Woman with belly fat
April 21, 2016

Chronic Inflammation: The Silent Killer

What It Is and How To Prevent It

When life-threatening diseases like cancer, heart disease, or dementia strike, it can feel like they came out of nowhere. But many of these diseases are caused by year after year of chronic inflammation in the cells. For this reason, chronic inflammation is often called the “silent killer.” Read on to learn more about what causes chronic inflammation, and even better, practical steps you can take now to prevent it!

Temporary vs. Chronic Inflammation

Temporary (or acute) inflammation is a necessary function of good health. You cut your finger, for example, and your immune system goes into action rushing white blood cells to the area in order to protect the finger from foreign invaders. The inflammation protects and helps nourish the injured finger back to health.

Chronic (long-term) inflammation, however, is another matter. Chronic inflammation is harmful to the body and may contribute to many diseases. There can be very few, if any, symptoms of chronic inflammation; hence the name the “silent killer.” Chronic inflammation smolders like an inactive volcano, then one day erupts with symptoms, but often it is too late, resulting in a heart attack, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s or other diseases.

What Causes Chronic Inflammation?

There can be many things that trigger chronic inflammation, one major culprit is excess body fat. Most people know that excess fat causes bone and joint disorders, cardiovascular disease, pulmonary problems, and diabetes. The extra weight alone contributes to these and other health problems. But what most people don’t know is that excess fat also causes disease on a chemical level. Fat produces chemicals that cause chronic inflammation, a key player in dangerous diseases.

How It Works

Fat cells are made up of loose connective tissue. These fat cells (or fatty tissue) produce something called cytokines—tiny secreted proteins that regulate immunities and inflammation. A normal amount of body fat does not produce excess cytokines that results in chronic inflammation. But as fat cells grow larger, they produce more and more cytokines, leading to long-term inflammation.

Surrounding the fatty cells are other cells called macrophages, which also produce cytokines. A certain amount of macrophages are necessary for good health, as they patrol the body for infection and clean up after cells after the die off. However, as fat cells expand the proportion of macrophages increases. In overweight people, most of the inflammation promoting cytokines are coming not from the fat cells, but from these macrophages.

This excess production of macrophages (caused by extra fat) triggers chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation interferes with the body’s healthy tissues, triggering genetic mutations that can lead to cancer, the bursting of plaque in an artery wall, diabetes, depression, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s and more diseases.

How You Can Prevent The Silent Killer

By reducing fat in your body, you reduce the production of cytokines, which in turn reduces the incidence of chronic inflammation. Fat is not the only thing that causes chronic inflammation, but it is certainly one of the major triggers.

As you may have already discovered, there are many outward benefits of the Shape Up Church Rapid Weight Loss Program: shrinking waist line, better muscle tone, improved complexion, greater energy and vitality.

Now that you understand more about the damaging effects of chronic inflammation, you’re getting a peek behind the curtain at what is happening in your body at the cellular level through the changes you are making in your diet. By reducing body fat, you are reducing one of the major causes of chronic inflammation, and helping your body function at its best!

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