How to Treat Inflammation


Inflammation is the immune system’s natural response to help the body recover from injury, infection, or foreign invaders. However, too much inflammation can lead to chronic inflammation, where your immune system attacks healthy organs. In this article, we will go over the signs of inflammation, the different types of inflammation, ways you can reduce inflammation, and foods to eat and avoid to fight off inflammation. 

What are the Signs of Inflammation?

Your immune system works around the clock to fight off foreign invaders from causing damage to your body. More often than not, inflammation is a common response by the immune system when it detects something it thinks shouldn’t be there. That doesn’t mean we should welcome inflammation with open arms. Inflammation can be debilitating. Here are some of the signs of inflammation:

  • Redness 
  • Heat
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Loss of function

Examples of a loss of function include not being able to move an inflamed joint properly, having a worse sense of smell during a cold, or finding it more difficult to breathe when you have bronchitis. Some inflammation can occur silently and don’t cause any symptoms. 

What is the Fastest Way to Reduce Inflammation in the Body?

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for our immune system to go into action without an injury or an infection to fight. In these cases, the immune system cells that are there to protect our body end up harming our body by fighting foreign invaders that simply don’t exist. This can be triggered by a poor diet and not enough exercise. Here are some things you can do to reduce inflammation in the body:

  • Load up on anti-inflammatory foods - Eating healthy is one of the easiest ways to reduce inflammation or prevent it altogether. We will discuss the best foods to eat in further detail later in the article
  • Cut back on inflammatory foods - The foods you don’t eat are as important as the foods you do eat. We will discuss these foods shortly
  • Control your blood sugar - You should shift your focus to limiting or avoiding simple carbohydrates such as white flour, white rice, refined sugar, and anything with high fructose syrup
  • Lose weight - Those who are overweight are more likely to have issues with inflammation. Losing weight can decrease inflammation
  • Manage stress - Chronic stress can cause inflammation. You can reduce stress through meditation, yoga, or other stress management techniques
  • Supplements to reduce inflammation in the body

Ultimately, the best way to avoid inflammation or to reduce inflammation is by living a healthy life. 

What are the Types of Inflammation?

There are two different types of inflammation: acute and chronic. Acute inflammation is the type of inflammation we described above. This is your immune system’s response to foreign invaders or injuries. Your immune system releases white blood cells to surround and protect the area. Even though it may be annoying, this type of inflammation is a sign that your body is doing its job to recover properly. 

However, if the inflammation gets turned up too high and lingers for a long time, it turns into chronic inflammation. From the immune systems perspective, it’s under constant attack, so the immune system keeps fighting indefinitely. When this happens, white blood cells may end up attacking nearby healthy tissues and organs. For example, if you are overweight and have more visceral fat cells — the deep type of fat that surrounds your organs — the immune system may see those cells as a threat and attack them with white blood cells. The longer you are overweight, the longer your body can remain in a state of inflammation.

How is Chronic Inflammation Treated?

We mentioned some of the natural ways you can reduce chronic inflammation earlier in the article. However, when you go to your doctor, they may recommend pharmaceutical options that provide more immediate results. Here are some chronic inflammation treatment options your doctors may recommend:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) - Over-the-counter NSAIDs, such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil), and naproxen (Aleve), effectively reduce inflammation and pain. It should be noted, however, that long term use of these products may increase the risk of kidney disease
  • Steroids - Corticosteroids (kor-tuh-kow-steh-roydz) are a type of steroid hormone. They decrease inflammation and suppress the immune system, which is helpful when it starts attacking healthy tissue. However, just like with NSAIDs, long-term use of steroids can lead to issues. These issues include vision problems, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis
  • Supplements - Certain supplements such as fish oil, lipoic acid, and curcumin, are all linked to decreases in inflammation

While these options may provide immediate results, implementing long-term lifestyle changes can provide you with lasting results and better overall health without having to worry about the negative side effects of medications. 

What Foods Reduce Inflammation in the Body?

As you will shortly see, building a diet around foods that provide inflammation reduction is as simple as building a diet around healthy eating. Here are some foods that should be included in any anti-inflammatory diet:

  • Tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Nuts
  • Fatty fish
  • Strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges

These foods can also help prevent chronic diseases as well. Studies have also associated nuts with reduced markers of inflammation and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Coffee, which contains polyphenols and other anti-inflammatory compounds, may protect against inflammation, as well.

What foods cause inflammation in the body?

As we mentioned earlier, the foods that you don’t eat will be as important as the foods that you do eat. Just like with the anti-inflammatory diet, building a diet around these certain foods can be easy, as it’s foods you should be avoiding anyway. Here are some of the foods you should be avoiding:

  • Sugar and high-fructose corn syrup - Added sugars can increase inflammation, which can lead to disease
  • Artificial trans fats - Unlike the naturally occurring trans fats found in dairy and meat, artificial trans fats have been shown to cause inflammation and increase disease risk
  • Vegetable and seed oils - Some scientists believe that certain vegetable oils, such as soybean oil, promote inflammation due to their very high omega-6 fatty acid content
  • Refined carbohydrates - Eating refined carbs can drive inflammation
  • Excessive alcohol - There are countless studies that point to the benefits of moderate drinking. However, excessive drinking can lead to problems. In one study, levels of the inflammatory marker CRP increased in people who consumed alcohol. The more alcohol they consumed, the more their CRP levels increased
  • Processed meat - Processed meats such as sausage, bacon, ham, smoked meat, and beef jerky. Processed meat contains more advanced glycation end products (AGEs) than most other meats. AGEs are formed by cooking meats and some other foods at high temperatures. They are known to cause inflammation

Now, just because you should avoid these foods doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself every now and then. However, try to limit these foods as much as possible. 

Supplements Can Help

There are several processes our body uses to remove antigens. One of the protective systems involves our bodies producing macrophages, those macrophages engulf the antigen, and then the antigen is digested (destroyed) through a process of autophagy. Early studies show that spermidine triggers cellular autophagy, which can play a major role in helping to build a more robust immune defense through healthier cells and increased autophagic strength and function.

The positive impacts of spermidine-induced autophagy and spermidine supplementation have been studied worldwide. In addition to boosting our immune system, spermidineLIFE offers remarkable supplemental support for the health of our brain, heart, bones, muscles, weight, hair, liver, and overall longevity.

  • Don Moxley - Director of Applied Science

    Don Moxley is the Director of Applied Science at Longevity Labs. Moxley draws upon his career as an athlete, a sports scientist, and an instructor to lead and educate on the science of autophagy and longevity.