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Inflammation can operate undercover, without obvious symptoms.

It can exist absolutely everywhere, showing up as a symptom for everything from fatigue, depression to osteoarthritis. But unlike some other symptoms, inflammation is invisible. You can suffer from it for years without even knowing! Let’s go over what inflammation is, how to recognize even its subtlest signs, and some tips and tricks to help make it go away.

What Is Inflammation?

First, let’s go over what inflammation actually is.

There are two different kinds of inflammation: the good kind and the bad kind. The good kind is actually a response from your immune system to an infection or injury.

When your immune system detects a threat to your body, it sends out antibodies, proteins, and oxygenated blood to the area of injury or infection to help heal it, and s soon as the injury is healed, the inflammation goes away.

The bad kind of inflammation is chronic inflammation. Sometimes, after the inflammation is no longer needed, it stays anyway. That leaves your body in a constant state of low-level stress and over time, that will start to damage your cells and body tissue. Chronic inflammation is the cause of many diseases.

Some people with autoimmune diseases also struggle with inflammation because their body will mistakenly attack itself. Pollution and exposure to dangerous chemicals has also been known to cause chronic inflammation, and so does smoking and eating or drinking certain foods and beverages. Some viruses cause post viral syndrome which is a chronic low grade inflammation.

Western doctors only look for inflammation in the most obvious symptoms, like:

  • The area feels warm
  • The patient is in pain
  • The skin around the affected area is red and swollen
  • The area (foot, hand, etc.) can’t function normally

But those aren’t the only signs of inflammation. In TCM and eastern medicine, we look for and treat more subtle symptoms of inflammation.

4 Subtle Signs Of Inflammation

Excess mucous

If you’re clearing your throat frequently, it could be a sign that you’re dealing with inflammation. 

Inflammation of the mucous membrane in your nose, throat, or sinuses, feel sort of like a permanent sinus infection, but even without obvious sinus infection, there can be hidden inflammation causing post nasal drip. Your only symptom may be clearing your throat ever few minutes.

 Chronic fatigue

Do you feel like no matter how much you slept the night before, you’re still always tired? Fatigue and low energy in spite of adequate rest could be inflammation. 

Inflammation sticks around even though it’s not needed, is going to use up a bunch of your energy, and there is a strong links between chronic inflammation and chronic fatigue.

Digestive problems

Symptoms like bloating, cramping, constipation, and diarrhea could be signs that there’s inflammation in your digestive system. At least some chronic inflammation starts in the gut, and that inflammation may be linked to other chronic diseases. Some people call this “leaky gut syndrome.” 


Do you feel like your brain is in a fog and that you just can’t concentrate or remember normal things? This is due to a low-level brain inflammation that literally makes it harder for you to think.

Herbs can help

Eastern herbs can treat chronic inflammation, and herbs such as Dang Shen, Huang Qi, Gan Cao, Dan Shen or Yu Jin may be used in combination.

Dietary changes

It is almost always necessary to make dietary changes, sometimes radical changes for a few months is needed, and you can work with your acupuncturist or naturopath to formulate an anti inflammatory diet. In some cases an elimination diet is needed for several months to identify trigger foods.

Anna Bäck L.Ac. Dipl.O.M.

We can help

Finding the right combination of herbs can be a daunting task, we are here to help with both selection, and sending the perfect blend of herbs in an easy to take capsule.

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