A clear definition exists for acute inflammation, but sadly there is not one for the chronic inflammation. It can be a latent condition we may not detect within the body for a long period of time.
It is not until a diagnosis comes of something sinister like cancer, allergy, atherosclerosis, metabolic syndrome, multiple sclerosis, rheumatism, chronic inflammatory bowel disorder, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome or burnout that our attention is suddenly drawn to the issue of inflammation.
This is then quickly followed by a sense of helplessness, as medication to cure these diseases has yet to be found.
However, a whole series of indirect signs pointing to chronic inflammation in the body are detectable already early in the course of the disease. When we learn to interpret the signs our body sends us, we can do much to avoid or at least postpone the catastrophic effects of the diagnosis.
This is why in MYBIESTMILCHWORLD I place great emphasis on body perception, on how to increase our own awareness of how your body feels and what our body wants to tell us. It contains a series of tables and scales to help us train our own self-awareness so you can detect the indirect signs of chronic inflammation at an early stage and ward it off by changing our lifestyle.
The indications for ongoing chronic processes may be sleep, appetite, body weight, temperature perception, motivation, mood, to mention but a few of the factors. You will learn more about this if you journey with me through the pages.
In the following chapters you will learn much about stress and the stress system. This is because it is the system that causes, monitors and controls inflammation. The stress system consists of the nervous system, the immune system and the hormone or endocrine system. Much has been said and written about the immune system in the context of illness, which is why I have added a chapter on that subject at this point.
For I find that it makes much more sense to view these regulatory systems in their entirety. They basically consist of cells and factors such as hormones and messenger molecules which release the cells so they can communicate with one another. One sure sign of chronic inflammation is an increasing tendency for that communication process to break down.
When we feel really well, the inflammation within our body is a well-controlled process and communication flows effortlessly between the various systems. The body is in balance. This generates the inner warmth that all biochemical processes in the body need in order to function without a hitch.
When it comes to chronic inflammation, the first parameters we can measure are: C-reactive protein (CRP, a very sensitive inflammation parameter), interleukin 6 and interleukin 1, tumour necrosis factor alpha. A blood count may also point to chronic inflammation.
Single measurements in my view don't make sense anyway.
Patterns observed over time tell us more about our condition, tell us when our wellbeing is at stake.
By the time we hold the pathological tests in our hands the inflammatory process will have progressed in a way that an urgent action and radical change in lifestyle will be required. It is therefore far better to train our body awareness and feeling and take preventive action in time, so that we never confronted with laboratory parameters and isolated clinical findings that indicate that the dice are cast. A plea for prevention, this is what this site is about.