It could be argued that for Baby Boomers, inflammation is public enemy number one. Inflammation of course is no good for anyone. But for Baby Boomers, now in their late 40s and up into their late 60s, inflammation presents with a higher price tag than it did when they (we) were young and invincible.
Inflammation can make itself known in an astonishing variety of ways and places in the aging human body. The unwary and uninformed among us, who have not yet started to implement ways of protecting ourselves, continue to offer ourselves as a kind of smorgasbord or carte blanche to the damaging octupus arms of inflammation.
Where can you find inflammation? Where can you not?
Look in your mouth. Inflammation causes infection in your gums that spreads into your bloodstream. Disease of the gums is called periodontal disease, and the final stage of periodontal disease is called gingivitis. Ultimately your teeth can fall out if you're not being vigilant.
Got aching joints? Wondering if you have arthritis? Inflammation is at work, in your ligaments and tendons. Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, ankylosing spondylitis, and lupus — all of them are disorders involving inflammation.
How's your digestion? Any gastric distress? Inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and related digestive disorders are alarm signals that inflammation may have settled in where you live.
How's your mood? Do you struggle with depression? Believe it or not, like it or not, inflammation can be making your low mood an even deeper blue. Inflammation in the gut can trigger or exacerbate panic attacks and anxiety.
Worried about holding on to your cognitive hat as you get older? Inflammation in your brain can play a big role in cognitive disorder and possibly dementia. Alzheimer's, anyone?
PubMed.gov labelled immune system disorders, neuritis and heart disease as chronic inflammatory conditions. Healthy-aging-for-women-babyboomers.com cited allergies, cancer, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis and some types of skin conditions as being linked to chronic inflammation.
Dr. Christiane Northrup called inflammation the root cause of chronic disease. Dr. Andrew Weil recommended an anti-inflammatory diet to combat chronic inflammation which he also called the root cause of illnesses like Alzheimer's disease, cancer and heart disease.
So. The Baby Boomers have a new cause, very different from the political and social causes of the 1960s and 1970s. The juggernaut of inflammation has been around ... well, forever.
Every earlier generation has been greeted and challenged by inflammation, with varying effects and successes. But it's fairly new to the Boomer generation.
Let's take it on like we were the first (as we've always done) and see what resistance against inflammation can do.
Anti-Inflammatory Diet Tips. Drweil.com. Retrieved Jan. 10, 2012.
Inflamm-Aging: Is Your Body’s Natural Defense Mechanism Aging You? Healyourlife.com. Retrieved Jan. 10, 2012.
Gingivitis. Feb. 22, 2010. Nlm.nih.gov. Retrieved Jan. 10, 2012.
Inflammatory bowel disease of the elderly: frequently asked questions (FAQs). Ncbi.nlm.gov. Retrieved Jan. 10, 2012.
The Anti Inflammatory Diet. Healthy-aging-for-women-babyboomers.com. Retrieved Jan. 10, 2012.
Reviewed January 11, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN