4 SECRET SIGNS OF INFLAMMATION AND HOW TO FIX IT
Soothe The Pain & Ease The Inflammation with TCM
Inflammation is like the boogeyman. It’s absolutely everywhere, showing up as a symptom for everything from depression to osteoarthritis. But unlike some other symptoms, inflammation is invisible. You can suffer from it for years without even knowing!
That sounds scary, but you’ll be ok. That’s because we’re going to go over what inflammation is, how to recognize even its subtlest signs, and some tips and tricks from Eastern medicine to help make it go away.
What Is Inflammation?
Before we get into how to look for it, let’s go over what inflammation actually is.
First of all, there are two different kinds of inflammation: the good kind and the bad kind. The good kind is actually a response from your immune system to an infection or injury. When your immune system detects a threat to your body, it sends out a care package of antibodies, proteins, and oxygenated blood to the area in question. This can happen when you sprain your wrist or when you cut your finger on a kitchen knife. As soon as the wound or injury is healed, the inflammation goes away.
The bad kind of inflammation is also known as chronic inflammation. Sometimes, after the threat has been dealt with and the inflammation is no longer needed, it sticks around anyway. That leaves your body in a constant state of low-level stress because you think you’re hurt, even when you’re not. Over time, that will start to damage your cells and body tissue.
But that’s not the only way to end up with the bad kind of inflammation. Some people with autoimmune diseases struggle with inflammation because their body will mistakenly attack itself. Pollution and exposure to dangerous chemicals has also been known to cause chronic inflammation, along with smoking cigarettes, drinking too much alcohol, and even being stressed all the time.
4 Secret Signs Of Inflammation
When most Western doctors look for inflammation, they’re looking for a few obvious symptoms, like:
- The area feels warm
- The patient is in pain
- The skin around the affected area is red and swollen
- The area (foot, hand, etc.) can’t function normally
But those aren’t the only signs of inflammation. Here are subtle symptoms of inflammation to keep an eye out for.
If you’ve been coughing a lot lately or clearing your throat every 5 seconds, it could be a sign that you’re dealing with inflammation.
Inflammation of the mucous membrane in your nose, throat, or sinuses, to be more precise. If your sinuses are always inflamed, you might have Sinusitis or Rhinosinusitis, both of which feel sort of like a permanent sinus infection. So if you’re always sniffling and never stray too far from a kleenex, you might have some serious inflammation.
Running On Empty
Do you feel like no matter how much you slept the night before and how good your oat milk latte was that morning, you’re still always tired? It’s you’ve been dealing with fatigue and low energy even though you’re getting a good amount of rest, the culprit could be inflammation.
When our immune system sends out inflammation, it uses up some of our energy. That’s one of the reasons you get so tired when you’re not feeling well. Healing yourself is hard work!
But if that inflammation sticks around even though it’s not needed, it’s still going to use up a bunch of your energy. Recent studies have found links between chronic inflammation and chronic fatigue, but more work needs to be done to find out exactly how the two are related.
If you’re reaching for the Pepto Bismol a lot these days, it might be inflammation and not that spicy bean dip that’s to blame. Symptoms like bloating, cramping, constipation, and diarrhea could be signs that there’s inflammation in your digestive system.
Why does inflammation make your stomach hurt? Well, some studies suggest that chronic inflammation starts in the gut. And that inflammation may be linked to other chronic diseases, thanks to something called “leaky gut syndrome.”
Do you hear yourself saying, “wait, what?” a lot more these days? Do you feel like your brain is in a fog that you just can’t shake? Is it impossible to concentrate and remember normal things? Don’t worry, you’re not going crazy. You’ve just got low-level brain inflammation that literally makes it harder for you to think.
Eastern Medicine Herbs To Treat Inflammation
If your inflammation is related to rheumatoid arthritis (RA), this TCM herbal remedy will help you just as much as the western pharmaceutical used to treat RA, methotrexate (MTX).
Known as Ba-Qi, this mixture is a combination of different medical herbs, including:
- Radix Salviae miltiorrhizae (Dan Shen)
- Semen strychni (Ma Qian Zi)
- Radix glycyrrhizae (Gan Cao)
- Radix Codonopsis pilosula (Dang Shen)
- Astragalus membranaceus (Huang qi)
- Notoginseng (San Qi)
- Rhizoma Ligustici chuanxiong (Chuan Xiong)
- Radix Achyranthis bidentata (Huai Niu Xi)
- and Rhizoma Atractylodis macrocephalae (Bai Zhu)
In 2018, a study was done on rats with arthritis to test the effectiveness of both Ba-Qi and MTX side by side. Rats in both groups had their swelling and pain levels go down, proving that Ba-Qi was just as good at getting rid of the inflammation as the prescription drug.
Turmeric is actually a relative of ginger, and it’s a popular spice all across Asia because of its warm, bright taste and equally vibrant color. In TCM, it’s considered a warming spice that helps remove toxins from the body and boost circulation. And in Ayurveda, it’s thought to be a balancing spice, so hopefully it’ll help your body find its natural harmony again.
The secret to turmeric’s power is one of nature’s most powerful anti-inflammatory agents: curcumin. Researchers have found that curcumin may be just as effective as prescription medicine at relieving inflammation, without any of the nasty side effects of those meds.
If you think you’re showing any of these secret signs of inflammation, talk to your health practitioner as soon as you can. It could be related to a more serious issue. But in the meantime, try these Eastern medicine herbs to sooth the pain and ease the inflammation.