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Surprising Inflammation Symptoms You Need to Know

This content is sponsored by New Chapter, maker of whole-food vitamins and supplements.

Chronic inflammation is a painful condition that can be related to a number of disease processes, including diabetes, respiratory disease, and heart disorders. Even worse, the National Institutes of Health anticipates that diseases associated with chronic inflammation will increase persistently for the next 30 years in the United States (1).

While some signs of inflammation, such as joint pain, fatigue, and frequent infections, may be obvious, others can be more subtle. Here are some surprising symptoms of inflammation and how to ease inflammation symptoms:

What Is Inflammation? 

There are two types of inflammation: acute and chronic. Acute inflammation refers to your body’s response to an injury (like scraping your knee) or infection (like a virus), says Krista King, a Chicago-based dietitian and founder of Composed Nutrition. You may experience pain, swelling, and redness as your body works to repair damage tissue, but once healing takes place, the immune system returns to normal and the inflammation is reduced.

Chronic inflammation refers to long-term inflammation that is characterized by continued, active inflammation response (2). It is the immune response, initially designed to protect the body, gone awry, essentially over firing and leaving the body in a low-grade level of inflammation that is not as easy to detect as compared to the inflammation experienced as a result of an injury, King says. Unfortunately, inflammation is involved in nearly every chronic disease.

“It can be seen in conditions like autoimmune diseases where the body attacks its own healthy tissue, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, joint disease, allergies, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,” King says.

Surprising Inflammation Symptoms

As mentioned, generally well-known symptoms of inflammation include infection, fatigue, and joint pain. Skin rashes, including eczema and psoriasis (3), are also more obvious physical signs of inflammation. A potentially surprising skin issues associated with inflammation, King says, is acne. Because inflammation can exacerbate stress and hormone imbalances, sufferers may also develop acne lesions (4).

Depression, anxiety, and mood disorders are another surprising sign of inflammation. Increased inflammation may result in antidepressant treatment resistance (5), and increased stress can lead to inflammation and cause anxiety disorders (6).

Poor digestion is another lesser-known symptom of inflammation, King says, and can include bloating, abdominal pain, acid reflux constipation, and diarrhea. Gut inflammation, also known as “leaky gut,” happens when larger particles of not-entirely digested food get into the blood stream and the body attacks them.

“This is surprising because we may not commonly think there’s an immune reaction occurring in the gut that is related to these symptoms,” King says. “It’s important to identify the root cause of gut inflammation to ease symptoms and promote gut healing.”

How to Prevent Inflammation

Fortunately, there are a number of ways to manage inflammation and prevent its symptoms. Lifestyle changes to consider include:

  • Adjusting your diet. Reducing the amount of sugar, dairy, simple carbohydrates, and processed foods can help with symptoms of inflammation, King says. Additionally, removing any other foods you may be sensitive to can help, as can reducing or eliminating alcohol.
  • Getting regular exercise. Regular, moderate-intensity exercise can help reduce symptoms of inflammation. King recommends activities like yoga, pilates, and strength training.
  • Reducing stress. King commonly sees unregulated stress hormones in patients who have symptoms of inflammation, and managing stress levels is crucial to feeling healthy, balanced, and energized, she says. In addition to exercise, meditation or simple breathing exercises can all help balance stress levels.

Supplements can also be beneficial in easing symptoms of inflammation, including probiotics, fish oil, glutathione, CoQ10, selenium, vitamin E, alpha lipoic acid, and vitamin C. “While there are many supplements that can help reduce inflammation, it’s best to discuss with your health care provider which is best for you,” King says.

Incorporating certain herbs into your diet or taking herbal supplements may also help ease inflammation symptoms. Curcumin, a component of turmeric, is known to inhibit inflammation and has therapeutic benefits (7). Turmeric can be consumed as a supplement or eaten as an herb and is best absorbed with black pepper, according to King.

While many turmeric supplements only provide isolated curcumin extract, New Chapter’s Turmeric Force line of products delivers whole-food turmeric with hundreds of compounds, complete with curcumin as well as turmerones from the herb’s essential oils. The company also offers fermented turmeric tablets and fermented turmeric booster powder to support your body’s natural inflammation response*.

Ginger also has therapeutic properties that can help reduce pain and inflammation, while green tea has been used as an anti-inflammatory to ease arthritis symptoms. Resveratrol (8), which can be consumed as a supplement or found naturally in certain berries, can also help alleviate stress, potentially reducing low-grade inflammation.

Some herbal supplements, such as New Chapter’s Zyflamend family of products, include both turmeric and ginger, among other herbs, to provide comfortable joint support, a healthy inflammation response, and herbal pain relief*.

“It’s important to identify the root cause of the inflammation and adjust nutrition, exercise, supplements, and lifestyle accordingly,” King says.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

What steps have you taken to manage inflammation? Let us know in the comments below!


The products and the claims made about specific products on or through this site have not been evaluated by LuckyVitamin.com or the United States Food and Drug Administration and are not approved to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. The information provided on this site is created by journalists and wellness experts for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.