In the past few years, a new buzzword has entered conversations about illness and disease. Doctors are increasingly talking about “inflammation” – a term which describes the automatic response – or flaring up – of the body when it tries to fight infections, toxins and trauma.
Until recently, “inflammation” has generally been used to describe something you can see: the redness of a stubbed toe, or the “-itis” of a swollen pair of tonsils or appendix. Then there are the auto-immune conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease. But now attention is being given to “hidden” inflammation, a chronic, insidious lifelong process that could be responsible for common conditions from heart disease to cancer and Type 2 diabetes, and even depression and dementia.