- Diabetes: 29 million
- Cancer: 15 million
- Heart disease: 28 million
Imagine how these numbers could drop if we had no processed foods and followed an anti-inflammatory food plan! Add CBD to the mix to supercharge the anti-inflammatory effect.
Where there is smoke, there is fire. With chronic inflammation, you may experience:
- Overall body aches and pains, especially in the joints
- Anxiety and depression
- Change in sleep patterns or insomnia
- Fatigue or low energy
- Gastrointestinal issues, such as constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and leaky gut
- Skin rashes, such as eczema and psoriasis
- Worsening allergies, asthma, or excessive mucus production
Of course, chronic inflammation can itself be a symptom of these health conditions.
Who Is at Risk?
Chronic inflammation is the kind of condition that can affect absolutely anyone given the right mixture of circumstances. Many of us are exposed to possible triggers (see “Causes”). Lifestyle habits, especially related to food choices, affect the body’s inflammatory response.
The CBD Answer
Not only can this cannabinoid quell chronic inflammation, but CBD may prevent other chronic conditions from surfacing. In conjunction with an anti-inflammatory food plan and targeted supplements, CBD may rid you of your chronic inflammation entirely.
HOW TO USE IT
Because chronic inflammation is systemic, you always want to use CBD internally. A daily oral supplement may be helpful. If pain is an issue, you may want to additionally use a targeted topical cream. Of course, do not select edibles containing inflammatory food ingredients. CBD may eventually eliminate your chronic inflammation to the point that you no longer need it for pain management and are simply taking it as part of your wellness routine. Work with a healthcare professional knowledgeable about integrating CBD with lifestyle changes. If you are taking medications, be sure to check with your prescribing doctor.
WHY IT WORKS
The mechanism is simple but powerful: CBD is known, first and foremost, as a potent anti-inflammatory.
CBD VERSUS OTHER TREATMENTS
Chronic inflammation can have serious consequences, and so can its treatments. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, such as naproxen and ibuprofen, are the go-to options in mainstream medi- cine, yet this drug class was never intended for long-term use. Overuse can cause stomach ulcers, worsen asthma, and even increase your risk of heart attack or stroke. The side effects of the other option, cortico- steroids, can be even worse: osteoporosis, hypertension, diabetes, vulnerability to infection, and glaucoma. CBD, on the other hand, can be taken daily without dangerous side effects and may be even more effective at alleviating inflammation.
Natural Partners for CBD
Treating chronic inflammation stemming from lifestyle choices is a manageable task. You can integrate CBD with several lifestyle habits:
- CUT OUT SUGAR. Removing inflammatory foods—which includes anything sugary or fried or gluten-containing—is first and foremost in extinguishing chronic inflammation.
- ADD IN INFLAMMATION-FIGHTING FOODS. Food also can help to prevent and quell inflammation. Look to extra virgin olive oil, nuts, leafy greens, fatty fish, berries, and herbs.
The truth about obesity
Obesity is considered an epidemic in the United States, affecting more than 93 million adults. The extra fat can have serious repercussions. Chronic inflammation is just the tip of the iceberg. Obesity can also contribute to heart attacks, diabetes, and cancer—a few of the top causes of preventable death. And that is the key: preventable. Maintaining an optimal weight is important to keep chronic inflammation in check and to avoid chronic disease.
From The CBD Oil Miracle by Laura Lagano. Copyright © 2019 by the author and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Publishing Group.
Photography by Alyson Brown