Kellyann Petrucci, ND, a leading naturopathic physician and nutritionist, is an inflammation expert. This week, we're sharing Dr. Petrucci's expertise in a series on fighting inflammation for optimal health. To learn more, check out her new mindbodygreen course, Beat Inflammation: A 21-Day Plan for Glowing Skin, Long-Term Weight Loss, and Vibrant Health.
Typically, it’s pretty easy to tell if you’re experiencing acute inflammation. If you scrape your knee, your skin will turn red and hot. If you catch a cold, your runny nose and fever will tell the whole world that you’re inflamed. So acute inflammation is a natural, healthy process that helps your body heal.
But chronic inflammation is a whole different story. Chronic inflammation occurs when your immune system gets set permanently to “on.” As a result, it constantly releases a flood of damaging chemicals that could sicken your cells. It’s like a forest fire that never goes out.
Recent research suggests that chronic inflammation is associated with many modern diseases, including obesity and heart disease. In addition, chronic inflammation could make you feel tired and “washed out.”
Your doctor can measure your level of C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation, to indicate whether chronic inflammation might be wreaking havoc on your body. But there are also a few clues your body might be telling you.