What is inflammation?
A distinction is made between visible and silent inflammation.
You are familiar with visible inflammation : it is caused, for example, by cold viruses or a bloody wound on the knee. When viruses or bacteria enter the body, our immune system mobilizes an army of white blood cells (leukocytes) to fight the hostile microbes. If areas of the skin are affected, they swell, become red and hot. If we have a cold, we may develop a fever. These are all signs that our immune system activates the body’s own defense cells and sets repair mechanisms in motion. This inflammation can be seen, felt and observed as it subsides. They are absolutely important and useful in protecting our bodies.
Silent inflammations, on the other hand, are less noticeable but constant in the body and initially manifest themselves with at most diffuse symptoms, which include
- Difficulty concentrating
- Headache, muscle pain and aching limbs
- Listlessness and listlessness
- Frequent infections
- Night sweats
- Food intolerance or cosmetic products
Symptoms are rarely concentrated. But if you notice some of them repeatedly, you shouldn’t dismiss them as stress, but also consider silent inflammation as the cause and get examined for it.
Because this subliminal but permanent inflammation mobilizes aggressive radicals, which act effectively against pathogens, but can cause great damage in the long term in the tissue of your body. Like a smoldering fire, they can spread throughout the body and cause great damage in the long term.
How can I recognize inflammatory processes?
In the blood count, silent inflammations could be recognized by a constantly increased CRP value . This C-reactive protein is a non-specific inflammation marker, which should normally be below 0.5 mg / l, in the case of a flu-like infection, for example, it can rise to more than 100 mg / l, and again to below 0.5 after the illness has been overcome mg / falls. In the case of silent inflammation, however, it is usually slightly increased.
Another marker is an increase in the number of white blood cells ( leukocytes ); a decrease in the blood count can also provide clues.
If you have symptoms of exhaustion over a long period of time or repeatedly, you should have your CPR values checked at the next check-up. Because silent inflammations are usually only felt indirectly, but in the long term they can shorten your life.
As already mentioned, the first signs of silent inflammatory processes can be constant exhaustion and diffuse pain, which could also be associated with stress. The darned thing is that the symptoms are often rather unspecific: one person has a slight headache, another fatigue and a third irritation. Some do not even notice that they have silent inflammation in them. In the long run, autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatism, and dementia have been linked to it. But that’s not all.
“Long-term elevated CRP blood values are associated with an increase in cancer, heart attack, stroke and general mortality risk,” explains human medicine specialist Dr. Peter Niemann in his book ” The Anti-Inflammation Strategy (ab 15,99 € ) “. The National Center for Biotechnology came to the same conclusion in a study with around 85,000 participants.
Expert Niemann sees inflammation as one of the main causes of aging: “I am of the opinion that everyone can live to be 100 years or older and live happily and healthily. The fight against inflammation in us plays an important role in this.”
How common is silent inflammation?
Experts argue in detail about the frequency. “But if you take into account that 5 to 7% of the population already suffer from chronic inflammatory diseases, then it can be assumed that a third (or more) of the population suffers from one form or another of silent inflammations,” says Niemann.
Anyone who deals with the topic of silent inflammation will be shocked to discover that a lot of everyday life causes silent inflammation. Much depends on
- what we eat
- how much we move (at least 30 minutes / day with a pulse of 180 minus age)
- how big the waist circumference is (should be less than 94 centimeters for men),
- how much stress we have
- what environmental toxins we are exposed to
Too much sugar and too much white flour are strongly suspected of triggering silent inflammation when eating . Like excessive alcohol consumption , they contribute to the development of fatty liver , which, like being overweight and above all too much belly fat, provokes chronic inflammation in the body.
Niemann: “The environment is full of influences that affect both body and psyche. For example, they arise from inflammatory substances that occur in many foods. These include certain flavor enhancers and additives, residues of pesticides or so-called wrong fats such as certain trans fats or saturated fats are consumed. “
Which foods help against inflammation?
It is amazing how easy a healthy life can be and the wide range of ways there are to counteract silent inflammation in your body. Above all, you can control a lot through diet. “Anyone who drinks coffee or tea has less inflammation in them, as do those people who can keep their sugar content below 20% , ideally below 10% of the required daily calorie requirement”, says expert Niemann.
To curb the silent threat of internal inflammation, foods high in antioxidants should be on your diet regularly. Antioxidants are chemical compounds that protect your body from damaging free radicals by neutralizing them. Ideally, these ingredients should be found in your food every day:
“Switching to organic food can reduce the amount of pesticides ingested by more than three quarters, which in turn reduces the silent inflammation in us,” explains Niemann or plastic containers should be avoided because of the coating chemicals. ” It is also important which ingredients are used for cooking, with fresh foods with lots of spices, vegetables and fruit being preferred, and whether the ingredients have been sufficiently washed.
In addition to nutrition, these components are extremely important for reducing disease-causing inflammation in the body:
- good sleep ,
- lots of movement
- avoiding or coping with stress such as noise
- healthy gums, good dental care
- sufficient social contacts
Of course there are also drugs (e.g. anti-inflammatory drugs or glucocortcoids) that can stop the inflammation in the body. However, for the most part these have enormous side effects and mostly suppress the immune system. Your doctor will only prescribe them in very severe cases. Better to try your diet and your lifestyle first.