5 signs that you might have chronic inflammation. What you can do to reduce the inflammation?


What is Chronic Inflammation? 

Inflammation refers to your body’s process of fighting against things that harm it such as infections, injuries and toxins to heal itself. When something damages your cells, your body releases antibodies that trigger response from your immune system. Chronic inflammation happens when this response leaving your body in a constant state of alert. Over time, chronic inflammation may have negative impact on your tissues and organs. If goes untreated, it can lead to a host of other issues especially in the heart and brain.  


5 Signs of Chronic Inflammation  

Acute inflammation often causes noticeable symptoms like pain, redness or swelling. But chronic inflammation symptoms are usually much more subtle. Chronic inflammation has likely been going on for a long time before you realize it’s happening.  


Below are 5 common signs that someone may have a chronic inflammatory condition:  

1. Body Pain  

Body pain such as muscles aches, joint pain, stiffness of lower back is commonly caused by increased systemic inflammation. When inflammatory cytokines are elevated in body, they can attack muscle and joint in redness, swelling and pain.  

2. Skin rashes  

Skin rashes such as eczema or psoriasis are inflammatory skin conditions by symptoms of redness, rough and flaky skin. Both are linked to hypersensitivity of immune system. Patient with these conditions is more likely to have more inflammatory mast cells which trigger skin rashes to surface. 

3. Low energy  

Constantly feeling fatigue despite getting sufficient sleep at night is another sign of chronic inflammation. When body is chronically inflamed your immune system remains active and continues to work overtime to regulate its response. Chronic inflammation increases the requirement of cellular energy to deplete the fuel your body need to feel fully energized.  

4. Poor digestion  

Common digestive problems such as bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea may also suggest an issue with inflammation. Chronic inflammation can contribute to leaky gut syndrome which can cause bacteria and toxins to leak through the intestinal wall into the rest of body. Leaky gut issue may contribute to digestive symptoms including irregular bowel movements and bloating.  

5. Difficulty losing weight or weight gain  

Under inflammatory condition, immune system being attacked, the body released cytokines that interfere with body’s insulin response. When body becomes resistant to insulin, the pancreas releases more insulin which trigger body to store more fat in the abdominal region. High visceral fat is also linked to heart disease, diabetes and cancer.  

Other common signs of chronic inflammation also including mood disturbance, water retention, hair loss, migraine, dry eyes, nasal allergies, muscle weakness and insomnia. If you want to optimize your current and future health, you can do so by understanding signs of inflammation in the body.  


What can you do to reduce inflammation?  

There are wide range of factors that contribute to inflammation, it’s clear that reducing inflammation in the body should be a multi-faceted approach.  

- Reduce your intake of inflammatory foods such as processed foods, fried foods, fast food, refined carbohydrates, gluten, sugar and alcohol.  

- Avoid food that are sensitive to body which need IgG food allergens test to figure out.  

- Eating a variety healthy diet with anti-inflammatory foods. 

- Exercising regularly and getting plenty of sleep. 

- Reduce exposure to chemical, smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke. 

- Adopt good stress management techniques such as mindfulness meditation or yoga.  

- Using nutritional supplements such as omega-3, vitamin D as suggested by healthcare provider according to your body needs. 


Chronic inflammation can increase the risk of serious diseases if goes untreated. Following lower-inflammation diet, supplements and medication, good stress management, exercise may help reduce risk of living with chronic inflammation. But before making any lifestyle changes, it’s always best to consult with healthcare provider. Take note if you have symptoms of chronic inflammation, please do not hesitate to visit our healthcare provider for consultation, early treatment can help to manage your condition better before it have serious impact on your health. With the guidance of our wellness team, we can assist you better in adopting an anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle.  



Nutritionist, Lara  ANNA HOO CLINIC




1. Healthline. 2022. What is Chronic Inflammation (and How to Treat It). [online] Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/chronic-inflammation 

2. WebMD. 2022. Signs of Chronic Inflammation You May Not Expect. [online] Available at: https://www.webmd.com/arthritis/ss/slideshow-signs-chronic-inflammation-unexpected 

3. Pahwa, R., Goyal, A. and Jialal, I., 2022. Chronic Inflammation. [online] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493173/ 

4. Medicalnewstoday.com. 2022. Inflammation: Types, symptoms, causes, and treatment. [online] Available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/248423#_noHeaderPrefixedContent 

5. Verywell Health. 2022. 11 Atypical Signs of Chronic Inflammation. [online] Available at: https://www.verywellhealth.com/11-atypical-signs-of-chronic-inflammation-5075765 


What is the difference between Acute Inflammation vs Chronic Inflammation?


How chronic inflammation can affect your health in the long run.  

As destructive as inflammation may sound, inflammation is a crucial part of the body’s defence mechanism that is vital to health.  It protects against harmful stimuli and plays a role in the healing process. On the flip side, prolonged inflammation is the cause that leads to detrimental effects. The key difference is the type of inflammation.  


There are two main types of inflammation: ACUTE and CHRONIC. 

  1. Acute Inflammation  

Acute inflammation is caused by an injury, infection or exposure to substance such as cuts, irritants or dust. In response to these harmful pathogens or tissue injury, the immune system triggers a few reactions which are characterized by 5 key signs:  


  • Pain: May occur continuously or only upon touch 

  • Redness: Due to an increase in blood supply to the area 

  • Loss of function: Difficulty moving a joint, breathing, sensing smell 

  • Swelling: Edema can develop if fluid builds up. 

  • Heat: Increased blood flow may leave the affected area warm to the touch 


These signs may not always be present but instead, a person may feel tired, generally unwell and have a fever. Acute inflammation starts rapidly and usually subsides within a few days to weeks upon recovery. 



  1. Chronic Inflammation 

In contrast, chronic inflammation is a silent menace that develops slowly over a long term and can continue for months to years.  


Causes of chronic inflammation include:  


  • Sensitivity: Chronic inflammation happens when the body senses something that should not be there. Hypersensitivity to an external trigger can result in an allergy, whether to foods, or external substances such as dust or chemicals  


  • Exposure to chemical irritants: Long term, low level exposure to chemical irritants such as cigarette smoke and industrial waste. 


  • Autoimmune disorders: The immune system mistakenly attacks normal healthy tissue, as in psoriasis, Type 1 Diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.  


  • Persistent acute inflammation: In cases where a person does not fully recover from acute inflammation, chronic inflammation occurs.  


  • Poor lifestyle habits: Obesity, poor diet, alcohol consumption, smoking, stress, low sex hormones, poor sleep quality are risk factors of chronic inflammation. 



Long-term Effects 

Furthermore, chronic inflammation is often insidious as it usually begins with no injury or illness present, making it hard to detect in the initial phase. Common signs and symptoms include pain, fatigue, insomnia, weight gain, mood disorders, gastrointestinal issues such as constipation, diarrhea, frequent infections.  


In the long run, symptoms may worsen. In fact, chronic inflammation can be a major threat to health and longevity. It is a major contributor to diseases affecting all parts of the human body including:  


  • Cardiovascular disease 

  • Cancer  

  • Diabetes 

  • Autoimmune disease: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriasis  

  • Allergic asthma  

  • Alzheimer’s disease 

  • Chronic kidney disease 

  • Inflammatory bowel disease 


Keep Inflammation under Control 

Hence, the key to living a healthy and long life is by ensuring that inflammation in the body is kept under control. To do so, we must ensure that we minimize exposure to the causative factors, adopt healthy, balanced lifestyle habits, and conduct regular health screening. 


Whether you find yourself at a high risk of chronic inflammation, are experiencing symptoms of chronic inflammation, or simply health conscious, visit your healthcare provider today for a comprehensive assessment on chronic inflammation.   

By Nutritionist, ZUANNE

Anna Hoo Clinic




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