Inflammation and Aging: How Are They Related?

Inflammation and Aging: How Are They Related?

Over the time researchers have linked inflammation to many diseases. Here, we are not talking about acute inflammation, i.e., inflammation caused by some wound or burn leading to redness or swelling. The researchers discovered some low-grade chronic inflammation that is difficult to trace and is responsible for causing a large number of health associated problems like diabetes, heart diseases like coronary artery disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and various cancers. Chronic inflammation has also been found associated with aging.

There are basically two aspects of aging. First, aging associated with the deterioration of body with time. However, body deterioration isn’t same for everyone. The signs of aging vary from person to person. Second, there is no certain sign of aging. Some of the aging such as muscle weakness or memory loss can be experienced with other conditions like arthritis and Alzheimer’s.

However, Deepak Chopra described a link between chronic inflammation and aging. He says that when we are young, our immune system was precise, specific, and targeted the invading pathogens. It defends the body against bacterial and viral threats. But, as we grow up, the immune system weakens and loses its targeting ability. This affects the immune system’s ability to eliminate pathogens, and it starts targeting healthy cells, causing inflammation. When this behavior of the immune system continues for a long time, it causes damage to healthy cells throughout the body, leading to cellular death.

But, chronic inflammation takes a lot of time (maybe decades) to affect the body and cause visible signs and symptoms. Thus, it is necessary to focus on anti-inflammation mechanisms. If you want to get rid of inflammation, you need to make several lifestyle changes. Deepak Chopra suggests some lifestyle changes that can help in reducing inflammation and can prevent from various inflammatory symptoms, including aging. These are:

  • Consume a well-balanced diet
  • Reduce stress
  • Maintain a proper sleeping schedule
  • Focus on everyday physical activities like walking and standing
  • Establish emotional balance
  • Manage depression and anxiety

These changes might seem like an everyday advice, but they are more than that. They can literally save your life and make you healthier. One of the major problem that causes inflammation is stress. Thus, stress management can be extremely beneficial for reducing inflammation and can also help in the treatment of various other mental health conditions like major depressive disorder.