This Is What Happens to Your Body When You Combat Inflammation

Sophie Miura

If there's one health topic that's captured our attention this year, it's inflammation. It's nearly impossible to scan health headlines without seeing this buzzword—but what does it actually mean? We know that it's startlingly common, can be sparked by eating certain foods, and has been linked to a myriad of concerning health conditions, yet for many, it's still a frustratingly vague term.

"There are two different types of inflammation: acute inflammation, which is a necessary part of our immune system—without it, we would not heal—and chronic or low-level inflammation," explains Lori Shemek, PhD, author of How to Fight FATflammation. The second is "silent—you do not know it's there until symptoms occur. It's like having a sore on the inside of your body that never heals; 75% of the population has silent inflammation and does not realize it."

So beyond the definition, what does this actually mean for your diet, lifestyle, and future? We tapped two inflammation experts, Shemek and Abby Sauer, MPH, RD, a registered dietitian at Abbott, with all your burning questions. Consider this your simple cheat sheet to inflammation.

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@chrisellelim

Still confused about inflammation? Tell us what you want to know, and we'll quiz our panel of experts for you.

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