Systemic Inflammation: What Is It and How to Manage It

Inflammation is a very important aspect to good health. Without it, your body wouldn’t be able to heal from injuries or heal infections. However, systemic inflammation is a condition that can negatively impact your long-term health and even lead to disease. 

How Inflammation Keeps You Healthy

When your body senses that something is amiss, whether it’s a stubbed toe or an invading virus, inflammation alerts your immune system to the issue. Proteins called cytokines are released and act as an alarm to make it known that specific tissue in your body needs attention. At that point, your immune system is activated and begins the process of healing the ailment.

Signs of inflammation include heat, discoloration, swelling, and pain. It can also limit mobility. For example, if you sprain your ankle, inflammation will likely make it more difficult to walk normally. But beyond the annoyance, inflammation promotes healing by releasing hormones that dilate blood vessels in order to improve blood flow. That allows more cells from your immune system to reach the damaged area and begin the healing process. The associated pain also serves a purpose, as it’s alerting you that an area of your body needs protection.

What Is Systemic Inflammation?

While inflammation is a natural and normal feature of your immune system and keeps your body functioning properly, systemic inflammation is a condition in which the inflammation is chronic.

Good to read: Chronic Pain Can Be Improved with Simple Lifestyle Adjustments

Your immune system remains active, even when there’s nothing in your body that needs healing. Beyond physical symptoms, a blood test can detect systemic inflammation by observing an increase in markers of an overactive immune system. 

How Systemic Inflammation Impacts Your Body

The false alarm of systemic inflammation causes an increase in immune system cells, specifically white blood cells. With nothing to fight, fix, or heal, those cells sometimes begin to attack healthy cells. The result can be damaged tissue or even compromised internal organs. 

If systemic inflammation isn’t controlled, your health may be forever altered. The John Hopkins Health Review says conditions including cancer and diabetes can be the end result as the inflammation damages how your body functions. According to the American Heart Association, systemic inflammation has been linked to heart disease and stroke. Other conditions including depression, autoimmune disorders, and even Alzheimer’s have been linked. 

How to Manage and Minimize Systemic Inflammation

In many cases, systemic inflammation is treatable. Over-the-counter drugs such as ibuprofen and aspirin have anti-inflammatory properties. A doctor can also prescribe a corticosteroid, a steroid that controls inflammation by suppressing the immune system. Supplements are also an option. A study by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center found that fish oil can help manage inflammation. In order to minimize systemic inflammation, a change in your diet may be in order. Foods that cause inflammation include red meat, refined carbohydrates, and sugary beverages. On the other end of the spectrum, anti-inflammatory foods include leafy greens, olive oil, nuts, and many types of fruit. 

Additionally, don’t overlook your microbiome’s role in systemic inflammation. Your microbiome is made up of microorganisms — trillions of them, in fact — ranging from bacteria to viruses to even parasites. These microorganisms, which are mostly located in your intestines, aid in digestion by breaking down food compounds, play a part in emotional and mental health and help stimulate your immune system. Keeping your microbiome healthy can help properly regulate your immune system, which in turn can manage systemic inflammation. To ensure that the right kinds of microorganisms are present in your microbiome, look into introducing prebiotics and probiotics via supplements or foods like yogurt and kefir.

To avoid damage to your body’s tissue and potentially deadly conditions, you should be proactive about managing systemic inflammation. By knowing the signs and what you can do to minimize inflammation, you can increase your chances of living a long and healthy life. 

This is a guest post written by Holli Richardson from A holistic health enthusiast who has experienced the benefits of the practice.

The Shiatsu Guy Presents… Robin Daly, Yes To Life, Integrative Care and The Cancer Revolution

The shiatsu guy podcast - robin daly - yes to lifeIn episode Ten of the podcast, Simon your host, interviews the founder of the cancer charity ‘Yes To Life’, Robin Daly

In this episode we explore how Robin found his way to being the director of a cancer charity that gives advice on Integrative health care. We look at some of the fundamental steps you can take to ensuring your own health should you be in the position of having cancer and facing chemo therapy. Along with other findings on improving your chances to survive cancer.

We discuss the state of the mainstream medical establishment, what is holding it back from being more effective and patient centred, as well as the developments in the field that are changing the way the industry operates.

And we also discuss a number of other brilliant resources that will get you on the right path should you be diagnosed with cancer (or to recommend to anyone in your life who receives the diagnosis)

And as always, you can download the podcast episode from iTunes and Stitcher Radio or play right here in the browser

If you enjoy the podcast please subscribe, share with your friends and colleagues and if you feel so inclined we’d really appreciate a review!

Links for the resources we talked about in this episode:


Hearts in Healthcare

Buurtzorg – Nursing Agency (site is in Dutch but Google will translate if for you)

Paul Davis – New Scientist lecture (paid site) – Free article in Nature


Paul Davis – Cancer from a physicist’s perspective: a new theory of cancer (1 hour 35 minutes)

The Cancer Revolution – Patricia Peat and Yes To Life



The Cancer Whisperer – Sophie Sabbage



Radical Remission – Dr Kelly Turner




Where you can find Robin, Yes To Life and The Cancer Revolution book:

Yes To Life on UK Health Radio

Yes To Life on Facebook

@RMK_Daly (on twitter)

Patricia Peat on Cancer Options

The Cancer Revolution on Facebook

@CancerRev (on twitter)


The Shiatsu Guy Presents… Podcast is un-sponsored by you!

We’ve decided to keep the podcast sponsor and ad free by utilising Patreon as a way for our listeners to pledge their support to the project!

Patreon is a bit like crowd funding for artistic projects, you can pledge as much or as little as you want, starting from as little as $1 per month or per episode and you can even decide to cap your contribution at a monthly max…

If you’d like to support The Shiatsu Guy Presents… Podcast you can pledge your support at

Many thanks in advance!

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Natural Health Remedies – without Antibiotics

Ever wondered about ways to stay healthy without needing to reach for the antibiotics? Protect your immune system naturally.

Antibiotics may have saved many lives and killed an unimaginable number of harmful bacteria, but they also indiscriminately kill the beneficial bacteria as well, not to mention surviving strands can become resistant over time forming SuperBugs. The less we have to use antibiotics for everyday illnesses, that our own bodies immune system should easily handle, the better.

5 Natural Health Remedies

So I’ve compiled a quick list of household remedies and natural cures, so we can improve our health and give our immune system a health boost, naturally. Continue reading “Natural Health Remedies – without Antibiotics”