Inflammation: Friend and Foe

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Inflammation: Friend and Foe

Inflammation is a normal, necessary bodily function and occurs when your system is fighting off an infection or healing an injury. If you get a splinter in your finger, you will notice signs of inflammation—redness, swelling, heat, and pain at the site of the injury. This is an “acute” inflammatory reaction, one that dissipates over time.

In the case of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and atherosclerosis (clogging of the arteries) in the coronary arteries, the inflammatory reaction—a localized response to ongoing arterial injury—is chronic, and ultimately a harmful one. Inflammation is commonly seen in people with a high amount of “belly fat’” a dangerous body shape related to increased risk of disease. This kind of inflammation is a bodily response gone haywire, a healing response by the body that promotes increased plaque formation and fuels the atherosclerotic heart disease process. To halt or reverse heart disease, the arterial inflammation must be extinguished and the arterial milieu converted to a healthy, less agitated state. Change to an anti-inflammatory Mediterranean Diet and lifestyle and start now to prevent disease and live a long, healthy and happy life.

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