Swelling, inflammation and clotting are three of the major culprits when it comes to poor circulation, but poor circulation also increases the risk of chronic inflammation. Finding ways to decrease systemic inflammation, reduce swelling, and improve blood flow around the body are vital to maintaining excellent health throughout life. To understand how circulation affects inflammation, we first need to have a good grasp of what inflammation is and how it arises.
Why is Some Inflammation Necessary?
Whenever we are injured or under physical threat, the body responds in such a way that levels of inflammation also increase. This response in response to harmful stimuli is intended to help expel or counteract pathogens, irritants or damaged cells. Acute inflammation is typically a sign that the body is trying to heal itself and is a necessary biological process that is beneficial in the immediate aftermath of an injury.
How Chronic Inflammation Arises
However, when inflammation persists it can become problematic, shifting from a localized process to a systemic one. In fact, inflammation often begets further inflammation as it can end up damaging other tissues. Inflammation has been linked to a range of chronic disease, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even cognitive decline.
Chronic Inflammation and Chronic Disease
A predisposition to inflammation has been found in people with coronary artery disease, where the inflammatory process damages the lining of the arteries, can increase blood pressure, and can affect the viscosity of the blood.
The connection between inflammation and chronic diseases is complex, but impaired circulation is certainly a major factor in arterial damage and damage to other tissues such as in the kidneys, liver, intestines, eyes and other organs.
Why Circulation Affects Inflammation
When circulation is decreased, the body is less able to repair damaged tissues and protect tissues against further damage. The flow of blood around the body is what brings nutrients and fuel to cells and also what takes away toxins, dead cells, and other unwanted debris.
Inflammation and circulation are, therefore, intricately entwined, with elevated inflammation impairing circulation, and poor circulation creating chronic inflammation. In the case of hypertension, for example, the body is less effective at pumping blood to all its organs and tissues and has to increase the pressure and work harder to pump that blood. Treating hypertension, especially seriously elevated blood pressure, is essential, but it is also important to diagnose and treat the underlying problems with the circulatory system.
Improving Circulation to Decrease Inflammation
Improving circulation involves lowering inflammation, ensuring proper hydration, improving diet to help minimize the risk of undesirable blood clot formation, and also taking steps to protect blood vessels from damage. Natural interventions include increasing the intake of essential fatty acids that actively inhibit inflammation while improving circulatory health. Such nutrients are found in abundance in nuts, seeds, olive oil and oily fish.
It is also important to cut out alcohol and quit smoking, and to get regular exercise to improve the strength of the heart muscle and to encourage healthy blood flow and strength. Here at SmileHaven, our circulation care therapy increases your general blood flow by as much as 30% and more oxygen (29%) will be utilized in the tissues. Taking steps to improve circulation means the body is better able to mount a swift and effective defense against invading pathogens, can quickly remove diseased tissue, and can deliver essential oxygen and nutrients to fuel the growth of healthy new tissue after an injury. In this way, healthy circulation decreases the likelihood that acute inflammation will persist and end up contributing to chronic disease development.
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