Feeling swollen? Are your rings too tight? It might be that you have inflammation, your body's immune system trying to fix an injury or illness. Once it fights off the germs or heals a wound it should go away, but sometimes the inflammation continues and becomes chronic, causing body-wide aches and pains. Here are a few reasons why it happens and some solutions to help you feel better.
See also: How diet affects arthritis
1. You're tired
A study showed that older adults who skimp on sleep are more prone to chronic inflammation. If you're aged between 25-64, aim for seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Don't keep a TV in the bedroom (and don't use laptops or smartphones either) and keep the area just for sleep and sex.
2. You smoke
Tobacco causes damage in the body. When you smoke your immune system goes into overdrive, producing more white blood cells to fix the damage. Not only does this cause chronic inflammation, it also increases your risk of heart attacks, stroke and cancer.
3. You drink alcohol
Drinking alcohol makes it harder for your body to fight off infections. It also tells your body to send out more inflammation-promoting chemicals which can cause tissue damage produce. Always drink in moderation. Even just a day of binge drinking can cause potentially dangerous chronic inflammation.
Foods high in sugar, as well as unhealthy fats, are known to cause inflammation in the body. Choose a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, whole grains and heart-healthy fatty acids, which you can get from foods like olive oil and salmon.
Three products that may help ease aches and inflammation:
Vitabiotics devil's claw root extract 600mg - 30 tablets, £11.99
Nelsons Arnicare Arnica Cream - 50g, £6.99
ActiPatch 720 hour Muscle and Joint Pain Relief, £19.99