Is All Inflammation Bad?
Article At A Glance:
-Inflammation is the body’s way to protect against infection by fighting off harmful invaders
-Acute inflammation is a normal response to injury and can aid in healing-Chronic inflammation can lead to cell death, gene alteration, sleep issues, and memory deficits
What is Inflammation?
If you’ve been reading our past articles, you likely know that we’ve talked a lot about inflammation issues. But what exactly is it?
Inflammation is the body’s biological response to harmful stimuli (including viruses, bacteria, and pathogens). It’s when the white blood cells essentially attack the “invaders” and protect you from infection. Inflammation is often marked by pain, swelling, and redness as the body seeks to kill off harmful agents or dead tissue. And while these symptoms aren’t very pleasant to experience, they indicate that your body is working to keep you healthy.
There are generally two types of inflammation: acute and chronic. Let’s discuss these two a bit more in depth:
Acute inflammation refers to the body’s response to injury in a localized area (such as a bee sting). It has a rapid onset and is severe for a short time only while the body works to heal. People experiencing acute inflammation may have edema (water retention) and swelling in the area.
By contrast, chronic inflammation is not reduced to one area but can affect the entire body. It is a persistent state of fighting damaged cells and toxins that are causing harm. The immune system is constantly working overtime to try to fight off invaders, leaving the body exhausted and depleted from working too hard.
As you have likely guessed, chronic inflammation is what we are trying to avoid, as it can be especially compromising for children with autism. Research shows some of the specific negative effects of chronic inflammation include cell death and reduced formation, reduced oxytocin production (meaning less of that ‘loving” feeling of being emotionally connected), increased sensitivity, repetitive behavior (similar to stimming associated with ASD), and deficit in memory. If you are a parent of a child with autism, these symptoms are familiar to you, I’m sure.
So how do we keep our kids’ immune systems from becoming chronically inflamed? How do we keep their bodies from having to constantly fight against attacks and instead into a state of healing and growth? The answer is not easy in practice, but is actually quite simple: quality nutrition and supplements. Organic foods without toxic pesticides, supplements that promote wellness in digestion, recipes that appeal to picky eaters while also providing effective nourishment, etc.
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- What fruits and vegetables should I buy?
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