8. July 2021
Often inflammation can occur without any signifant symptoms – you may not feel ill (nor particularly healthy) and this can be caused by silent inflammation. Silent inflammation can put our health at risk and lead to serious consequences.
Unnoticed for a long time
Silent inflammation often remains undetected for a long time, which is why it can be extremely dangerous. Unlike most infections which are often accommpanied by fever or pain, there are no obvious signs of inflammation to alert us to the cause. This type of inflammation spreads silently in our body for a long time and often only becomes evident with seemingly smaller symptoms such as listlessness, tiredness or a general feeling of malaise. This can be extremely dangerous because hidden inflammation plays a role in many diseases and chronic inflammation is proven to exacerbate many diseases – from arterial constriction, arthrosis, rheumatism and diabetes to metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.
Most common cause: diet
Our modern lifestyle, constant stress, little exercise, autoimmune diseases, obesity and especially our diet can influence chronic inflammation. Ready-to-eat meals, high-sugar foods, meat and white flour can contribute to permanently elevated inflammation levels. Under this constant strain, our immune system suffers greatly, leaving us feeling weak and exhausted. In addition, we now know that the body’s own fat deposits, which can develop due to an unhealthy diet, also play a role in the rampant defence reactions. In particular, excess fat stored on the belly produces many inflammatory substances. However, even slim people can be affected by silent inflammation. The consumption of additives and preservatives can further irritate our intestines and thus our defence system; environmental toxins, particulate matter and nicotine also fuel inflammation in the body.
What happens in the body during silent inflammation?
To fight inflammation in the body, our immune system releases aggressive radicals that not only fight pathogens such as bacteria and viruses, but can also attack our own tissue. If inflammation persists for a long time or even becomes chronic, it can cause changes in the inner walls and blood vessels – a possible first harbinger of cardiovascular disease. Therefore, the longer the body has to fight inflammation, the more likely it is that our cells will be attacked. Research points to possible secondary diseases such as depression, obesity or type 2 diabetes.
What can we do?
Certain foods like sugar, wheat products and excessive meat consumption can cause flare-ups of inflammation. Pork in particular contains a lot of inflammation-promoting substances.
Scientists at the German Institute of Human Nutrition have found that a plant-based and predominantly vegetarian diet can significantly regulate the inflammatory substances in the blood. The more colourful and varied the diet, the better. Three handfuls of vegetables (broccoli, peppers and cabbage) are recommended daily, one to two handfuls of low-sugar fruit (blueberries, raspberries and blackberries), spices such as turmeric, ginger and chilli, and omega-3 fatty acids in vegetable oils have an anti-inflammatory side effect.
Last but not least, sufficient exercise, relaxation and adequate sleep also contribute to preventing inflammatory processes in the body.