Newport Beach, CA, September 14, 2013 --(PR.com
)-- A recent study by the National Runners' Health Study suggests that chronic inflammation throughout the body may be linked with such serious health issues as diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer's and even cancer. According to an article in the April 2012 edition of the journal Nutrition and Metabolism, inflammation is typically exacerbated by poor diet, high stress and unhealthy lifestyles, all of which can put additional strain on the immune system. Dr. Ralph Venuto (http://www.drvenuto.com), an orthopedic specialist in Newport Beach, California, has seen the effects that chronic inflammation can have on joint health in his own practice, particularly in his arthritis patients.
"Arthritis, by definition, causes inflammation of the joints," explains Dr. Venuto, a California arthritis specialist and well-known orthopedic surgeon. "Yet the body can't reduce that painful inflammation while it remains under constant attack, because it can’t relax enough to heal. Instead, those defense systems just keep right on fighting, and inflammation becomes chronic."
According to Dr. Venuto, although inflammation arises as part of the body’s natural healing processes and is designed to protect the body and promote healing, this response can wreak havoc if left unchecked. Under sustained, long-term attacks, the immune system can become over reactive, causing ongoing chronic inflammation that has the potential to worsen existing arthritis symptoms, as well as cause more severe damage to critical systems within the body such as heart valves and brain cells.
Arthritis symptoms can be aggravated by lifestyle habits that result in increased inflammation, like high stress levels and poor eating habits. Similarly, activities and habits that have been shown to reduce inflammation, like dietary changes, stress reduction and moderate exercise, can work together to reduce the painful symptoms of arthritis and improve the health of the entire body.
The report in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism indicates that chronic systemic inflammation is perpetuated by unhealthy habits, excess abdominal fat and other risk factors. While previously the treatment of chronic inflammation focused mainly on medication, new attention is now being turned toward first addressing dietary and lifestyle changes.
Many physicians and nutritionists have begun advocating “anti-inflammatory” diets, which are intended to reduce chronic inflammation throughout the body and promote healing. These Mediterranean-style diets typically consist of whole grains, plentiful fruits and vegetables, and unsaturated fats while avoiding refined sugars, heavy carbohydrates and red meats. Although there have not been any definitive studies conducted on these specific diets in terms of efficacy, research does show that there are much higher rates of chronic inflammation in those who are overweight or obese.
Stress is another primary cause of chronic inflammation. A study conducted at Carnegie Mellon University discovered that ongoing psychological stress affects the body’s ability to properly regulate inflammatory response. This unchecked inflammation fosters the development of health conditions, and also increases the progression of existing disease. Reducing stress levels can help the body regain appropriate functionality and promote healing from within.
"Treating the problem at the source has always been my philosophy,” says Dr. Venuto, whose Orange County orthopedic practice treats joint disorder and sports injuries as well as arthritis. “Starting with the underlying cause of the ongoing inflammation rather than just masking the symptoms leads to improving health from the inside out.”