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Chronic inflammation has been linked to multiple health issues that plague our society, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, some cancers plus a range of autoimmune diseases. Here we’ll highlight what chronic inflammation is and some simple lifestyle changes to help reduce the toll it takes on your body.

Acute inflammation is the body’s response to tissue injury. It is the first line of defense against injury and is characterized by changes in microcirculation, leakage of fluid and migration of white blood cells from blood vessels to the area of injury. Typically of short duration, acute inflammation is primarily aimed at removing the injurious agent. Most of the time it is self-limiting. Clinically, acute inflammation is characterized by five cardinal signs: rubor (redness), calor (heat), tumor (swelling), dolor (pain), and functio laesa (loss of function). The acute inflammatory process is essential for tissue healing and repair.

Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, serves no function and has been linked to many of the chronic illnesses that are epidemic today, such as: diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, autoimmune diseases, arthritis, some cancers, allergies, asthma and obesity. (Khansari, N et al. 2009)

SPEED is an acronym for five major lifestyle factors that can be manipulated to mitigate and/or reverse some of the effects of chronic inflammation:

  1. Sleep
  2. Psychological stress
  3. Environment
  4. Exercise
  5. Diet

Sleep

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