Oxidative stress is essentially an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to counteract or detoxify their harmful effects through neutralization by antioxidants.
Reactive stress occurs when for some reason the bodies immunity is reduced and disease is enabled by the bodies reduced or incorrect immune response.
What is Inflammation?
Inflammation is actually your body’s natural immune system response to stress – whether from your diet, lifestyle or environment. Think of what happens when you catch a cold. You may experience inflammation in the form of a fever as your body heats up to eradicate the effects of the invading virus.
This kind of inflammation is good, but the modern epidemic of chronic, low-grade inflammation destroys the balance in your body. When your body’s systems experience a constant inflammatory response, you become more susceptible to aging and disease.
What Causes Inflammation?
One of the main causes of inflammation is low-grade bacterial, viral, and fungal infections in the bloodstream and organs like the stomach and gastro-intestinal tract.
For example H pylori is a bacteria in the stomach that contributes to inflammation and the development of ulcers. H pylori is present in 50% of adults over 60 years old and in 20% of adults under the age of 40!
As you can see, inflammation is quite common and caused by more than just pathogenic organisms.
Other causes of inflammation include:
- Chronic low-grade food allergies or food sensitivities that may cause few symptoms.
- An imbalance of bacteria and fungi in your gastrointestinal tract, also known as dysbiosis. This causes your immune system to overreact to bacteria in your gut and can be without notable symptoms.
- Stress! Constant psychological, emotional or physical stress raises the level of cortisol, creating inflammation.
- Environmental toxicity from our air, water, food pollutants and toxic metals like mercury and lead all contribute to inflammation and have been linked to diseases as varied as endometriosis and cancer.
- Diet and lifestyle: too much fat, sugar, and protein in your diet, constant dehydration, consumption of too many sweet fizzy drinks or caffeine, inactivity, and lack of sleep can all increase inflammation in your body
The Lasting Effects of Inflammation
Symptoms of inflammation include:
- Visible signs of aging like wrinkles.
- Susceptibility to bacterial, fungal, and viral infections.
- Acid reflux
- Skin conditions like psoriasis and acne.
- Chronic pain
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Urinary tract infections