It is now well recognised that a link exists between chronic, low-grade inflammation and a wide range of medical conditions and health issues, including cancer, type 2 diabetes, depression, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune conditions, arthritis, and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.
Inflammation that persists in the long term causes damage to cells and tissues and can occur over many years before it becomes evident.
I am finding more and more that having discussions about inflammation, and what we can do about it, is relevant to just about every patient that walks through my
The modern lifestyle and Western-type diet are associated with higher levels of inflammatory markers and dietary and lifestyle modifications can go a long way towards assisting with modulating low-grade inflammation and therefore the prevention and management of chronic diseases.
Factors that have the potential to influence an individual’s inflammatory load’ include their genetics; diet; physical activity levels; stress; sleeping habits; obesity; imbalance of the gut microbiota; exposure to environmental toxins and pollutants as well as vitamin D status.
The fact that there are numerous factors that have an influence on inflammation means that we need to make use of multifactorial interventions and that health professionals should work together for the best chance of success.
This is an area I am particularly passionate about, not only because dietary factors have the potential to fuel inflammation or fight it, but also because I believe that simple advice and strategies can be used to have a significant impact on the health and well-being of so many of our patients.
If we all focus on thinking not only about the immediate reason that the patient has sought our help but also on really listening to them when they speak to us, to see if we pick up any additional little “red flags” that could contribute to their ‘inflammatory load’ and provide a little extra advice (or refer) when necessary.
My presentation covers the consequences of systemic chronic inflammation; the factors which contribute to it as well as what can be done to manage and prevent it.