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Inflammation 101

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Many of us keep up with health news to prevent major health problems such as cancer or heart attacks. But health issues come in variety of ways, bold and sometimes mild.

A problem may appear in the form of minor discomfort that doesn't raise a red flag. Things like a persistent dry spot, a small rash, extra hair falling out after a wash, increased acne or low mood often without a precise cause. The catch-all term used to describe some of these conditions is inflammation.  

Inflammation is essentially "the body's attempt to heal itself after an injury; defend itself against foreign invaders, such as viruses and bacteria; and repair damaged tissue" according to Live Science. Common causes of inflammation include stress, diet, allergies, pollution, lack of exercise. Inflammation may show up in the form of eczema, irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis, and ulcers to name a few. 

The body detects an imbalance which causes the immune system to respond. Because inflammation may not always ring an alarm bell, there lies the danger.  Everyone experiences inflammation at some point so it's important not to fret or ignore it.  Instead, listen to the body, acknowledge the inflammation and identify the source.  Treating the underlying cause and not just the manifestation of the inflammation is crucial for healing.  

Consult a health professional if you are experiencing inflammation on a regular basis. A blood test may help identify markers of inflammation present in your body. If not, you can discuss other options with your doctor or naturopath.

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