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The Impact On Inflammation

Here is a definition of the word, “INFLAMMATION”: A local response to cellular injury that is marked by capillary dilatation, leukocytic infiltration, redness, heat, and pain and that serves as a mechanism initiating the elimination of noxious agents and of damaged tissue.

There is a distinct difference between “acute inflammation” which could be considered “good” and chronic inflammation that is “bad”.  As an example, when we develop an infection, the acute inflammatory reaction consists of the production of white blood cells, antibodies and other responses that are needed to rid ourselves of those organisms responsible for the infection.  Chronic inflammation however, is harmful and can lead to such life-threatening diseases such as heart attacks, cancers, arthritis and autoimmune diseases.

Poor weight control leads to the secretion of a number of chemicals that produce chronic inflammation. Leptins, adinopectins and other pro-inflammatory chemicals are produced in higher levels in obese people.  Numerous studies have proven that people with poor weight control are much more subject to chronic inflammatory states than normal weight individuals.

One of the laboratory blood tests used to measure the level of “inflammation” in the body is a c-reactive protein test.  If you have not had this test in the past, request the next time your doctor orders labs that this test be added on.

The good news?  Weight loss has been shown to lower the inflammatory state.  By doing so, this, in part, is responsible for the decrease risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and/or cancer.

Here is another recommendation for reducing inflammation: If you are a football Giants fan like me, or follow the Lions, Falcons, Jets or any other really bad teams, stop watching football on Sundays.  I most definitely feel pain, redness and heat (all inflammatory responses) when I watch the Giants get creamed week after week.

Summary:  Obesity is linked to higher levels of chronic inflammation.  As opposed to acute inflammation that is helpful to the body, chronic inflammation leads to diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other diseases.  The c-reactive protein level can measure to some extent the inflammatory state in the body.

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