4 Inflammation Signs That Are Often Overlooked

Inflammation is a defense mechanism that occurs in the body when the immune system responds to damaged cells, irritants and other harmful chemicals. It supports the healing or repair process.

However, inflammation can also harm the body. If it continues for several months to years, the body's inflammatory response may damage healthy cells, tissues and organs. 

Chronic inflammation has been linked to asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. But there are ways to avoid these conditions. 

The first thing to do is to know the early signs of inflammation. Detecting it early can help in diagnosis and provide access to wider treatment options. 

But there are signs that people commonly ignore. They may appear like normal changes in the body but they could indicate that the inflammation is already progressing to serious health problems. 

Will Cole, a functional medicine practitioner and expert in chronic disease, details the most commonly overlooked signs of inflammation. 

He provides customized health programs to manage and treat various conditions, such as autoimmune diseases, hormonal dysfunctions, thyroid issues, digestive disorders and brain problems. 

Ways To Detect Inflammation

Hair Loss in Eyebrows

A few people knew that looking at their eyebrows could help detect inflammation. Cole said outer part of the eyebrow toward the ears loses hair due to hypothyroidism or thyroid imbalance. 

Reduced eyebrows may indicate hormonal resistance patterns, he told mindbodygreen.

Lost Food Intolerance

Some people will suddenly be able to eat the foods they were previously intolerant to. That is because of the connection between food sensitivities and inflammatory response.

Cole said food intolerance occurs when people experience stress, which contributes to inflammation. When people go to a vacation, they tend to lose their food intolerance since they also become less stressed.

"I see this phenomenon sometimes with patients when they're on a certain diet protocol," Cole said. "And when they go on vacation, they would eat things that they never would eat when they're at home, and they don't have the same inflammatory responses."

Adrenal Fatigue

People may have high levels of inflammation if "normal" stressors, like being late at work, trigger a fight-or-flight or life-or-death response in the brain. 

"It's about really looking at these low-grade chronic stressors," Cole said. "If you're constantly in that fight-or-flight sympathetic response, that leads to HPA-axis dysfunction, or what people call adrenal fatigue. We need to help our body out by centering itself."

Sleep Problems

This sign of inflammation can the most ignored by many people. But having trouble sleeping or suffering from sleep apnea may indicate chronic inflammation. 

Cole said one night of poor sleep increases the C-reactive protein, which at high levels contributes to inflammation.

Inflammation Losing hair in the eyebrows can be a sign of hypothyroidism or thyroid imbalance. Pixabay