Aches and pains are the body's way of telling us that something is wrong. Pain is a symptom of silent inflammation and simply taking a drug or natural anti inflammatory will not cure it.
With a more traumatic injury your get redness, swelling, heat and pain. This is the hallmark symptoms of the inflammatory response. It has always fascinated me that it is the symptoms you are experiencing are actually your immune system. With this type of inflammation you get a fairly fast resolution once the damage is repaired.
On the other hand, a low grade form of inflammation does not produce these symptoms. Instead you often get diffuse aches and pains, low mood and overall just not feeling as energized. We call this silent inflammation. Most carry on for years and never address the inflammation. Over many years this can lead to chronic health problems like heart disease, stroke and immune system dysfunction.
Here is our top 6 causes of silent inflammation that are all too often overlooked.
Poor quality sleep
Anything that interferes with sleep can be driving inflammation. Sleep apnea is one condition that may remain undiscovered and drive inflammation for a long time before diagnosis.
Gluten and processed food are two dietary factors contributing to a "leaky gut". When GI integrity is compromised foreign particles can enter into our blood which stimulates one's immune system to generate inflammatory mediators.
Undiscovered dental infections may be hiding within a tooth or below the gums.
Too much stress and no relaxation
Stress comes in many forms. It may produce inflammation due to the physical wear and tear of our tissues.
Emotional stress can influence hormone levels or prevent one from sleeping, both drive inflammation.
The average western diet is often low in good fats and high in bad fats. Good fats like fish oil (rich in omega 3) are anti inflammatory. Bad fats found in many animal products (high in omega 6) are pro inflammatory.
Other factors such a sugar and processed foods also contribute to inflammation.
After menopause there is a decrease in the level of estrogen which has anti-inflammatory properties.
The naturopathic approach always attempts to seek the root cause of disease while treating the symptoms using the most non-invasive therapies.
Chronic pain is a complex condition involving many factors that are not discussed above. An integrative approach involves the incorporation of multiple modes of therapy. Therefore a through investigation including a detailed history, complete physical exam and diagnostic or functional testing is always recommended.