Inflammation, Diabetes, Heart disease, and Excess Body Fat
Diabetes and heart disease are on the rise worldwide. They’re serious chronic (long-term) conditions. They have a few other things in common as well.
For one thing, they’re both considered “lifestyle” diseases. This means that they tend to occur in people with certain lifestyles (i.e. not-so-awesome nutrition and exercise habits, etc.).
They’re also both linked with excess body fat, as well as inflammation.
While there are several links and risk factors, today we’re going to talk specifically about inflammation. Then I’ll give you some tips on how to improve your nutrition and lifestyle.
Inflammation is a crucial driver of diseases. It is usually quoted as the response of living tissues of the body towards any malefic stimulus such as a pathogen or any other irritant.
By some means, inflammation is appraised to be friendly for generating a protective response by activating the inflammatory mediators to stir the immune cells.
The perpetuation of inflammation is quite hazardous as it can provoke the rise of necrosis. However, our body works through a plethora of mechanisms that are liable to ensure the resolution.
Moving in a microbial world simply means that inflammation is a frequent phenomenon. Every now and then this microbial world ensures countless encounters but the problem with inflammation is not associated with how it begins, but how often it fails to terminate.
The saga of five cardinal signs
Inflammation is characterized by five most prominent and highly unanimous cardinal signs:
- rubor (redness)
- calor (heat)
- tumor (Swelling)
- dolor (pain)
- functio laesa (loss of functioning)
Types of Inflammation
The pathological aspects of the inflammation are well-known to the globe. It is broadly divided into two branches, based on the timescale.
- Acute inflammation
- Chronic inflammation
Acute inflammation is characterized by the appearance of our very own five cardinal signs [rubor (redness), calor (heat), tumor (swelling), dolor (pain), functio laesa (loss of functioning)]. It is an innate, immediate, and stereotype process that usually appears within minutes or hours in response to tissue injury.
It can occur due to infections, hypersensitivity reactions, physical agents, chemical agents, and noxious compounds.
Acute inflammation may transform into chronic inflammation if the inflammatory response is prolonged. It is also known as slow or long term inflammation that can last for months and even years. It involves the deterioration of healthy cells, tissues, and organs.
What Inflammation does?
As soon as the inflammation comes into play, the area quickly receives the aid of neutrophils. Further, the innate immunity responds by sending macrophages, natural killer cells, and T-lymphocytes for early provision of a response to eliminate the harmful stimuli.
The release of all these cells and chemicals accelerates the blood flow to the area of interest that accounts for the warmth and redness. Moreover, these events provoke the blood vessels to become leaky which results in swelling and causes pain.
The swelling of the region is considered to be a protective mechanism as it guards the cells in the vicinity against the noxious stimuli.
Chronic inflammation and diabetes
Chronic inflammation has proven to be a culprit as it was found to be a continuous resident of the diabetes patient. It is highly implicated in the pathogenesis of both diabetes type 1 and type 2. The components of the immune system alter and the pancreatic islets become inflamed. This inflammation marks the failure of β- cells and impairment in insulin secretion.
And we all know how crucial insulin proves to be for hyperglycemic patients…
Diabetes type 1 is an autoimmune system where your own immunity cells become the reason for the death of pancreatic β- cells. This interaction of the immune system leads to inflammation and ultimately the impairment of our beloved insulin. 
On the other hand, inflammation is highly related to the incidence and progression of Diabetes type 2. The macrophages of your immune system readily transform into pro-inflammatory type mediators which contributes to the initiation and amplification of the pancreatic inflammation.
Chronic inflammation and heart diseases
Inflammation is quite closely related to the progression of cardiovascular diseases. It plays an impressive role in the generation of atherosclerosis i.e. the formation of cholesterol-rich plaque in the arteries.
The plaque acts as foreign material and seeks the attention of cytokines (inflammatory mediators) that calls WBCs to scrape the plaque off of the wall and dissolve it.
But this process ends in smoke as the wall of the artery ruptures and result in clot formation. This clot is a major trigger for strokes, attacks, and hypertension.
Inflammation and excess body fat
Excessive body fat is potentially linked with the emergence of inflammation. Adipose tissues produce a variety of inflammatory mediators, collectively known as adipocytokines that are responsible for the development of inflammation and other leading diseases.
Nutrition and lifestyle upgrades
With every problem, a solution surely comes hand in hand.
And the same goes for inflammation too.
Improving your lifestyle and enhancing the quality of nutritional intake can bring wonders to your body. All you need to do is, take a little bit of time for yourself and see the magic.
A diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, flavonols, nuts, and Mediterranean diet compounds packed with polyphenols, terpenoids, flavonoids, alkaloids, sterols, pigments, and unsaturated fatty acids can play a pivotal role in not only taking down the oxidative stress but also taking care of the inflammation.
Now, what part of a good diet would call itself complete if you don’t pour the essence of some exercise?
You really need to warm up to kiss that inflammation goodbye for your own good.
The anti-inflammatory diet is encouraged by all the top drawer nutrition experts. The diet comprises a good deal of fruits, vegetables, fresh herbs, fatty fish, whole grains, and plant-based proteins.
For fruits and veggies, try to be a bit more vibrant and colorful. Cherries, raspberries, blueberries, and green leafy veggies (spinach) can be of great help to fight inflammation
Furthermore, oat-meals, brown rice, beans, nuts, salmon, tuna, and spices like turmeric are quite good at warding off the nuisance.
All in all, greasy, processed, and highly sweet items are a no go if you want to have a body that you desire.
Inflammation- Sugar and Starch
Work smart, not hard!
Eating foods that are rich in sugar and starch (pretzels, pancakes, waffles, bagels, and biscuits) can initiate a carbohydrate driven inflammatory response.
Better grab for smart carbs like brown rice, quinoa, barley, wheat bran, flax seeds and, etc.
Inflammation- Dietary fat
Trans fat is hailed as the worst dietary fat as it welcomes inflammation with open arms and triggers the incidence of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, arthritis, and other mammoth diseases.
To kick the inflammation completely out of your life, better avoid using saturated fats and omega 6 fatty acids.
The best and the only option that needs your attention is omega 3 fatty acid as it is worth it.
Inflammation- Dietary fiber
The link between fiber and the emergence of inflammation is deep. High fiber-diets ensure the reduction of C-reactive protein (an inflammatory marker).
Dietary fibers not only curtail the bodyweight but also help in managing the systemic inflammation and eliminate the complication from its root.
Here comes the difficult part but only the winners embrace hard work.
Brace up, my friend!
You really need to take down that inflammation and oxidative stress!
You see when you exercise, the levels of pro-inflammatory mediators such as TNF-α and C-reactive protein decrease.
So exercise more say bye to your good for nothing enemy.
Believe it or not, but a smile must have crept its way on your lips at the sight of sleep.
The only thing where you have to do nothing to save yourself is here-sleep.
Inflammatory activities rise immensely when you have a dysregulated pattern of sleep. So just close your eyes, imagine yourself on cloud nine, and sleep for your own good.
We have clearly understood that inflammation is our greatest enemy and root cause of the deadliest disease. We must abstain from all the paths that lead to it.
How can we avoid this malefic entity?
By eating unprocessed, Mediterranean Diet compounds, and omega 3 fatty acids.
Who is our best friend?
How can we kick inflammation out of our lives by doing nothing?
Yeah! We all know. Sleep
NOTE: None of these is a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have any of these conditions, make sure you’re being monitored regularly by a licensed healthcare professional.
Alkhatib, A., Tsang, C., Tiss, A., Bahorun, T., Arefanian, H., Barake, R., Khadir, A. & Tuomilehto, J. (2017). Functional Foods and Lifestyle Approaches for Diabetes Prevention and Management. Nutrients. 9(12). pii: E1310. doi: 10.3390/nu9121310.